Introducing Galway based Startup My Toys Direct!
Ronan Walsh talks to Startups.ie about his new online business www.mytoysdirect.com
Company: My Toys Direct
Founders: Ronan Walsh
Based: Online store based in Galway
Staff Number: 2
Date started: Site went live on the 1st of July
Tell us what your business does?
We are an online toy and gift store with a strong emphasis on educational toys and toys that promote and encourage creative learning. We are one of the first online toy stores to appeal to both parents and children. We want our brand to become more than just a site focused on sales. We are developing a children’s blog to run alongside our site, which will be ‘written’ by our mascot, the dragon and will link into parts of the primary school curriculum. We are also developing links with parenting sites to promote and highlight the importance of toys in learning and development.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Too many sites are focused solely on sales, they don’t look for or want shopper engagement. So, I decided to launch a toy shop that was fun and bright, something that would appeal to children and parents. As mentioned above I hope to develop the brand into something more than just another Toy Shop. I want it to be an all-round fun and enjoyable shopping experience.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Always, since I was a kid. Business and entrepreneurship amazes me and I love being involved in it.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I first started working on the idea in early 2011, coming up with my concept and what I wanted to achieve. A lot of planning and research went into it, and a lot of work to get us this far.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Several well-known ones Richard Branson, Bill Cullen, Duncan Bannatyne. Also, some of my close family are involved in business and my main admiration would lie with them
What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them?
I have been asked this question before the best way I can describe it as being at the bottom of Mt. Everest and looking up. It is and will continue to be a massive challenge, I am starting a business in a difficult economic climate and I’m competing with some very well established companies in the sector and will face challenges every day.
Hard work and belief in my idea have helped me overcome challenges such as sourcing products and marketing on a small budget.
How have you promoted your business?
So far our marketing has been very low key, I have got some support from media outlets in Galway which helped to get the name out there. As we are an online only company our main promotion will have to be digital based and through social media channels especially Facebook and Twitter.
Are you optimistic about the remainder of 2012?
Yes, very much so. It will be difficult and challenging but I am looking forward to it.