April 13, 2007 08:00 ET

Rhinobag: Hard Work and Good Planning are the Keys to this Bags to Riches Story

BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 13, 2007) - When Randy Uens started Rhinobag, an innovative waste services start-up, he knew it was going to be a battle. Two years later he has overcome most of the classic start up hurdles to begin a national launch in Canada with all of the major home improvement retailers.

Rhinobag is a new breed of waste removal. An innovative idea that allows the homeowner to buy a bag at retail, fill it up with 1.5 tonnes of renovation or building waste and then call the Rhinobag customer service center to arrange collection. A convenient and cost effective alternative to the traditional dump bins.

"Every successful entrepreneur requires three things, a garage, an idea and a simple plan." Uens says." My idea came from the necessity to clean out my garage. I had filled up a hockey bag with junk, took it to the curb and my local municipality would not take it away. I knew I had an idea. I just had to figure out how to do it. I had seen these bags in Europe and thought that no one had branded or retailed these bags let alone promoted a residential service."

Rhinobag has now completed its pilot and has set up collection teams in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Focusing on urban centers Uens says some smaller centers will be filled in as we progress. A U.S. pilot is planned this year.

The usual start up challenges plagued Uens as he started. Financing, staffing, and the general growing pains of a small business. The business faced huge demands upon a fledgling infrastructure early on. Rhinobag had unique challenges as they developed both a product and a service Although Uens says he still has a lot of work ahead of him, he offers some simple advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

1. Define your idea. Keep the message simple. Refine your pitch by articulating in simple terms what problem you are solving for the market.

2. Develop an advisory board. Find industry experts, successful entrepreneurs or finance people who can advise you as you develop.

3. Get going. Start creating your product, delivering your service. A pilot phase will show you your flaws. You will make mistakes but you will be better for it. Too many great ideas stay in the planning stages.

4. Define your business model. No matter what kind of organization you are starting, you need to figure out how you will be paid. Even the greatest ideas fail without a sustainable business model.

5. Create milestones, Assumptions and tasks. Finally compile: a)the major milestones you need to achieve b) the assumptions built in to your business model c)tasks you need to do to accomplish your goal of creating an organization.

This will keep you organized and focused when things go crazy, and they will go crazy.

Rhinobags are currently available in selected Home Hardware and Canadian Tire stores. Home Depot launches nationally mid May and in late April a national launch occurs with Rona. Find a store near you by going to the website at www.rhinobag.com or call 1-800-769-0149 for details.

To see the picture of Randy Uens and Rhinobag's mascot please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Randymascott1.JPG

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