Be Prepared To Work Hard, Treat Your Business As A Business It’s Not Personal
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Be Prepared to Work Hard, Treat Your Business As A Business It’s Not Personal

Bruce from Chilli Bugs sells a massive range of hot sauces from all over the world, specialising in the hotter the better. Chilli Bugs is a family company which Bruce runs with his lovely wife Mel. They are based in Northampton have been successfully selling online for approximately 12 years.

Hi everyone, Bruce from Chilli Bugs shares his incredible journey on SellingOnlineToday!

Some thoughts from the interview

“Chilli Bugs started back in 2003, so we have been running for about 12 years now. We have been limited since 2007.”

“We are a family business, it’s myself and my wife. We have some extra staff as well.”

“The reason why we do chilli sauces, why we started the company was inspired by a trip we did to America for 3 months back in 2002. Coming across a shop in Delaware, a shop called peppers. Walking through the front door your faced with 1000s and 1000s of different bottles of chilli sauces, it was like an Aladdin’s cave. We came back to the UK and there was nothing in the way of hot sauces in the UK at all, a very limited range. So We started importing hot sauces from the states.”

“We were just selling on eBay to start with. It was very much a part time hobby, selling about 10 to 20 products a day to start with.”

“Within in the first year the range went from 20 different products to about 150.”

“We knew it was going to be fairly successful. So we bought in more stock, and sold more stock and the range increased in the next few years to 300 to 350 different products.”

“We sold on our own website, chilli bugs, and also on eBay as well. That was pretty much it for the next couple of years.”

“2007 we went limited and it became a full time business for both my wife and myself.”

“We will take in other people products, so we are pretty much a supermarket in fact for chilli sauce. Making it ourselves is not really our level of expertise.”

“Niche is certainly what we do. Due to the nature of the sauce itself it’s too extreme too hot to be sold in a normal shop. It lends itself to an online business very much.”

“EBay is a way of testing the market to test the market to see if there is a market out there with very little expense to yourself as business owner. Rather than pay the money to create the website and then the business, it’s just a nice way to get your foot in the market and say look the idea is that we are going to do this but is it going to work? If it’s going to work on eBay, you can then build the business up based on that.”

“We still sell on eBay now.”

“It is a bit of a love hate relationship we have with eBay. The fees are not a pleasant size of the business having said that it gives us access to a worldwide market that with the stand alone website we wouldn’t touch that.”

“It’s not very easy to build a business that way and expect it to work. With a stand-alone website there is a lot of cost involved.”

“Bearing in mind the range of products we sell currently sits at around 600 different lines.”

"We use the royal mail predominantly for single orders but we will ship them out unlabelled, so that they don’t have a company logo on which is a big help actually. You are sending things out and whether people think there is a sauce in side so we will toss it in the bin over there or something like that. We seemed to have a lot less breakages now that we do that. So it is sent out blind basically.”

“We’ve had orders from all over the place, bearing in mind that at least 30% on the retail side is export. So we are shipping out to mainland Europe a lot, Scandinavia a lot, Australia, USA, Japan, but you occasionally you get the odd country you think where on earth that.”

“We even ship sauces back to US and these are sauces we important from the US and we send them back over there, crazy.”

“We do use Twitter which is ok, Facebook we don’t use a lot of. We are not the world’s best at social media which is something we are looking into as I think we are missing a trick.”

“(On eBay) the feedback system they have is good.”

“We’re happy if they want to return it, that’s no problem. They can return it to us and we will pay the return postage.”

“Yes, we are selling customers sauces, but we are selling customer service first.”

“We want customers to come back and it’s a short term loss for a long term game.”

“We stand alone to be honest, we don’t seek a lot of outside assistance particularly. The resources are there if you choose to search for them.”

Best advice: “Be prepared to work hard. A lesson we learned treat your business as a business it’s not personal. If somebody leaves you or contacts you with negative comments just try and take it as an opportunity. It is so easy to take things personally.”

What do they offer?

Chilli bugs is the home of hot sauces. With sauces from America, the Caribbean, Mexico, South Africa, Costa Rica and the Far East they have something to suit every chilli head!

Listen online here.

Listen on iTunes here.

Want to find out more about what I do? Check out how to dramatically increase your online sales here.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
“make Sure It’s Viable, Don’t Waste Your Time, Your Effort, Your Money Unless You Can See it Paying Off at the End” Rob - Parade Antiques
Rob from Parade Antiques sells items in the area of collectibles, memorabilia and antiques. Based in Plymouth, the business was established in 1997. Around five years ago, Rob started the Company’s eCommerce business alongside friend and business partner Alex. Parade Antiques trade through their own website and through eBay and…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Jun 01, 2016  
  Likes: 1

“it’s An Art Form In Capturing the Customer And Keeping Them Buying From You Again And Again” Andy - Printer Basics
With over 15 years in the business Andy has perfected his selling technique on online platforms such as eBay, Amazon and his own website. Printer Basics is located in Cheshire UK and was originally a mail order service but was updated to a eCommerce website as the times changed! Hi…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“you Always Have to Try And Achieve A Profit on Every Sale” Alasdair From Badger Inks
Alasdair has been trading ink cartridges online since 2009 through eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay and through his own website badgerinks. He is based in East Sussex with a small team around him. Alasdair has recently started a bricks and mortar business alongside his thriving online business selling…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   May 19, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“you Have to Put In the Maximum Amount Of Effort, And If You Do That You Will Split Some Return Michael From Kenco Spares
Michael is a Northern Irish trade man that runs Kenco Spares and been operating since 1960 and since then started an eCommerce business in 2002 selling on multi-channel platforms such as eBay and Amazon. As well as having an online eCommerce store Michael also has a bricks and mortar store…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   May 12, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“our Revenue Last Year Was $107 Million” Ellen From Scuba Choice
Ellen from Scuba Choice sells everything to do with scuba diving and started her eCommerce business in 2011 with her father, she is now running the multi-channel eCommerce business with 8 people on a day to day business all from starting from business from scratch in the garage. Hi everyone,…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   May 03, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Make Sure Your Deliveries Are Prompt, Customer Service is Excellent And Communication is Excellent, Customers Expect Nothing Less
David from Run Active has 2 aspects to his website, one is for the performance running market and his second eCommerce business expands into the niche market for his other multi channel site Muddy Kit for people that endure the tough muddier events & races. As well as running successful…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Apr 25, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“just Stick at it There Will Be Good Times And Bad Times But If You Stick at it And Work Hard You Will Get Through” Brendan From Homeline Furniture
Hi everyone, Brendan from Homeline Furniture shares his incredible journey on SellingOnlineToday! Download Link Brendan from Homeline Furniture was started by his father by creating a bricks and mortar store in 1991 in County Tipperary, Ireland and evolving into the world of eCommerce multi selling covering your house needs from…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Apr 20, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“if You’re Going to Do Something, Do It, And Do it Right” Roisin From FR Cathcart Ltd
Roisin from F.R. Cathcart Ltd is a special person I helped way back set up their now booming eCommerce website, and have massively progressed since then and I hope will continue to do so! The F.R. Cathcart Ltd business started 40 years ago as a brick and mortar store in…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Apr 12, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“if You Love Something, Then I Think You Can Make it Work, I Think You Really Can” Helen From Lente Designs
Ecommerce business Lente Designs has been running for over 6 years by herself with casual staff over busy periods, Lente Designs started very slowly running 3 days a week. The couple not happy with their day to day jobs decided to plunge into making their own business. Taking a risk…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Apr 06, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“if You Don’t Include Everything Into Your Matrix, You Will Find it Very Hard to Make Any Money” Andrew From Engineers Mate LTD
Andrew runs Engineers Mate with 3 other directors, starting in 2011 the eCommerce business is relatively new, they have 2 branches; one in Dudley and one in Halford, they also have 2 trade counters as well as trading on multi-channel platforms such as eBay, Amazon and their own website. Starting…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Mar 29, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“just Go for It, Don’t Say OK Well Maybe I’ll Do it Tomorrow, Maybe I’ll Do it Next Week, Just Take the Bull By the Horns And Go for It” Michael From
Michael has been in the supplement business for approximately 11 years starting way back in 2004. Finally in 2008 he took the chance to buy out the owner of the company so he could pursue his own eCommerce adventures. In 2011 he took the chance to open up a store…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Mar 22, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“work In An Area That You Really Love Otherwise It’s Just Not Going to Happen” Jenny From D For Dog
D for Dog began life in June 2004 as a dog photo gallery and shrine. Jenny Prevel took inspiration from her dogs Boycie and Berkeley to grow the site considerably since then to include dog news, events, articles and funnies, plus deaf dog information, a friendly dog forum, and of…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Mar 15, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“do it Now If You’re Looking Into It, Just Do It, Because If You’re Not Going to Do it Tomorrow You Can Do it Today” Simon From Duke Gifts
Duke Gifts is all about printed personalised gifts, there’s now a lot of people doing a similar thing, but when Simon started it was all about his graphic design being the best of the best! All of the products on the site are made by Simon himself, and then printed…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Mar 09, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“my Mind Set on Making Net Profit is From the Start Make Sure You Are Making Money” Jay From DJM Direct
DJM Direct is based in Nelson, Lancashire and many years ago Jay worked for a small business in Huddersfield and sold DIY products, contracts etc. In 2004, after experimenting with different products and finding the right products, they decided to move into to a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Lancashire…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Mar 01, 2016  
  Likes: 0

“if You Have Sales You Can Overcome Most Problems, If You Have the Best Plan In the World And No Sales That’s Insurmountable” Daniel From Shellac Nail
Daniel started Shellac Nails in November 2012 with help from an Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Course which works with start-ups. Initially planning to supply medical statistical data to global pharmaceutical companies. He had a talent for sourcing products from external markets and with a hint that Shellac Gel was the…
By:  in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  Podcasting   Feb 24, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 617    Report this Article