Elena Tkachenko is our client and co-founder of the brand of sportswear and thermal underwear Actix (actix.ua). She told why in order for a business to be successful, you need to choose the closest and most understandable direction to you, in which you believe and in which you want to develop.
We founded the company together with our partner Alexander. I was on maternity leave, but I wanted to earn money, and he offered me business options. At first, we sold sportswear, kitchenware, pet food, and original branded perfumes through dropshipping marketplaces.
For six months we mastered online marketing and sales. My partner also worked as a manager in the company, but took over this issue and began to actively delve into e-commerce in his spare time.
Over time, we abandoned all products except sportswear: when one seller has diverse products on one site, he does not understand who to focus on and does not know his target audience. All for all - it doesn't work that way.
Soon we abandoned the mass-market products that were supplied to us in bulk via dropshipping. The disadvantage of this scheme is that, firstly, we could not guarantee quality to our customers, because we did not even see the goods, and secondly, situations began to repeat when we declare the availability of goods on the marketplace, but suppliers do not bring them on time and don't get in touch. Thus, we promoted a product on our marketplace that we did not control at all.
Therefore, we decided to move into the category of dealers and began to purchase goods directly from manufacturers in small batches. I began to manage the warehouse, accept goods from the manufacturer, process customer requests and send them parcels.
But over time, a new realization came: we advertised and promoted brands that are poorly recognizable in Ukraine. Then the question arose: if we still invest in a business and, thanks to the experience on the marketplace, we know how to sell and where to get customers, why should we develop someone else's business if we can build our own? So we decided to create our own things: to take the top models of world brands as a basis, choose similar material, find production and produce analogues in Ukraine under our own brand.
Now our mission is to benefit Ukrainians: to offer them high-quality Ukrainian sportswear of the level of world brands at Ukrainian prices.
When developing a business, you must constantly analyze the process and learn from your mistakes. After all, no one will give a recipe or an algorithm for how to earn a million. There are no ready-made solutions, everything is individual. There are a million ways “how to”, but it is important to feel and understand “how not to”.
The most effective way to learn is to watch what the most successful business owners in your niche are doing who have built their business from the ground up. Find out which rich people in your field are in the top 100 Ukrainian Forbes, subscribe to their Youtube channels. For example, I am very inspired by Evgeny Chernyak. He created a brand that has been an industry leader for years, and at the same time, as an entrepreneur, he continues to explore new areas in order to apply his experience in new businesses. And all the guests in his interview are businessmen close to him in spirit and character, who have a lot to learn from and understand what categories they think about and what their values are. These people know more than any business coach. After all, if a coach could build a successful business, he would do it, and not teach others, right? :)
I registered the trademark because I expect it to be the project of my life. I want to build my brand, make it recognizable and speak loudly about it. And, of course, I don’t want to risk someone registering a brand with my name and taking my business away from me. I came across this in the businesses of my acquaintances: people lost their business, money, and also were held accountable through the courts.