interviews with entrepreneurs
Experience in opening a furniture online store
The site openbusiness.ru, within the framework of the joint project of the Community of Information Portals Promoting Small Business Development, continues the cycle of interviews with successful entrepreneurs who are ready to share their own experience in creating a business and help newcomers take their first steps in business.
With what data did we enter the business? This is 10,000 rubles, which we gave to the site, which we did not use later, and our heads.
Internet entrepreneur Nikita Belyaev, commercial director of the VseStulya.ru store, shared his own experience of creating an online store with us.
Good afternoon, Nikita, please tell us about your business.
Good afternoon, my name is Nikita, I am 23 years old, I am the commercial director of the VseStulya.ru company.
The full project “VseStulya.ru” exists for 9 months, and a little more than a year has passed since the launch. The main direction, as the name implies, is the sale of furniture, namely chairs, a little later the idea came up to add medical furniture to the assortment, which, as it turned out, gives a good influx of income.
How did you come up with the idea to start this particular business?
The idea for this business was born a year and a half ago, sitting at a nearby desk with my partner, and now friend, Ilya. Scrolling through Runet, we realized that we can rely on projects that already exist and bring good money. So the idea came to sell chairs.
One cunning American, Sean Belnick (bizchair.com) has carried out this idea and the company brings him not bad, $ 40 million a year.
After a couple of months, having quit, we went into free swimming, with the desire to earn money in our own pocket, and not for someone else. At that time, we were 22 years old.
How did you implement the idea? How long did it take to implement it?
The first weeks were spent searching for suppliers and marketing the market. Next, a more difficult task lay ahead, it was necessary to find a good webmaster who would do everything for us on a turnkey basis, for food. This was the highlight.
First, we went to a friend who made us the same food for this meal, namely, almost nothing. Being dummies at that time, in such a concept as: “usability” and “design”, it seemed to us that this was a very good option.
By chance, my good friend, brought me together with a very talented programmer, designer, creative and just a good person, Peter. So, there were three of us in the team.
After writing, already a normal site, but it took 1 day :), the legal side of the issue remained unresolved. We registered an individual entrepreneur, it’s easier (less taxes, more concessions, etc.). This process took 2 weeks, until the receipt of documents, opened a bank account and went …
What difficulties did you face in the initial stages of running a business?
The difficulties that we faced at the very beginning were the lack of an office, commercial transport, and the fact that there were only three of us.
In the first couple, the goods were transported, resorting to the services and help of third-party people: friends, freelancers in cars. A month later, from the moment of this work, they bought an old Mercedes station wagon 87 years old :), it cost 80,000 rubles, it took 65 days to travel.
By the time the car broke down, there was enough money in the account to rent an office, which we did, then we became full-fledged directors with leather chairs from Ikea, and decided that it was not good for directors to carry goods, hired a driver, then it began, already a more serious stage, the stage of creative thought and building a company.
How much did it cost you to start the project?
With what data did we enter the business? This is 10,000 rubles, which we gave to the site, which later our heads did not use either. Of the equipment, only a car was needed, if you are dealing with bulky goods, then this is inevitable, sorry.
The first 2-3 months, as such, there were no expenses, only gasoline, and lunch with rolls for 25 rubles. Oh yes, they paid 1,500 rubles a month for a current account and 15,000 for an accountant, you need to submit reports, but nobody canceled VAT and personal income tax.
Have you recovered your initial investment?
The investment, in the amount of 10,000 rubles, paid off the next month, from the moment the site was launched, with the first two orders.
What can you save on, and what should you not save on?
Regarding the legal side of the issue, at first I advise everyone to register an IP, as I mentioned earlier. If you have an IP, then you can jur. make your apartment an address, and there you don’t have to pay rent, taxes are less, plus you can choose a taxation system: you work either with or without VAT, and this is as much as 18% !!!!!!
When we drove in an old Mercedes, there were no questions about how to save money and how to make the business more profitable, because there was no money.
Sitting in the office, I recommend that you do not save on employees, as long as there are few of them, since the employee is your main asset who earns you money, in our case, the main asset is the drivers who carry our goods day and night, and receive for it, even by Moscow standards, not a bad salary, which we pay them on cards opened at the bank where we have a current account, but if we also tried, then a bonus.
The only nuance that you should pay attention to is the neatness of the driver or courier, because these are the only people who personify your company in front of the client.
Who are the staff members of your company? How did you select key employees? How did you search? How are they paid for their work?
So, we have 7 people in the staff: 3 directors (General, my friend Ilya, Commercial, that is, I, and technical, Peter) 1 accountant and 3 drivers, that is, for each driver there is a director :).
If the business is on the Internet, then I don’t advise you to immediately rent a class “B” office if you have money, I recommend renting it in the basement, for 30-50 thousand a month, because the status of an “online store” allows you to do this, and even better, do not rent office, if possible, buy better jeans, but this is only at first.
Is there seasonality in your business? How do you solve the problem of low seasons?
As there is no current “season”, the manifestation of seasonality is reflected only in the color scheme of the product ordered by the client: colder colors (white, blue) in spring and summer, warmer colors (red, yellow) in autumn and winter. There will always be work, because now, you are reading this article and sitting on something. 😉
How do you promote your services? Name the main promotion channel.
Until we had top positions in search engines, we actively used such things as “direct”, earning money, began to invest in seo, how much it costs, the question is very flexible and relative, at the beginning it was 10,000 rubles a month, after a month, so much the same, but only a week, now these indicators are already different, we are growing, and the budget is behind us :).
In general, I heard that similar companies spend on all sorts of services (direct, adsense from Google), about 80,000 – 100,000 rubles a month, this is probably true :). There were also all sorts of “creative thoughts”, such as: painting asphalt with stencils, distributing leaflets near the metro, small flash mobs. Something probably gave, but for us “something” is not enough. Therefore, they have abandoned creativity for the time being, it is good to do such actions, with a budget of 200,000 – 300,000 rubles, so that it would really be massive.
How do you see the prospects for further development of your business?
At the moment we are engaged in the off-line component of the project, we are opening a store in the center of Moscow, and this is 400,000 – 500,000 rubles per month for rent, whether it was worth it or not, it will be seen in the future.
In any case, the Internet will remain the main direction, and now we are implementing one idea that no one has yet implemented, and this will make us hyper-attractive for the client, but more on that another time.
What advice would you give to newcomers who are just planning to start their own business in this area?
Friends, I want to give one piece of advice, you can absorb it, or you may not even read it, this is your right: just start if you have such a desire. Questions “how?” translate into a simple action, and everything will happen.
The Vse Stulya.ru online store is a young company whose priority is to supply high-quality chairs for your home and office.
Our company works directly with leading domestic and foreign manufacturers of chairs and armchairs, which allows us to offer you the lowest prices and a wide range of goods.
Having ordered chairs from us, you will be satisfied with the quality of the goods, the terms of its delivery and the level
of customer service of our managers.