Robert Saunders launched his entrepreneurial start-up serving college-age students and parents after listening to friends describe the stress of moving a child from home to the dorms or apartments near campus.
Robert took the entrepreneurial leap after a 30-year career at Southern California Edison. He says his company, College Storage and Student Services, helps students and parents "focus on going to college, not moving to college."
"We give parents and students the chance to have long good-byes with each other and not worry about moving everything in to the dorm room or off-campus apartment."
Testing the Idea
After Robert got the initial idea, he got a needs survey completed through a Master's program in marketing at Cal State Fullerton to provide further proof for the viability of his business idea.
College Storage and Student Services has 3 full-time employees with its main office in Orange County, California. During moving season, the company may hire as many as 30 temporary employees.
How CSSS Works
Robert said he's worked hard to build relationships with housing directors and offices for international students to become a preferred vendor at select UC campuses and private schools in Southern California. The company is now expanding north to San Francisco and UC Davis.
The company began in 2010 and Robert is pleased with the progress made. "It takes time to nurture and build relationships. Once housing directors see the value of what we offer then we gain their trust.
"We currently serve over 300 students. They can shop for what they need online at our housewares website, College Living 101."
The products are shipped and delivered with an option to have a room completely set up prior to the students' arrival.
"The Do-It-Yourself parent and student is our biggest competitor," says Robert, "who think they can save money."
"Our cost is about $45 per box and that includes pickup and insurance while the box is in storage. The family would have to find a storage facility, plus pay for gas and the time in their efforts."
Robert says his mission is eliminating those headaches and making the move to college easier so parents and students can spend more time with each other.