How to Run a Small Business Online – Sports Clothes

Aneta Frąckowiak has been producing women’s sportswear LOCO SPORT for five years. It is a brand producing women sports legging.  She sells clothes online and feels happy with what she does. Aneta also has a blog where she supports other women in being active and in starting running. Below you can find and interview “How to run a small business online”. Learn the experience of others and grow your own online business.

Can you tell me how you decided to run a business online?

Five years ago I created a runners group “Mamy-Biegamy” on Facebook. After I created a fan page and a blog. Then it was a matter of chance and luck. I got fired and decided to stay in the world of physical activity, especially running. Hence the idea to create women sports leggings.

Did you have any worries that it would not work?

I had some concerns that it would not work. I still can not say that actually worked because it is still the beginning of my brand and it is not easy. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Did you think that you could fail because of the competition in this field?

I can not be the first with the idea of women’s sports clothes. There is intense competition in this market. Nevertheless, my customer base was my runners’ group and I had an additional value for them except for the leggings 😊

Are you a risk-taker?

I do not like taking risks but there is no business without it. You have to be brave and go off-script. This will make your business successful and unique.

Did you need any connections to start?

I didn’t really need business connections because almost everything I managed by myself. Unless we can judge my runners community as one of them. It definitely made my start easier. All the new business connections were established in time of organizing the manufacturing.

Did you have any entrepreneurial skills?

I think that I had to a certain extent. Before this, I worked as an executive and also managing a page on Facebook gave me entrepreneurial skills. It was the beginning.

How old were you when you started the online business?

1,5 years ago. I am 37 years old now.

Where did you learn that?

I have been learning all the time. I have taken courses for beginning entrepreneurs organized by Marshall Office where I learned some basics like accounting. I think that even if you hire an accountant you have to have a view and there are some things you have to know. But I can say that no one taught me how to be an entrepreneur. You can’t learn it right away at school. Every business is different and there are different challenges here too.

Did you have a business plan?

Yes, I had a business plan because I used an opening-up grant. But this business-plan has not worked for running a business online.

How did you decide on prices for your products?

The price of product was estimated on product cost, cost of doing business and income. I also considered prices of competitors. 

How do you advertise your business?

In the beginning the same as now I promote my business through business collaborations, building my personal brand and advertising on Facebook.

How did you get your first client? 

My first clients were my friends. 

What main difficulties have you encountered at the beginning? 

I didn’t know how to run a business online. I didn’t have any sales during the first few months. It made me think about giving up. Now I know that consequence is the basis and you have never given up. The positive effects of this consequence are your benefits.

How long did a break-even take? 

My company did not show a break-even yet. 

How is the product being built? 

The process starts with designing then sewing and adding to the online store. It takes from two weeks to a few months. 

What inspires you to create legging? 

I am inspired by people mostly running and active women. They are mostly having fantastic ideas that engage me in the creation process. Thanks to them my head is full of plans and suggestions

How many people work on LOCO SPORT? 

Our team is big. It consists of graphic designers, tailors and me. 

Do you manage accounting by yourself? 

Yes, I do it on my own. 

What are the benefits of running your own business online? 

For me the most important thing is that I manage myself

What are the main difficulties? 

There are plenty of them. Lack of finances, a lot of competition, being at work all over the clock. 

How do you advertise your business? 

I think I know my customer very well. I am a runner and active person that is why I know what are the women’s expectations of sportswear. I also know where my clients spend time. That is why I do all the advertisements by myself, mostly on Facebook. 

What are the needs of your customers? 

The legging is just a bonus. My client’s primary need is motivation, support, and community of other women. That is what they value the most. My customers buy and come back for the next portion of inspiration and new legging patterns. 

How a quarantine had affected your business? 

I have more time that I spend on social media. Mostly I motivate and support girls at this time. Some of them put shopping off for later. I don’t think that’s going to change after a quarantine. I am counting that life will be back to normal eventually and women will be more willing to buy on LOCO SPORT.  

What does LOCO SPORT’s reputation mean to you? 

The reputation of my brand is very important to me. It is identical to my personal reputation. My personal brand is the key and its development has the biggest influence on LOCO SPORT‘s development. If you want to make your company a brand, become a brand and a symbol of your company

Do you plan your working day/week/month? Which tools do you use for this purpose?

I run a business online, so I have to be well organized to manage all successfully. I have a monthly planner and keep all the production steps, classes, meetings, or events in it. Additionally, I use notes and screens on my phone and always get back to them and work on them. 

What goal do you want to achieve in your work? 

My main goal is to increase sales twice to be able to freely implement new ideas. 

Do you have time to rest? 

I take rest late at night, but I am an active person and running or physical training is also a kind of rest for me. Every meeting, managing my fan page and my brand is also relaxing for me. Besides that, I am trying to keep a work-life balance and dedicate time to home, children, and work

Does your family support you in being a businesswoman? 

Yes, my family supports me. It would be hard enough to run a business without this support and be concentrated on the most important things.

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