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How to develop a 7-figure turnover in two years

My Rocking Kids sells personalised kids clothing
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My Rocking Kids sells personalised kids clothing
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

How do you grow your business to seven figures in just over two years? By anticipating trends and making sure you capitalise on changing consumer habits.  That’s exactly what our Loughton Seedbed Centre customer, My Rocking Kids, has achieved, and they’re now passing on some of their expertise to help new entrepreneurs.

Recognising a trend

We all know that the high-street has taken a bashing in recent years.  But while traditional stores have had to find new ways to retain customer loyalty against the increasing dominance of online retail, other firms have optimised the opportunities that our new cyber frontiers offer.  That is certainly true for My Rocking Kids.

“Our background is actually selling football shirts.” explains Adam Conway, who founded the company, which supplies on-trend and personalised children’s clothing and accessories, with his brother in September 2016.  “Personalisation is a big thing for football shirts and that’s where we realised there was a bit of a market for personalised items. We left our old jobs at the start of 2016 and started selling personalised bears and shoes for babies. After that we got more into the mainstream kids’ stuff and that’s where the brand My Rocking Kids was made.”

Rapid growth

Social media has been key to the business’s success, with My Rocking Kids already having over 250,000 Facebook followers and over 70,000 Instagram followers: “Social media can be funny because sometimes things can go crazy over it and it causes loads of people to buy a new design that everyone has to have.”

If your business grows rapidly in a short period of time, it can be difficult to know if you should employ new staff, as you need to be confident that you have sustainable business growth, not a short-term spike.  “Because we’re such a new company and we’ve grown so quickly we can get swamped and get behind,” admits Adam. “We only have around eight staff, and come Christmas we could have easily had double that and we still wouldn’t have been able to keep up with demand. We were literally working 24 hours a day and it still wasn’t quite enough. It was a testament to how much we’ve sold and how much we’re growing, but we’ve got a lot to learn from it. Usually, February is a good time to catch up because business is a bit quieter, but even in February we were hiring!”

Sorting out the supply chain

Many of the products sold by My Rocking Kids are bought blank, with the company putting their own designs on them.  But this solution has evolved from trial and error: “When we started, the business was based on a different model; at that point we were completely supplied by Chinese manufacturers and we’d sell from the website and ship the goods directly to UK customers from China. Over time we got to be working with hundreds of different suppliers and some of the items would take weeks to arrive, and a lot of it wasn’t good enough quality. So, towards the start of 2017 we bought in a lot of machinery to hand-make our own stuff.

“As of today, about 80% of our business is our own and it’s all made in the UK, but the 20% that isn’t is all from a single supplier. My brother and I flew out to China to meet them because they were the only supplier that was good and reliable. It was quite amazing; we walked into their office and were treated like celebrities – they don’t ever see any of their western customers, so it was as good for them as it was for us. Those are the only supplier that we deal with that isn’t UK based. We’re very selective about who we buy from now, after learning our lesson.”

Supported by excellent business accommodation

In their previous job, Adam and his brother had to commute from Mansfield to Loughton. They were keen to avoid travelling such distances when looking for a place for their business and so a great location was a must: “We chose the Seedbed Centre because it was local, and it’s really close to us – I live just down the road so I can leave here late at night and not have to worry about getting home. As we grow, we’re going to need bigger units. We’re also right next to the retail park, which is great; for lunch you just need to walk a minute down the road. Everyone’s friendly here, it’s a nice community atmosphere, it’s nice to have a front door – we absolutely love it here.

“We have a couple of units. We moved into D11 in 2017 and were there for a year. We’ve carried on growing and took on more staff in 2018 and got hold of another unit. So, we essentially now have a warehouse in one of the units and the other is our office. In future, we want to keep developing and be seen as a serious retailer. As we become bigger what we’ll need is a warehouse – at some point we physically won’t be able to fit in our units, but we want to stay here for as long as possible.”

Facilitating future growth

“There are a lot of sites like us – selling from large Chinese websites is a great way to start a business from home, but it’s very difficult to get a reputation and grow from it. Facebook, for example, is now cracking down on bad sellers and if your products aren’t good or take forever to come, then you get penalised. Two years ago, we could have posted two photos and got thousands of likes and buys, but now it’s not as simple as that; Facebook is changing hugely because it’s under big political pressure, which means we’re having to adapt as a business, with a real focus on improving our customer experience from start to finish.  

“To pass on some of the things we’ve learned since opening our business, we’re opening an agency side as well – doing work for clients to help them grow on social media with a bit of investment. At the end of the day, we’re sales people, but we’re still learning new things and aiming to improve the other parts of our business.”

A rapidly growing market and a real nose for business success has sky-rocketed My Rocking Kids to become a force to be reckoned with in the online retail world – a business to look out for in the future and a true success story.

To find out how CapitalSpace virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667