“embrace Change, Embrace Risk And Don’t Be Afraid Of Hard Work, Because It Is A Lot Of Hard Work” Chris From Displaypro
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“embrace Change, Embrace Risk And Don’t Be Afraid Of Hard Work, Because it is A Lot Of Hard Work” Chris From Displaypro

Chris from Displaypro has been in business for over 11 years with his wife and large team of approximately 43 members of staff. Displaypro is a manufacturer, online and high street seller of display products and advertising media.

Hi everyone, Chris from Diplaypro shares his incredible journey on SellingOnlineToday!

Some thoughts from the interview:

“It’s been a continuous growth process from the beginning. EBay was the main shopping channel which kick started Displaypro.”

“We started off on a shoe string. We used a credit card with £2000 credit limit and we bought a range of products to resell. It was products from a UK manufacturer. We bought one carton and made a profit by a second carton.”

“We began in our spare bedroom, extending into our garage. We then used lock up containers to hold products.”

“We took on our first warehouse in 2005. Then we expanded to 3 small warehouses totalling 6000 square foot.”

“2 years ago we moved into our new premise in Great Yarmouth where we now have 18,000 square foot.”

“I’m 34 years old. I started this business around 12 years ago. It’s been a learning curve. It could be seen as a weakness being young and it is a constant learning curve. Although I am a very creative person and I enjoy the nature of business and trading. Some of the best start ups have been created by young entrepreneurs.”

“Prior to selling online I was an engineer. I studied for 6 years and achieved an apprenticeship with an engineer company but I have always have had a passion for selling. The online marketplaces were a channel which I found myself being able to sell product on a shoe string to begin the company.”

“Our marketing team tries to cover all the shopping channels and social media as well. We have a range of clients in excess of 400,000 customers on our database from the smallest companies to the largest in the UK and around Europe as well.”

“We expanded on eBay quite rapidly and that consumed a lot of our time during the early growth stages. We then took on a marketing team and expanded on to amazon. Our own website has always been in the background and that is constantly being improved as technology moves forward. Recently we have took on a high street shop in Sleaford selling our range of products.”

“We have looked at new opportunities in the market as time as progressed and we have looked at products which compliment one of the products we have currently selling and we have diversified.”

“I believe that having a successful, expanding business is all about diversification and specialising in what you do on the way.”

“We operate 7 days a week. We dispatch between 500 to 800 parcels a day.”

“We began by using eBay and Amazon’s internal systems to process the orders but then we discovered a company called Linnworks. We have used their software for a while but we are always looking for that latest bit of technology which helps us to automate as much of the process as possible.”

“One of the biggest focuses of the company is to have feedback from all of the team on how we operate as the business because we are so diverse, because we do dispatch so many parcels, as management we need that feedback that as team and company we are doing well.”

“That is one of the big advantages of selling on price comparison websites. They have a very strict system, we adhere to the system and as such we improve our process in the process.”

“We generally use our main website, it’s a Magento in house built website. It enables to cross promote our products so it’s quite easy for our sales agents to refer and recommend products.”

“We believe firmly that we need to provide out products to the start-up business as well as hopefully the multinationals. We have a very low cost postal price and we are happy to dispatch low volume orders and make very low margin as an entrance to keep the customer happy and hopefully they will come back and buy more, different products, in the future.”

“A lot of our team have started from the grass roots. I like to think our company is somewhere people can develop their careers.”

“Each platform has its’ own advantages.”

“We split our team internally so one team looks after Amazon and one team looks after eBay.”

“It’s quite important to have a broad coverage of your brand.”

“We are always looking for new technology that integrates all the shopping channels and our inventory as well.”

“We are trying to move into a paperless world.”

“We’ve gone down the route of keeping the brand name the same but having a separate company in Sleaford so if necessary we can have a separate inventory.”

“It is very important to tie everything up. Every product has its own code, you how many units are on the shelves and how many are in the back room and you know your profit margins.”

“Each business is so unique with its needs that anyone who wants to start up a business researches the market thoroughly to find software which has consumer feedback, that they find a company that has been trading for an established period of time that is forward thinking because they don’t want to be swapping and changing software half way down the line if at all possible.”

“My mind set, I tried to do everything myself which has its flaws.”

“I wouldn’t pay a fortune to have an elaborate bespoke website created instead I think I would go down the path of using native functionality of a website development programme such as Magento and get a professional to put get the products within the store, to produce the graphics and that lets the owner of the business focus more on the processes within the company.”

“I do feel that selling online can be quite misleading especially on the price comparison websites.”

“Brand is very important to us. We pitch ourselves as a professional company. We have history of going to china if it is an import product and checking the quality first hand, building a relationship with our suppliers.”

“You don’t necessarily need investment money to grow a business but it certainly helps.”

Best advice: “Research the market thoroughly. Any product range that you wish to sell, check on the competition, make sure the market isn’t saturated. Ensure that you have millage with the product range. Ensure there is diversification paths that you can take if suddenly you find that you are being priced out of the market. Embrace change, embrace risk and don’t be afraid of hard work because it is lots of hard work.”

Listen online here.

Listen on iTunes here.

What do they offer?

Displaypro is the trading name of Display Products Ltd. Displaypro manufacture advertising equipment, printed products and signage and offer a large range of design and fitting services. Established in 2005 Displaypro quickly became a trusted name for quality and good service between business owners, advertising and retail professionals.


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