Tell us a little about your business…
YourJigsawPuzzles is an online retailer of… you guessed it… jigsaw puzzles. We started the business in early 2012 with no outside funding or bank loans. We are a purely family-run business.
What was your job before starting your business?
I’ve actually been self-employed and run multiple businesses since I was 14.
I left school at a very young age knowing that for me personally, I was never going to need to learn history, foreign languages etc. I was born to be in business. I grew up around hard-working family members who had their own businesses so a work ethic has been instilled in me from day one.
The websites I’ve run vary from simple automated content sites all the way up working with movie companies to promote their viral movie trailers. Ecommerce is where I’ve settled and I love this new chapter in my business.
Did you use any childcare?
The great thing about a home based family-run business is that you can generally swap working hours when need be. Both my children are in school now so we don’t have a childcare issue. If there’s anything major that’s needed sorting I just drop what I’m doing and finish it off during the night.
It does help to have a supportive partner behind you as well!
How did you get your business idea?
Getting the idea for YourJigsawPuzzles took a really long time. I knew I wanted to go into ecommerce but there are so many niches to choose from. I had made a massive list of industries to enter but most of them weren’t viable.
I wanted something that would sell all-year-round and be a great Christmas seller as well. Jigsaw Puzzles fitted into that perfectly. We did enter into the board game industry for a while until we realized it wasn’t cost-effective.
What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge has been accepting payments. Jigsaw puzzles don’t have the most amazing mark-up so when a payment processor charges 2.5% plus 20p of a sale, it can be hard.
Also, we get a lot of phone orders. There are not many affordable services that allow you to take payments over the phone without a massive cost. (because of potential fraud.)
We’ve now settled with a new payment provider that’s massive in the US but hasn’t official launched in the UK. I got a private invite after talking with the founder. I wish I could state that company but as it’s in beta form I’m under an NDA.
For phone payments we use a great company called PayATrader.
If you could give one piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?
I’m going to be cheeky and actually give two pieces of advice. They are both as important as each other.
– The first piece of advice for anyone starting a business is to not wait around and “think about it.” Do your market research and if it’s all OK jump into the deep end. As long as you don’t invest more than you have, you have nothing to lose, right?
– Don’t be scared to make mistakes… even successful business make them.
Secondly, read one or two books on psychology/persuasion.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini is a great one. When you understand how people behave and why they do things on even a simple level, it can can have massive impact on your business.
What are your plans for the future?
Something I’ve always been passionate about is trying to help other companies grow. Let’s be honest, business isn’t the sunshine and rainbows that most people perceive it to be.
You need guidance, support and sometimes just have somewhere or someone to go to when you don’t know what to do next. I’m debating about creating some sort of portal that offers free webinars, reports, interviews etc to help small businesses out.
I get asked to speak at seminars and stuff like that related to business all the time, so going down that route while growing and expanding my ecommerce businesses is the way forward for me.
You can find out more at YourJigsawPuzzles.co.uk