I’m Lisa Stacey Founder of Parts For Trampolines and our business is the online sales of quality replacement parts for trampolines made to our own specification and in stock in our warehouse in Cork, Ireland ready for same day dispatch worldwide.  We also sell premium trampolines from select high end brands in Ireland and the UK.

We are running a promotion with the Tree Council of Ireland GREEN FRIDAY where you can gift a tree with any trampoline purchase.

You can see more on the promotion here or click the banner. You can also visit our Parts for Trampolines website here

 

IIBN asked Lisa how did you get the idea/ concept for the business?

In 2012 our own trampoline padding (the surround the covers and protects the springs) was worn and I went online to see if replacement could be purchased.  There were none available in Ireland but several UK suppliers, but majority did not even quote to ship to Ireland.  As I owned and ran a Web Design Agency that specialised in ecommerce, I decided to explore this idea further.  I purchased the domain name partsfortrampolines.com & .ie, built the site and purchased a small number of products from the UK and launched the site in Spring of 2013 as a side hustle to see if it would generate any traction in Ireland.  Then people started buying and quickly looking for other parts and so I started sourcing our own manufacturer and getting products made to our higher quality specification.  After 3 years of establishing the market in Ireland we then launched a dedicated UK site and now sell there along with selling worldwide and have so far sold our products into 4 continents.

Give a brief account of your education background.

I worked pretty much straight out of school, didn’t attend full time 3rd level education as didn’t really know what area I wanted to study.  So later when working I studied by night in areas to help advance my career path and interests such, starting with Diploma in Teaching IT, then Microsoft Systems Administrator exams, Higher Diploma in Computer Science, various Business related Diplomas, a multitude of Fetac Level courses and most recently Honours BSc Degree in Digital Design and Technology and I am still always hungry for more knowledge always looking out for the next suitable course.

Did you always know/ever think you would become an entrepreneur when you were younger?

No, I don’t think so but was taught strong work ethics and values from my family and was always ambitious.

What was your previous work experience (if any)? Do you think this gave you an advantage when setting up your business?

Private Sector Office, Public Sector Office and Educational Sector.  The practical skills I learned helped on an operational level but gave me little knowledge of how a business worked, that was all new to me and learned as I went along from combination of mistakes made along the way, getting educated and seeking mentorship.

How did you initially fund your business? (self-funded, government funding, etc)

Bootstrapped all the way until recently acquiring a ‘Brexit’ loan to help fund more stock to go more aggressively into other markets

 

What difficulties, if any, did you encounter when securing funding?

Yes, many refusals, but kept re applying tweaking business plan etc until they listened.

Did you encounter any financial difficulties in the first year of operation? If yes, what did you do to surpass them?

As this business was grown slowly organically only putting sales money back in to purchase more stock as required this wasn’t an issue in early years, however it has always been a seasonal business.  Winter months having less cash flow yet those months being when stock needs to be ordered to have in time for Spring season, therefore cash flow planning has been essential and looking for new products and markets to fill those seasonal gaps like selling full trampolines which sell well in Christmas season and looking to sell more into countries that are warmer in Winter, like this week we send an order to Doha in UAE for example.

What characteristics do you feel benefited you most when starting your business?

Determination, willingness to take calculated risks and also seek advice.

To what do you attribute your company’s success/growth to?

Customer service, technology and product quality.

What is your opinion on the importance of a professional network for an entrepreneur?

Absolutely essential, highly recommend everyone at any stage of business to find a suitable network(s) that match your mindset, join, get involved and utilise them.

Would you ever consider starting another company or involving yourself in new start-ups again?

Yes, always considering and researching new ideas, have already way more than one on the go!

If you had one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur, what would it be?

Focus, whether it’s a retail or service business, to be as niche as you can initially and become the expert in that area first, don’t try to be everything to everyone and seek advice / mentorship.