Q1. What Drew Yarl Christie from Stories Flooring to Starting an Online business?
The online market is huge, and I thought that it would be crucial to get us a presence online. Here at Stories Flooring, we needed our website to represent our company and communicate our brand effectively; people don’t just want to go into a shop anymore, they want to browse on a website and do it freely from their home. If we hadn’t gone online when we did then we would have been behind the times, and when Covid-19 hit, it was us who was ahead of the game. I think my pointers for others thinking about doing the same would be: 1. Cover as much area as possible from 1 warehouse, the whole UK if possible. 2. Reduce the number of employees you have by using a CRM or an automated system. 3. Get paid upfront where you can.
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Q2. What are the Biggest Challenges for Being successful in the Industry?
The biggest challenge is to dominate the online space. There are a lot of bigger companies that have a much greater budget for online marketing, and this can be a challenge at times, especially for very competitive generic product keywords. We are getting there but if we had the resources, they have then we would be miles ahead already
Q3. What Do You Wish You’d Known Before You Started the Business?
If we had more knowledge about copyright and CMS platforms in the beginning, then we would have saved a lot of stress and work. We have had to change our name three times already due to legal reasons with copyright. We would also have built a custom CMS from the beginning as opposed to rebuild the website in WooCommerce, Magento, and now Shopify. Shopify is good though, and we are gaining momentum with it our digital team is at the leading edge of their game, so things look positive. I think in the next 8 months we will see a huge increase in sales and turnover due to our internal dynamics getting tighter and more advanced.
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A few points about Yarl from Stories Flooring:
Yarl started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018).
Since making this decision the company has gone from strength to strength and has gained a £3.5m turnover in the first year of trading (when trading as Lifestyle Flooring UK) and over £4.5m in its second. Looking into the 3rd year, Flooring Yorkshire Ltd, trading as Stories Flooring, is predicted to generate a turnover of over £5m despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Away from work, Yarl is massive Leeds United fan and attends every home game and as many away games as possible. He enjoys keeping active where he can, either by playing football, squash or going to the gym.