Talk Archive: Tuesday 10th June 2014
My first online business went belly up because I didn’t know what I was doing.
It’s the best £16k I’ve ever lost.
Not to be outwitted by my own stupidity I set up www.myitchydog.co.uk a week after the first one folded with a £24.99 out of the box website. Four and a half years later I am now camped out at a permanent desk at Worthing Coworking, I’ve outsourced all my packing and dispatch, and phone answering to outside companies.
By the end of 2014 My Itchy Dog is on target to turn over £175k. That’s a lot of dog treats.
The talk will show how I built the business without spending a penny on advertising. And how you can do the same. How do you spread the retail message far and wide, and grow a customer base using all the free tools at your disposal? How do you spend what money you do have, wisely; good web design is probably the most important, and use your new ‘brand’ to make yourself look as big as you can to the browsing customer.
Once you’re established how to you scale up? Issues around cash-flow forecasting and growth can make or break a business very easily. How do you tiptoe through those tulips without damaging what you’ve already grown, and get bigger without losing sight of your core business and customer relations?
In 2012 I got a publishing deal to write a book called ‘Dog’ which is due for publication, here and in the US, in November this year. It’s nearly finished me off.
But I wouldn’t change any of it.