Australian Online Bedding Store.
Claudia Vilches noticed a gap in the market between specialty bedding stores online and good prices for bed linen. She had some experience developing shops online by that stage and thought it timely to target this niche and provide customers a quality shopping experience in the meantime.
Here is what Claudia shared about running her business.
Q. What did you do before you started this business?
I worked for a big name equipment hire company as a hire controller, dealing with construction and civil works.
Q. Did you have any business training before you started?
No, nothing official, though I did have frontline management skills obtained through previous employment which had equipped me with the requisite ability to perform in this new capacity. This year I stated an MBA course which I will complete on a part-time basis over the next few years.
Q. Describe your business and products/services you offer
We’re an online retailer of brand name bedding products, with an extensive range of designs to suit all styles and budgets together with a strong focus in customer service and attention.
Q. How long have you been running your business?
We’ve been online since May 2007.
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
We generally work around 50-60hrs per week. It’s demanding and competitive though rewarding at the same time.
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which is working for you?
We do offline marketing such as promo flyers which get distributed around neighbourhoods as well as in each parcel we ship out. Online we do monthly newsletters with promotions as well as AdWords campaigns and regular Facebook updates.
Q. Do you use social media as part of your marketing?
Yes, we love using Facebook to connect with our audience.
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
A great tip is to not to engage in contracts with service providers that cannot be terminated within 30 days. When trying to promote our quilt cover store, it was all too easy to budget too much towards advertising which has often had mixed results.
Q. How has your website helped you run your business?
By including as much information and imagery as possible on all the products has enabled us to reduce the number of customer enquiries and confusion. Also, the Magento administration platform helps manage customer profiles and progress of every stage of their order as well as manage the product catalogue that is viewed on our website
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
Growth requires competing against large offline retailers with deep pockets, so access to capital for this desired expansion is always high on our radar. We’d love to hear from investors interested in starting a chain of store locations.
Q. Any other comments / points you would like to share about running your business?
Be prepared and learn as much as you can in a large company before starting your own business. This will ensure you have the necessary experience to avoid mistakes made by those learning as they go.
For more information, visit Just Bedding website.