Busy Lizzie Business Brain Interview with Ronan Walsh @ MyToysDirect.com

16 Oct

This week we interview Ronan Walsh of MyToysDirect.com

1.    Why did you decide to start your business?

It has always been a goal of mine to start my own business. I have, for years,  being thinking about it but never actually doing it, so about a year ago I decided just to go for it.

I had looked at a wide range of areas, and felt there was a need for an online toy and gift store designed with both adults and kids in mind. One that was built and branded around 3 key points: Fun, Bright and easy to use.

2.     What have been the biggest challenges and achievements for your business?

The biggest challenge is trying to get the mytoysdirect.com name out there on a shoe-string budget.

We face challenges every day, we are at the bottom of Mt. Everest looking up. There is a long road ahead with a lot of challenges and obstacles to overcome, but once you stay true to your goal and enjoy what you’re doing, it will be a worthwhile adventure.

We are placing a strong emphasis on our social media marketing and on site SEO, we are starting to see the results with traffic to our site growing week by week.

At the start I wanted to create a site that was bright, fun and easy to use, so to win the Digital/Online Friendliness Category in this year’s JCI Friendly Business awards was a fantastic seal of approval that we achieved this.

We are also thrilled with the feedback we have got from our customers so far.

3.     What are your plans for the future?

To continue to build and develop our brand. We want to continue to build our product catalogue and are constantly looking at ways to help and support Irish manufactures and distributors. We are also currently working on a new blog which will be aimed mainly at kids and will have a strong educational element to it.

We also hope to expand into the UK market in mid 2013.

4.     Who do you look up to in business?

I come from an entrepreneurial family so I have always looked up to them. I also admire anyone with the entrepreneurial spirit to start a business.

It is a very difficult economic climate out there, but it’s never going to be easy to start a business and that’s why business start-ups should be encouraged and nurtured now more than ever.

5.     What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

Go for it… on one hand it might fail, and so what; but it might just as easily be a huge success. There are fantastic support groups and mentoring programs available. I was lucky enough to be involved in the SCCUL mentor program in Galway, which was a fantastic help to me and to my company.

The start-up scene is really growing in Ireland. LinkedIn is also a great tool for getting in touch with people who have started their own business, from my experience most entrepreneurs are more than happy to offer their support and knowledge in any way they can.

6.     How are you gaining visibility and promoting the business?

By any means we can. We are nothing if people don’t know about us.

We focus a lot on our social media channels, newsletters and improving our ranking on search engines.

7.       Do you use any Social Media?

Our main social media channel is Facebook. I don’t want our Facebook page to constantly be pushing for sales. We want it to be an engaging and informative side of our brand.

We also have a strong presence on Twitter and are building our Pinterest profile.

Twitter and blogs are also a fantastic way to look at and learn more about online marketing and social media trends.

More about 

Ronan Walsh | My Toys Direct

Office:   + 353 91 768 965

Mobile: +353 87 269 3398

Skype:    rwalshmtd

Linkedin.com/in/ronanw

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