SBJ Supply Featured Small BusinessFebruary 18, 2018
Ecommerce businesses have exploded thanks in large part to the proliferation of ecommerce shopping platforms like Shopfiy, Magento, and BigCommerce, in addition to sales and distribution channels like Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart.com, and eBay. Our featured small business for February 2018 is SBJ Supply, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. SBJ has leveraged various ecommerce tools along with overseas manufacturing relationships to create and grow a thriving LED lighting products business, entirely online. We caught up with SBJ’s owner and seasoned entrepreneur, Kurt Prosser, and he shed some really interesting insight on running an ecommerce business and being a small business owner in general.
1. How long have you been in the lighting industry and how/why did you get started in it?
We’ve been in the lighting business since February 2014. We got started by buying wholesale and selling to contractors, but then shifted in 2015 to focus exclusively on private label LED lighting products that we could sell direct to consumers via Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart.com and eBay.
2. What prompted you to start your own business?
Combination of boredom and desire to take risk. I was a civil engineer and enjoyed it, but I was looking to try something more exciting and had a larger upside potential.
I’d say two things…first, running a business is like a constant game of chess, and second, relationships. Regarding the first, we are always looking at opportunities, challenges, risks, etc, etc…we are looking for ways to steadily and consistently grow sales and profits. When it works, it is super enjoyable. Regarding the second, we’ve developed a great working relationship between the owners and team members. Also, we’ve develop amazing partnerships with our factories in China, which we’ve visited multiple times.
Time management hands down. There seems to be never enough time. However, Steve Weaver, the CEO of Candle Labs has help me immensely when it comes to time management and business systems. If you are in Columbus and have the opportunity to see Steve speak, you’ll enjoy it.
Just jump! Someone explained entrepreneurship to me as jumping out of a plane and assembling the parachute in the air. I highly recommend finding a great mentor and just jumping.
Great question…this has always been a challenge for us. The direct to consumer LED lighting market is super competitive, with virtually zero brand loyalty. We can come out with a great and within six months a Chinese manufacturer has copied it and selling at a lower price. So far, our competitive advantage has been our partnerships with a few key factories in China and our collective product innovation. Long terms, we are looking to be unique by specializing in our product offering and developer strong wholesale relationships.Tags: ecommerce, entrepreneurship, LED lighting products, small business insights, small business of the month
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This post was written by SMB Insurance