Monday Dadpreneur with Rhys Davies
They share with us their motivation, their challenges and their proudest moments in business and they also tell us how they take time to nurture themselves.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then our featured business mums show you what’s possible.
This week I'm delighted to introduce our second ever Dadpreneur to you all. He's happy to share not only his story with us, but very generously, his time to anyone who wants to pick his business brains.
Your name: Rhys Davies
Your website: www.YourJigsawPuzzles.co.uk
Tell me about your children I have two beautiful children with my partner Sarah. They are Ruby who’s 4 and Dylan who’s aged 2. You can see them in the picture! Very proud of them.
We may have two jigsaw puzzles testers on our hands as they love them!.
Where do you live? We are based in small town called Burry Port in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK
PC or Mac? For business, it’s got to be PC. There are so many great applications I use that simply don’t run on Mac. Although, I’ve got to be honest, I do love my macbook.
Tell us about your business:
As our name implies, we sell jigsaw puzzles. Our main customers are middle aged but we’ve had a growing demand for children’s puzzles in the past few months. A lot of companies such as Orchard Toys implement learning into their kids puzzles, so it’s a good thing.
We started in early 2012 after spending hours on end trying to think of a decent domain name and have been profitable and growing each month. We aren’t a million pound company (yet) but we are happy with the way things are going. We are a very customer orientated company. We aren’t happy until a customer is.
What motivated you to become a Dadpreneur?
I actually left school at a very young age to start my first online business. I was 14 at the time and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I hit six figures in my first year online. That shaped my future forever. I come from a family full of people who’ve started their own businesses so it must be in my blood somewhere.
What's been your biggest challenge in business?
I think a big problem in the ecommerce world is the likes of Amazon playing price wars. Not many people know this but most of Amazons profit margins are between 1-5% with some products even making them a big loss. They don’t care too much about profit as they are in a growth stage at the moment and control of the market is all they care about.
The problem is that small family-run businesses like us have to compete with them. I don’t know how many stay-at-home mums could survive on 1% profit margins. It’s kind of like a few years ago when the likes of Tesco expanded left right and centre and killed off most of the local butchers and greengrocers at the same time.
How have you overcome it?
For us, it’s been about trying to flat-out avoid price wars. I do admit that sometimes you may find a product or two for slightly cheaper at a major store… but you won’t get the service like we offer you.
I remember spending over 30 minutes once emailing a customer trying to help her find the right puzzle for her daughters Christmas present. You wouldn’t see that at a major retailer.
People have started to change their mentality about the big retailers recently and it is nice to see people spend a little bit extra to buy from a local business.
What's been your proudest business moment?
We’ve only been in business for roughly one year, so we haven’t had any major moments just yet. Something that does make me proud and it happens a lot, is when customers thank us for the personal service.
We contact all customers to make sure they receive their orders OK and sometimes spend a good 10 minutes chatting to customers about other random things as well. Customers love it and thank us. When you see people appreciate your hard work, it makes you proud.
What's your catchphrase or favourite quote?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right” – Henry Ford, If I’m not mistaken. It was a quote written on a card I received in a business product once. It’s a simple one, but true.
What do you do to relax or nurture yourself?
I actually find it hard to relax and rarely switch off. My hobby is running businesses, I love it that much. Although walking through the woods with the children is a great timeout.
What was the last treat you bought for yourself?
This question made me realize… dam… I need to go and buy myself something.
Favourite colour: Orange. The colour a setting sun.
Favourite flowers: My father and grandparents both ran garden centres so I’ve seen my fair share of flowers in my lifetime. My favourite is the parrot plant.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to a new mumpreneur?
Business can be a tough place sometimes. Mistakes happen, deals fall through and it can feel like the stars are just not aligning with you. Don’t mistake this for you “doing things wrong” and never give up.
Even the most successful businesses have a bad day, that’s just the way business works. The winners are the people who fight through all that and stand hardened at the end of it.
A little extra: Helping small businesses out is something I love doing. If you want help/advice with anything, you can email me and I will do what I can for you. At no cost of course! My email is email@example.com
Fancy featuring as one of our amazing mumpreneurs (or dadpreneurs?) Drop me an email over on the contact page – and I’ll be in touch. Or let me know in a comment below.