MIJO is a fulfillment agency in the area of corporate branding
Please introduce yourself and your startup MIJO to our readers!
MIJO is a fulfillment agency in the area of corporate branding. We design and produce onboarding boxes, corporate fashion and merchandising articles for start-ups, SMEs and large companies. In the last few years the employer-employee relationship has significantly changed. There are flatter hirachies, more benefits and also the focus on family structures has grown. Our products are perfect as welcome gifts or as a sign of appreciation. With our products, we turn employees into brand ambassadors and help companies to build and strengthen their own employer brand.
How did you get the idea of MIJO ?
Since our father has now come of retirement age, we have often discussed how to continue the successes of the old family business but also how to build on them. So we thought about how we could use the know-how and the possibilities from the old company to realize the vision my brother and I had. So MIJO was born and a few days later the three of us started to realize everything.
Why did you decide to start with MIJO ?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather, father and also my siblings as well as many friends and idols are founders. To give shape to one’s own vision has always been a great driving force. Since our father wanted to know how the family business should go on, we decided to found MIJO to put the vision of my brother and me into practice.
What is the vision behind MIJO?
With MIJO we would like to help startups and companies to build and strengthen their own employer brand. We place great value on sustainable, ecological and fair materials. In this way we combine employer branding with environmental protection and thus give our customers the opportunity to set themselves up in a more sustainable way. This allows us to meet the growing environmental awareness as well as current trends and to combine both.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
The idea for MIJO was quickly there, but what’s next? Finding a concept in which two generations and three founders with quite individual but different ideas come to a common ground was a real challenge. I think everyone who has ever worked in a family business knows exactly what I am talking about. It was very important for us to bring in the expertise of my father’s decades of experience in the field of textile labelling. However, we did not want to lose sight of the “modern consumer” and the entire project was carried out on an online and digitally based platform from the very beginning. It was therefore necessary to make several radical changes at once.
Who is your target audience?
Start-ups, SMEs and large companies. Actually every employer who wants to do more in terms of employer and corporate branding.
But we are also pleased to receive more and more inquiries from NGOs or associations who want to express more appreciation for employees and helpers with our products.
What is the USP of your startup?
Our biggest USP is the simplicity and transparency of MIJO. Due to our in-house production we can react quickly, which has a positive effect on the Lead Times. We work with all-inclusive prices, so that no additional costs are incurred by the customer later. Due to our own production, we can already produce from smallest quantities of 10 pieces, which other suppliers cannot offer.
Can you describe your typical workday ?
The day starts at 09:00 am with answering mails and inquiries. Due to the Corona Pandemic we can no longer hold our personal sample meetings with the customer. So we have developed our sample box, which contains all desired articles and samples. So after that we usually have “sample boxes packing” up on the schedule. The rest of the working day is then reserved for designing boxes or corporate fashion and selecting products for the clients. At least once a day we try to discuss everything important in the team.
Where do you see yourself and your startup MIJO in five years?
Hopefully still upwards! We want to gain further popularity in the German-speaking countries. In any case, we will also push ahead with our internationalization of, which we are already working on. This includes above all the UK, France and the BENELUX states. In five years, it would be cool to have the comfort of knowing that we have built a solid business with MIJO. And that we can continue to expand the company as a trio with new ideas.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
The first and best tip ever: never quit! There will come many moments when you would like to give it all up, get back into a 9to5 job and say goodbye to the founding. Moments when uncertainty, risks and burdens become too great and overpowering will come. And it is precisely in these moments that it is important to keep going step by step, to keep at it, not to stop. In the best case, the path is then rewarded with success. But in any case, you have pursued your own path and goals. And that is more than most people can claim.
Second: Optimize. Especially when the starting point has been set and the official business operation starts, you usually lose sight of your own process optimization because (in the best case) it’s going well. But to look at regular intervals to see which processes can be optimized or converted somewhere saves a lot of money and time in the long run. Especially if the processes are not yet too well grounded, it is always worth taking a constructive look. Because: there is always something to improve.
Third tip: Listen to experience! We can be very happy that we were and are able to draw on our father’s entrepreneurial experience. If you want to start a business and you have someone in your family or known environment who is a founder himself, ask that person any questions you may have and also ask his opinion about your project. Talking about your own vision with someone who has already gone this way can have a positive effect.
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Wir bedanken uns bei Maximilian Klostermann für das Interview
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