The mantra “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is at the heart of entrepreneur Ivan Zelko’s new business. The owner of E-Quick Eco Courier used his passion for the environment and started a delivery company to promote sustainability and environmental awareness.
“I thought there was definitely a market here because people in Victoria are very eco-conscious,” Zelko says. “Who knows, along the way, we may inspire the competition to become more green. That’s part of being the driver for change.”
The company strives to be eco-minded in every aspect of the business. Its uniforms are made from recycled plastic bottles. Both uniforms and the electric cars are washed with non-toxic natural cleaners. To reduce paper use, customers are encouraged to use their online system for submitting and tracking orders. And through a partnership with Tree Canada, they plant one tree for every 100 kilometres they drive.
Synergistic partnerships include working with Apple Box to deliver meals and groceries and with the Wetcleaner. “As much as we can, we try to partner with like-minded companies that are sustainable and eco-friendly,” Zelko says.
While the company is currently using two Nissan Leaf electric cars, Zelko’s short-term plan is to expand his fleet and add an electric truck.
“My long-term, five-year big dream is to franchise and see E-Quick across the country,” Zelko says. “That way we can utilize one of the major airlines and have our outlets handle the local end. It could be Canada-wide eco-friendly. I really think the potential is there.”
Q&A with Ivan Zelko of E-Quick Eco Courier
What was your biggest challenge at the beginning?
Being new to the city and breaking into the market in Victoria, which can be cliquey. I tried to go to different mix and mingle groups. I thought if people got to know me it would really help me spread the word. I would say that 80 per cent of my clients are ones I personally went to and introduced myself to.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Make sure you write a really good business plan. That way you cover all the basics. You know your possible downfalls, some of the risks, where you can succeed, what your opportunities are and things like that. Include everything from market research to financial information. If you start a business without a business plan, you are just going to stumble along the way.
E-Quick Eco Courier Business Profile
Type of business: A zero-emissions courier, delivery and distribution system
Year founded: 2015
Owner/principal: Ivan Zelko
Employees: 2 PT
This article is from the April/May 2016 issue of Douglas.