Interview: Rich Blake of Just Keyrings

Rich Blake - Just KeyringsThis is the first in a series of interviews with eCommerce website owners / managers and Rich of Just Keyrings has been kind enough to share his thoughts with us:

“Let’s start with a little bit about Just Keyrings, when did you launch the site and what made you decide to get into the Keyring market?”

Just Keyrings was launched by a colleague as a side project because he enjoyed design and making new websites. His background in printing gave him an insight into the market opportunity and it grew from there really. Specialising in one product so specifically has been our selling point and it works for several reasons. People like our website because (if you’re looking for keyrings) it caters for exactly that and secondly our expertise over the years have become second to none.

“Is this your first business?”

Yes, this is my first business.

“How do you market the website currently, which method do you feel works best for your site?”

We’ve spent a lot of time concentrating on ‘white hat’ naturally SEO. Our retail shop is based solely online so it makes sense to market this as much as possible. After several years of trading we’ve built up a significant customer database who we regularly keep in contact with, but for us it’s important not to send out endless marketing promotions and normal last minute offers.

“What have been the biggest challenges with your business so far and how have you overcome them?”

We swapped our CMS, redesigned the website and swapped servers just under a year ago and we completely dropped out of search engine search results. We spent months working night and day trying to overcome this. A word of advice here would certainly be to not keep all your eggs in one basket. Expand your revenue streams.

“What’s your goal for Just Keyrings over the next year?”

Our services have expanded over the years and we now work with blue chip companies with big budgets and tight deadlines. Providing a reliable and professional service at this level is a goal we’ve been working towards for many years. Now we would like to be the only logical choice for any company looking for promotional keyrings.

“If you could give one piece of advice to somebody who is thinking of getting into ecommerce what would it be?”

I’d advise starting up your own business to anyone with the heart and drive to make it happen. The hours are long and tiring and you will never switch off from work, however hard you try, but the rewards and feeling you get from success are unbelievable.

With regards to ecommerce specifically, it’s a slow game and frustrating one at that. There are a million people who claim to know everything about SEO and a million more willing to take your money and prove it to you. Every market and business is different and some people will benefit more in certain areas than others. For example social media, While we would always advocate the use of new technologies (especially social media) it’s still important understand how best to reach a specific market. Sometimes this means using tried and tested methods, sometimes something unique and original. More often than not it’s a mixture of several approaches that works best. The ultimate objective will always remain the same: spread the word about your business and encourage promotion of your products or services.

“Thanks for your time and sharing your experiences with us.”

I hope you like this insight into Rich’s eCommerce business, I always find it interesting hearing about other peoples stories.

Have you got any questions for Rich? Post them in the comments and I’m sure he’d be happy to get back to you.

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