For first-time business owner, getting their ventures up and running is never easy. How on Earth can you make it all work fine if you’ve never done anything like this before?!…
Ctibor, our today’s guest, had the same worries when he was starting out — let’s see what he did to turn the situation around!
Meet Ctibor, a first-time online business owner from Slovakia!
Hey guys! I’m just starting out as an online business owner, so I’m taking baby steps basically.
What I’ve learned already it’s not much — but I still hope it can help the people in the same situation as me who are just trying to figure things out!
What made you think of starting an online business in the first place?
Well, I’ve been working in the fitness industry my whole life. I’m a physical education teacher by profession, but I never really worked in schools: sports studios and fitness centers are more comfortable for me.
Things were fine until the spring of 2020 when everything and everyone got locked down. Fitness centers were hit HARD, and making a living got really, really difficult. I have a family to provide for, and combining several low-skilled, low-income jobs was the only option to survive.
To be fair, it was a nightmare. I wasn’t prepared at all. Thankfully, things got better in 2021, but that whole situation has taken its toll.
I don’t want it to happen again — that’s why I decided to find some ‘backup’ job that can support me no matter what.
Why did you decide to become an online business owner if you don’t have any experience at all?
Good point! I was questioning myself, too: do I have what it takes to be a business owner? Can I put my family at new risk and maybe go bankrupt instead of making money for them? The more you think of it, the scarier it gets.
I spent a lot of time researching, talking to my friends and colleagues, reading news, and digging online forums to see what I CAN do safely to make some more money.
Starting an ecommerce business — an online store, exactly — seemed to be the most fitting, if not the only, way to achieve what I wanted.
As I understood, it could work out even for a novice with no practical knowledge. That’s a business you can start with no stock, meaning you don’t invest in producing, buying, or storing products. Given that I didn’t have that many savings for a startup and was really afraid of losing money instead of earning it, this whole thing seemed pretty safe to me.
How did your ecommerce journey begin?
As a person who has never sold anything online, I knew there were lots of things to do before I could start calling myself a first-time business owner.
I figured that there are three must-haves if you want to sell something online: the online store you will be selling through; the products you will be selling; and the strategy of luring people into your store.
To me, creating a functional online store that can do it all — show products, accept online payments, keep interactions with customers — was a task impossible to do on my own. I knew I had to hire someone to do this for me.
And that’s when my online research paid off.
I already knew that the biggest trouble for online store owners was a long delivery time: 4-6 weeks on average. This is a typical problem for everyone who resells products from AliExpress, and I wanted to avoid it. Long delivery time means unhappy customers who get tired of waiting and want their money back, and that’s not what I wanted from my business.
So I was specifically looking for a supplier with a shorter delivery time, and I found more than this — a package deal of sorts.
I discovered Sellvia, an ecommerce solutions provider with 1-3 days delivery time — a huge bonus if you compare it to the usual MONTHS of shipping.
And, seeing that the team can also make me a ready online store at my request, I understood that it’s my easiest way to outsource the tech work and get started ASAP. I ordered such a Custom store to be made for me, and that’s how it all began!
So, Sellvia solved your issue of developing an online store from scratch. What about the remaining two ‘must-haves’ you identified?
Ah, yes. The first issue was solved, and there were two more to go: product choice and store promotion.
That’s what I was thinking before I checked the Sellvia offering more carefully. Turned out, it covered all my three areas of concern at once.
A Custom store from Sellvia already comes packed with 200 products — the same products that are kept in a warehouse in Califonia and reach their US buyer in 1-3 days.
All these (and thousands more!) products are listed in the Sellvia catalog where I can view them and add as many more as I want to my store. I don’t need to do any market research to check if they’re of a high quality, or sell well, or are growing in demand over time — the team did it all for me already.
Plus, they’re all ready for promotion, meaning that as an inexperienced business owner, I don’t have to puzzle over their advertising. So I just use my ready Custom store, take any awesome product that’s already uploaded there, and advertise it using the materials Sellvia provides. It’s super handy: simply downloading ready ad texts and pictures for any product I like, I can start a Facebook or Instagram promo campaign all by myself and in no time.
How exactly does Sellvia help first-time business owners like you promote their businesses?
To illustrate, I’ll just go over several products I have in my store.
Just a quick note: when you’re getting a Custom store, you’re free to choose any range of products — a ‘niche’ — you like, or ask the team to pick a profitable one for you. I’ve chosen a broad Home niche: the products that people use to spend their indoor time in style and with comfort. That’s why all my products are cool gadgets that really make people’s life easier!
For example, here’s a white noise machine. As you see, just like all the other Sellvia products, it has a cool picture and a whole image gallery to demonstrate it in all details.
Then, there’s a detailed description that’s informative and beautiful at the same time — just like on this fancy lamp’s page.
A lovely close-up picture and full tech specifications help my store visitors decide: do they like this product? Do they want to have it at their home?
And to support their decisions, there’s always a Feedback section where real-life reviews are collected.
These reviews have product photos, too, as they’re showing these items in action. Besides, they explain the value people get from these products — and encourage the readers to buy them, too!
I can’t imagine the amount of time and effort I would need to create such outstanding product pages on my own. As a person with zero ecommerce background, I’m glad to have such strong all-in-one support from the experts.
And the ready ads? Where could I have gotten the time, the creativity, the design skills to create professional ads that sell? I am beyond grateful for the free access to every marketing piece the team has made.
With all these materials at hand, what’s your business progress?
I just want you to take a look at this screenshot from my store.
Over one thousand US dollars in less than a week.
Would I have believed it’s possible if someone had told me that a couple of months ago?
Can it even happen to a first-time business owner with no tech knowledge, no ecommerce experience, no selling background?…
This is just the beginning, of course, and I have a lot to learn and do on my own. But the head start — the proper store, the winning products, their great presentation to help me make first sales — it’s all here already.
This is my foundation, my first step to something bigger, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.
With a fully functional ecommerce store, a range of winning products with fast shipping, and a ready set of powerful promo materials, it didn’t take Ctibor long to start making his first sales. As a first-time business owner, he took a major shortcut to success thanks to a Sellvia Custom store, and we hope his experience is helpful to other ecommerce newcomers!