Episode 1: The mantra to overcome all hurdles is patience and great spirit!

IOANNIS BARKAZOUS

Greece
Administrator: My Shop On Web
https://msow.gr
vendors

55

active vendors

online

2

years online

customer

22000

customers visit per month

products

3000

products

Amidst the dying tradition of physical shops and the growing economic crisis in Greece, Ioannis decided upon setting up his own e-store. With patience and a little bit of experimenting, he is now successfully running his marketplace. Watch him speak about his journey and give away his mantra of success.

Transcription

Coordinator: Hi Ioannis, welcome to WCFM Marketplace. So, Ioannis, introduce yourself to our audience.
Ioannis: Greetings from Greece! My name is Ioannis Barkazous… John Barkazous in English Language. I am the administrator of msow.gr which is a marketplace and we’re selling products to Greece and Cyprus.
Coordinator: Okay, tell me, Ioannis, how did you come across the idea of this marketplace? What was the inspiration behind it?
Ioannis: I was a businessman and I found out that as technology goes on and on every day, the traditional shop was dying. And in Greece, especially, we had economical crisis… And I’ve seen that every day new people were shopping via eCommerce because of low prices.

So, I decided to open my first e-shop to sell my products. After a while, I found out the idea with the help of some friends of mine to create their own e-shops… And it started to grow up in my mind the idea of a marketplace. And that was the beginning. This happens at about 2017.
You know, there was a time for projects to become an idea for a project. And at about 2017, I started my first marketplace.
Coordinator: Okay, that’s great! So, tell me, Ioannis, did you find any kind of difficulty starting your business? Were there any kind of hurdles that you faced? Some sort of obstacles…?
Ioannis: Of course! I had a physical store and I had to convert this to an eCommerce store and I didn’t know much about computers and all these stuff. But WCFM helped me a lot to create, you know, my business… Because this is so simple, it was a great tool for me!
Coordinator: Okay, so… I mean, how did you actually overcome those hurdles?
Ioannis: With patience… and great spirit here [pointing at his head]… Never give up, never surrender. I had a lot of difficulties to become a player in eCommerce. But, you know, a lot of people are thinking that if they create a niche shop to sell and (will) gather a lot of money – no, it’s not like that… E-shop is more difficult than a physical shop. A physical store has clients from the town, the neighborhood. But the e-shop has clients from… umm… all Greece, for example, for me. You know, you need to try to experiment a lot of things… You need to learn the hard way.
Or… If you have a lot of money, you can spend them (by giving them) to a marketing company to sell your things. But, you know, this is very difficult because when you stop spending money, you stop selling. There’s a specific procedure… You need to learn by yourself to gather experience… And as I said, you need to be patient.
Coordinator: Okay. So, Ioannis, what would be your final advice, your main advice to all the budding entrepreneurs out there who’d be listening to you? Like, a lot of people today are thinking of starting their own marketplace – which is a very good thing! But, a lot of them, you know, they find it difficult, they hesitate before starting, they have a lot of queries in their mind. So, what would you suggest to them?
Ioannis: Okay, first of all, every person has his own circle of confidence. First of all, you must go out of this circle. Try it, dare it. Don’t be afraid! This is the first step.
The second step is that you must choose the right tools. You have two ways to do that, to choose the right tools. The first way is to spend a lot of money and buy a lot of tools and then you’ll buy WCFM. The second way is buy WCFM from the beginning. Buy the whole package; do not try to buy only one plugin, buy all the plugins. You gonna need it!
And, it’s my advice to anyone is that do not do that in Greece, eh! I’m here in Greece!
Coordinator: Okay, that was really nice! So, Ioannis do you have any other fellow mates over there or you’re the only person managing the entire business? Do you have a team?
Ioannis: I started my business by myself and now I have 2 employees but we can work from everywhere, it’s internet. I live in Preveza, Greece, and one of my employees is in Athens which is 400 kms from here and the other one is in Thessaloniki which is another 400 kms. But, we can communicate.
Coordinator: Okay, so any future plans for your marketplace?
Ioannis: Yes, as I said I’m selling things in Greece. And 2 weeks ago, I opened up (at) Cyprus which we have the same language. My next step is to go to Italy, to Albania, to Bulgaria… all neighborhood countries. And my final plan is to sell my products of half of my marketplace to all of Europe! And now we are translating our language, which is Greek, to all the other languages.
Coordinator: Okay, Ioannis, all the very best for all your future ventures! We hope that we stay with you for a lifetime. And thank you so much for sparing your time and, you know, sharing your success story with our entrepreneurs who’ll be watching you. Thank you so much!
Ioannis: It was a pleasure for me! Thank you, bye!
Coordinator: Bye!
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