MailingBags.ie is a company which was set up by Robert English to supply you with everything you’d need for packaging itmes to ship. Based in Co. Longford, Robert set the company up when he noticed a gap in the market for these products.
We caught up with Robert to find out how this and his other companies are going.
Q1 Hi Robert. Can you tell me some more about your company and what products you supply?
I supply all sorts of despatch packaging primarily plastic/poly mailers in various sizes and colours. We have an ECO friendly range as well as padded envelopes, bubble wrap, coloured tissue paper, packaging tape, garment bags, document enclosed pouches. The range is expanding all the time
Q2 What was the motivation for starting the company?
When the downturn came and I had to lay off all four of my staff from my furniture making business. I had to find ways to supplement my income. I was using the mailing bags for my own use in an Ebay shop where I sold golfing equipment and was getting requests for the mailing bags from other sellers and resellers of my products. They kept coming back so I decided this may be an area I could develop. I have since left ebay and set up my own site and www.mailingbags.ie was born.
Q3 Can you tell me more about your background and your journey to this point?
I am a trained furniture designer and cabinetmaker, you can take a look at my work here: www.redfurn.com. I am trading as a sole trader for the last 18 years and specialise in bespoke commission only hand made solid timber furniture. In the quieter times I was attending night school to retrain and gain some skills outside of my area. I did a course in web marketing in Athlone “AIT” and designed and set up 2 sites www.golfgeardeals.ie and www.mailingbags.ie. I continued with the courses and attended a Longford Enterprise course for using social media etc, joined webinars and gained as much knowledge as possible to tweak the two sites and generate traffic/ sales.
Q4 How has the business been going for you so far?
Running 2.5/ 3 businesses generates a lot of challenges and I seem to spend a lot of time on the computer. I have always had a good work ethic and I think most self employed people do, otherwise you won’t last. My furniture business is not so busy these days so I can fit in the other web businesses around the slack times. I work most nights until 9.30 or 10 and usually do social media activities then as well as packing and sorting orders etc. I always try to follow leads and enquiries within a couple of hours of receiving them, as customers are used to instant responses these days. If I make a mistake, I put my hands up and say sorry and do all I can to address and correct the issue. I deliver next/following day.
Q5 Based on your experience to date, for anyone thinking of setting up a business what advice would you give them?
I would say firstly do some Research on the area you’re about to enter, start small, get advice on things you don’t know about. Take chances, don’t be reckless. Join the #irishbizparty. This has helped me quite a lot and lastly, go for it, as there is no point in saying later “I should have”.
Q6 What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you?
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase get in contact with me on [email protected]