Adrian is from Blackpool and is the founder of The Ink Squid. Together with a small team, Adrian specialises in selling compatible ink and toner cartridges for brand-name printers. Having been in business for over 5 years the company have established themselves on multi-channel platforms such as Amazon and eBay as well as their own eCommerce website.
Some thoughts from the interview
“I started on my own out of necessity really because my family company got very badly hit in the recession.”
“I’d always played around on computers and liked eBay and it was an ideal opportunity to just start with a clean slate and to pick something to try and sell.”
“I started in a very small office with one type of ink cartridge, selling it on eBay and it kinda grew from there, we now sell hundreds of thousands of them a year to 200 countries on eBay, Amazon, Amazon.com, Amazon.de and our website and are growing every day. ”
“eBay was the heart of it, certainly for the first couple of years.”
“The website came in around 2013/2014 but it was always the big marketplaces, eBay and Amazon that drove kind of 90 odd percent of the sales.”
“It’s the marketplaces that generate most of our turnover.”
“In my industry ink cartridges are an incredibly competitive market.”
“Of the marketplaces, Amazon I’d have to say is more expensive but it’s a lot easier, it’s better organised, it’s not as erratic.”
“We very much set off with the idea of having a brand right from the very very start so I wasn’t affected by selling branded stuff first and then comparing it with selling our own brand it was always that from day one.”
“The number of items that actually go missing in the UK for us is about one or two a year.”
“We know exactly down to the fraction of a penny what we make on every product because we’ve got very very detailed spreadsheets that account for the weights, postage rates and fees and all of that.”
“The one thing I didn’t realize when we set up was the importance of having a logical and uniform, consistent SKU system.”
Best advice: “I’ll tell you advice that I wish I would have had five years ago and that is to read a particular book that I’ve only read recently and it has lit up so many light bulbs in my head that I can recognise over the last five years going through these particular stages and it’s a book called The E Myth.”
Biggest strength as a business owner: “I think that I’m not bad at planning.”
Weaknesses: “Probably, I’m getting better at this, as I’ve grown being a sole trader to taking on staff I’ve fell very much into the pitfall of delegating things to my staff but then kinda sitting on their shoulder .”
What do they offer?
The Ink Squid aim to provide their customers with compatible ink and toner cartridges for brand-name printers. The company buy compatible ink cartridges in very large volumes direct from the manufacturer. The inks are virtually identical and the chips are fully compatible with all listed printer models. They believe that customers shouldn’t have to spend a fortune on branded cartridges when they can buy them for a fraction of the price. Their motto-“ink and toner cartridges from under a squid!”
How to contact The Ink Squid!
Check out my list of resources, free tools and great advice: Resources Here
I offer strategic consultations for your own eCommerce business: Consultation Here