Why did you get into your industry?
Well, honestly, I did it for the money. I was 17-years old when I built my first webshop. I noticed there were a lot of people out there wanting to start a webshop of their own, but most of them didn’t have a clue about where to start. I struggled with the same questions, kind of. There were so many unknown factors in the supply chain. So I started teaching myself everything that had anything to do with building a webshop; finding suppliers, legal and financial regulations, promotion and marketing.
Originally, my main focus was on creating webshops as fast as I could and then selling them for as much as I could. And it worked out pretty well for a 17-year-old, but over time, I changed my focus from creating as many shops as I could to answering the question, “What do most of my customers struggle on the most?” The answer, “What do I want to sell, and where do I buy it?” So, I invested a lot of time investigating suppliers in Asia and Europe. I developed relationships with a huge network of reliable suppliers offering almost every salable product.
What’s the most exciting or best project you’ve been involved in?
All of our projects have been exciting in their own way. I couldn’t point out one specific case. So, I would like to think that our own development is the most exciting project. As I started selling shops for the money it brought me, its funny to see (and a possible lesson for others), that the second I stopped doing this for the money and started doing it because I love it, that was the moment the real money came rolling in, and now — I don’t even care about the money.
My only goal is to share my passion and enthusiasm with my customers and guide them through the steps I had to take as well.
Where do you see the company going in 2015?
I don’t really care where the company will be in a year. It’s not a goal, in and of itself, to be bigger or richer. I only care about where my clients will be in the future. I hope the clients that started in 2014, the ones that we have put a lot of heart and effort into, will experience what they see as success in 2015. That they achieve the same goals we have planned for our corporation. SnapShops.nl is nothing more than a reflection of our customers’ dreams. Without them, we’re basically just an empty shell.
So, for 2015, I hope SnapShops.nl can stay passionate. I hope our customers will still put their trust in our hands, and that we can motivate them to great success.
What’s the hardest part of working with different clients and businesses from around the world?
Working with programmers from China, designers from India, and Suppliers from all over Asia, you would expect us to have a lot of challenges based on culture and languages. Everyone within our network is able and willing to adjust and respect other’s professions and unique and individual talents.
The hardest part of my job is to temper my expectations of people with a physical store, but with absolutely no experience in online selling. The fact is that when you open your doors in a physical store, customers come in because they were already in the area. A brick and mortar store is very different from an online store.
If you could leave our readers with one piece of business advice, what would it be?
“Don’t see failure as a step backwards, see it as a step forward in the wrong direction.” With everything you do, there is a chance that the outcome of your actions will have less than the desired result. This is not something to feel disappointed about, feel proud that you tried. ‘Cause it takes guts just to try. Now go out there, and try again until you succeed.