The story was told to you by a native from Koลกice, who takes care of the operation of the shop, Cvaknito.sk,ย  in the heart of Slovakia – in Martin ๐Ÿ™‚ We are among the TOP 5 shops in our segment because we enjoy it and our work is fulfilling us. We are (so far) a small team with a big dream ๐Ÿ™‚

Nowadays, we can no longer even imagine that we should use candles every day. Thanks to Thomas Edison, we overcame this barrier in the 19th century and began using light bulbs. Since that day, the production and sale of light bulbs became a very successful business model.

There are a number of e-shops in Slovakia and not a small proportion are online stores with lighting fixtures. Our client Cvaknito.sk differs from e-shops, which only sell household light bulbs because they among others sell studio lighting.

Today we will talk to the owner of the e-shop, Michal Mikula, and we will answer questions about how they started the e-shop, how it developed, how they deal with advertising, and of course, why they started using the CSS program Shopping in EU.

Hello Mr. Mikula. In the beginning, could I ask when did you start a business and how did you get where you are now?

Hi Darko. I started quite a long time ago. At 12-13, my friend and I wanted to publish an F1 magazine. My dad printed a few papers for us, we put it together with a stapler and if I’m not mistaken, for 10SK (there were still Slovak crowns) we sold it at the housing estate. Apart from my uncle, probably no one bought it if I remember correctly ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I accidentally broke the light on the car, so I had to work to repair it. I remember it was at 13. Since then, I have been working every summer with my father, who had a company with an auto-moto. That’s where it started ๐Ÿ™‚ And as soon as I was 18-19 years old, I made a trade.

Everyone knows that starting a business can also be a big investment. How was it for you? Did you take a risk, or did you know it would work out for you?

Well, I don’t think anyone starts a business without the thought of success, but of course, everyone has to have some finances at the beginning and some knowledge in the segment they want to invest in. Many times it didn’t work out and of course, we also had quite high losses – but if you learn from it, you can shoot it even higher than before and never do the mistakes again.

Not a single new e-shop starts making money overnight. How long did it take for yours to become sustainable?

I admit that we had a supernatural profit for about the second month. It wasnโ€™t much, but I was able to feed myself, pay for the apartment, and basically live a bit in the beginning. But one thing must be taken into account. It was not my 1st e-shop and the experience from the online previously made things easier a lot. Since then the so-called “Success overnight” lasted a nice 7-8 years ๐Ÿ™‚

Surely readers would like to know what helped you the most in setting up an e-shop?

Definitely an online experience and a sales experience. It may sound funny, but it’s been years since the e-shops of people around me and my friends went well, they sold and in my case, it was pretty much a disaster. They drove new cars, I paid off debts from the business. And if a person is not stupid, he will find that he is simply doing something wrong ๐Ÿ™‚ I still believed it would break one day. And it happened ๐Ÿ™‚

I would go over a few questions about advertising. You mentioned doing the ad yourself. How do you manage it?

Very weakly ๐Ÿ™‚ Really, we have already tried about 4-5 people to manage it for us, but so far it has still returned to our direction. Your Shopping in EU CSS add-on helps a lot. This has significantly increased the clickability of our ads and helped us a lot.

Have you also completed online/offline training or are you a self-taught marketer?

Certainly yes. I also support the courses in the company. I try if I see that there is a good course for a person to complete, Iโ€™ll always let them know to check it. If the course is good, it will save you months, maybe years of finding stuff on the Internet ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you only do Google advertising or also advertising on social networks like Facebook or Instagram?

We also have advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. We even tried it about 3 years ago on dating websites, but it was a fiasco. Zero orders. But I keep saying – if you don’t try it, you don’t know. The primary platforms we focus on are Google and Facebook. They brought us the most orders and the best traffic.

When did you start advertising on Google and why did you decide to use Shopping campaigns as well?

We used Google advertising almost immediately when setting up the shop. I believe it is unnecessary to build SEO if customers are not interested in the products. And the best way to find this out is through Google paid to advertise. We gave about โ‚ฌ 50 and we needed to find out if it brings us orders for around 500โ‚ฌ. This was of course just to prove that the e-shop is capable of selling products. As I mentioned above – I definitely recommend Shopping campaigns in the next step. They brought a really great new wind to our ads.

How did you find out about the CSS program and why did you just choose us as your CSS partner?

We learned about your CSS program from your colleague. Everyone was very helpful and especially you. You really advised only a few sentences and they worked great. We didn’t even consider anything else, because the support was fantastic! With a big “F” ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you very much for the praise, I try ๐Ÿ™‚ How satisfied are you with our communication and support so far?

Very satisfied. As I mentioned above, I definitely recommend CSS Shopping in EU. And the communication is really exceptionally good. What is interesting is that you advised us even at a time when we had practically not even bought a service from you. This was huge, since nowadays if you donโ€™t buy something no one will help you with any matter.

For the end of our chat, what would you recommend to e-shops that are afraid to invest in online marketing?

It will slow you down. If you operate as a shop or simply online and you want you to succeed (which is probably the case), it is almost a necessity to have something reserved for advertising, marketing. I like to say that advertising is like fire. You may get it without the combustion starter, but it will take a long time. You have to be wiser and try using the matches, the rest will come in time and by itself ๐Ÿ™‚