Small Business Interview with Sophie Kovic from FlockStocksNovember 8th, 2011 | Featured,Interviews,KikScore & KikReport,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Small Business Tips | No Comments »
Tell us about your business and who you focus on serving?
We are a feather hair extension supplier that mainly sells to salons. We hit it big when we opened up FlockStocks as our store opening serendipitously coincided with the start of the Shopify Build-A-Business competition. Since then we have been focusing on improving our products and services and following trends. We are really trying to listen to what our clients want, and developing our products accordingly.
How did you get started selling online?
We started on eBay selling a range of products. I had a clothing label originally. Selling online was inspired by Timothy Ferriss and the Four Hour Work Week. But the clothes didn’t really match his lifestyle model. FlockStocks is much more rewarding, and far less work. Tim would be proud.
What inspires you to grow your business?
Besides the obvious cash incentive and the subsequent lifestyle, I just really enjoy the work. One of the exciting things for me is meeting new like-minded people. At the moment my goal is to meet an inspiring business mentor. I also have a new baby and want to make sure I can provide for him properly.
If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?
1) Choose something with little or no variation, such as size, color etc. With little or no variation you get less hassle, less complaints, less stock-keeping, and less returns.
2) Choose something with good Adwords potential. High clicks and low competition is everything. You must be sure you can drive customers to your site in the beginning.
Where has your business focused most of its energy this year?
We have been focusing on developing a new way of grading our products, which makes the whole process much easier for clients to select a product based on their needs and budget. That is still in the works. We have also been diversifying our products, finding better suppliers and generally growing our range. Staying current and rolling with the trends is absolutely vital to our business.
What do you see as 2 new trends in small business and in your business?
1) Sites that host timed discounts such as Groupon are great ways to get exposure.
2) Instant advertising methods have changed the way we can get potential customers to our sites. Adwords, for example can get you results in one day. Long gone are the delays of print advertising.
If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?
Juno. That movie came out of nowhere. It didn’t appear to fit with the mainstream, but most people ended up thinking it was really cool.
If your business could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?
Kim Kardashian would be our dream spokesperson. Besides being gorgeous and surprisingly articulate she has a very talked about hairstyle and would be the perfect fit for our premium positioning in the market.
What is the biggest challenge that your business faces as a small business and how do you work to overcome that challenge?
A new flooding of competitors is the main challenge facing our business today. Refocusing on a different clientele (salons rather than individuals) where there is less competition has been our approach to this problem. That also works in well with Tim Ferriss’s 80/20 principal, where 80% of profits come from 20% of customers.
Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?
Read The Four Hour Work Week. It changed my life. I am writing this from a villa in Thailand, where I just celebrated my 25th birthday, with my partner, son and friends. We have just spent 3 months here, and I have not so much as looked at an order the whole time. I learnt that things can be automated. The world will not fall apart if you step away. Trust your people. They are smart. They will work it out. You will have more time to come back with better, bolder and bigger ideas.
So go. Do something. Be inspired. And have fun!