Work.It Podcast Ep. 5: How to Make it in the E-Commerce Industry

For some, Mondays come served with a big slice of dread but we’ve made them something to look forward to with the release of a new Work.It episode. For those that aren’t clued up: Work.It is a podcast all about entrepreneurship, hosted by journalist Angelica Malin. The podcast explores different routes into business, sharing unique founder stories and giving real-time advice on how to make your business a success.

This week, Angelica is joined in the studio by Adam Gore, Founder of gift website Findmeagift.co.uk.

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Adam launched the company in 1999, after realising there was a gap in the market for a really good gift company online. He explains how he started by going to all the gift shows, with a £6000 loan from the bank, and using a spare bedroom to house all the products. They started with a line of 30 products, and grew big enough to start making the gifts themselves.

He started with 3 other people, but now runs the company alone – having taken on £40,000 debt from the company for full ownership. He shares how, interestingly, after 9/11, the whole internet retail market collapses – no-one was buying gifts anymore, and the company ran into more debt by buying email newsletters.

He explains one of the biggest challenges for running an online business is Google – and working around their algorithm changes. He explains the turnaround for the company was re-investing every penny they earned into the business, to grow a team. “It’s about putting all your time, effort and focus into building it” he says, and eventually you can employ people, who can help drive it forward.

His advice for people wanting to launch in the gift market: don’t do it! He explains how challenging this industry is – his company does 50% of their turnover in about 7 weeks of the year, so you have to carry the infrastructure of the company for 9 months, to fulfil the Christmas peak. No sectors will ever compare to the Christmas madness, he says. There’s a massive cash drain on a business before the Christmas peak, so it’s something you have to plan for. Well, you heard it here kids.