How did you grow the business?
When I first entered the market, there was strong competition. Competitors attempted to push us out by reducing their prices, which drove me to source new suppliers, buy at more competitive prices, and stay focused.
It wasn’t long before I was so busy that my dad came on board to support me and a year later my brother joined as warehouse manager, along with another employee who works in the warehouse.
At the start I was making around £500 a month, while I was finding my feet and putting the foundations in place to grow the business.
Now, just a few years later, the business is on track to hit its first £1million turnover.
As our stock levels soared, we began running out of space, so we built an extension to the warehouse and rented another building on the farm, increasing the space we operate from to almost 10,000 square feet.
Our suppliers were initially in the UK, but we now work with suppliers all over the world, including China, India, Turkey and Slovenia.
Our customers are mainly UK-based, but we have also started distributing further afield through eBay’s global shipping programme, to places including America, Europe and Russia.
We’re adding new products all the time and have a tried-and-tested process in place for choosing products, advertising them and processing the items to get them out to customers quickly.
But the biggest contributor to our success is the fact we take real pride in providing excellent customer service. Our current rating on eBay is 100%, with many customers complimenting the service. As a result, a large proportion of our buyers are repeat customers.
What does the future hold?
Within the next 5-10years I want Agri Parts UK to become the go-to place for farmers, vintage tractor enthusiasts and garages. I plan to employ more people and I am also looking to expand our warehouse with new office space and a conference room.
In addition, I wish to raise the profile and visibility of the brand. We were mentioned in Classic Tractor Magazine and a customer commented that we were "superb", which was a brilliant moment. It would be great to generate more coverage in the media like that.
Customer care will always remain a key focus and I want to maintain that mentality as we grow.
I never want to become a faceless corporate company where you can’t have a conversation with someone human.
Why did you enter the eBay for Business Awards?
I wanted to share my story, as I like to think that my business has made a positive difference to others. I have given three people a job they enjoy and supply customers with high quality, affordable tractor parts and a great customer experience.
I hoped my story might encourage others who are thinking of starting their own business, to go for it - as I'm proof of what can be achieved. No matter what adversity someone faces in life, I truly believe you can be successful with hard work, determination, and perseverance.