Mark Hammond shares his experiences from the first 6 months with Platinum Business Partners. The concept of selling online and the ability to build a business in a relatively short period of time led Mark to join Platinum Business Partners in March 2016.
After enjoying a career in the Royal Air Force as an engineer, Mark Hammond went on to build a very successful and global medical packaging business with two partners which he sold in 2014.
The proceeds from the sale afforded him to look at other opportunities. The concept of selling online and the ability to build a business in a relatively short period of time led him to joining Platinum Business Partners in March 2016.
What really sparked our interest was how enormous the ecommerce market is and the speed of growth compared to offline retail. It’s clear that we as consumers are changing the way we shop and I just felt it was a good time to get involved.
If you tried to launch this kind of business on your own, you would get no support or guidance. You would be very much alone.
The training so far has already proved that there is a lot to learn and I have been surprised at the number of web-based tools available to help you build and grow your ecommerce business, relevant to your own strategy.
There is also an online support forum and monthly webinars where people have been willing to share their experiences for the benefit of the wider group – and this mentality has been fostered and grown from day one.
We were obviously advised to go into a market that we feel passionate about or have some knowledge in, as a pet owner, I decided to start there.
Very quickly we were able to come up with a shortlist of 25 products in the pet supplies market that we thought might work well in our portfolio in the long-term. Selecting product one was quite easy.
We sourced our first two products from one of PBP’s recommended sourcing agents, but also enquired direct with another manufacturer we found so we had something to compare it to – this was an important learning exercise regarding due diligence and quality checks.
We had samples sent to us as they would be to the customer so we could see what the final product was going to be like. It was a strange but good feeling.
That’s been an interesting learning experience. I’m not a marketer by trade or in terms of my skill set so that whole side of things has been new to me, but it was really good fun.
We want to promote that we are happy to use those products ourselves – and have done already on our own pets. That’s our brand promise.
There have been days where I’ve spent a lot of time pursuing particular tasks and then there have been times where I’ve just dipped in for half an hour. You can do this wandering around with an iPad and having a coffee, so the flexibility is great. You can do it as and when you wish or are able to.
Definitely the sharing of minds, knowledge and experience. That ethos is the best part. You don’t feel on your own, you don’t feel isolated and there’s always someone there to help and answer a question or point you in the right direction.
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The idea of creating a business where scaling was a real possibility without the need to take on many employees really appealed to me and I was happy to give it a go.Christian. Platinum Business Partner