Headsets, wireless headsets, Bluetooth headsets, computer headsets, office headsets, gaming headsets, USB headsets, call center headsets, accessories- you name it and they have it all cornered under one roof. The Telecomsuperstore.com is undoubtedly your one stop solution to all your telecom handsets and accessory needs. So, if you are into business and want a great deal on PC headsets, stereo headsets, Bluetooth headsets, computer headsets, as well as a variety of other headsets for nearly any use, you know whom to trust. Based in WA, telecomsuperstore.com is one of the top sellers of end user communication devices in North America and also ships to US and Canada.
Richard Hui is the owner of Telecomsuperstore.com and the eBrandz team caught up with him for an exclusive interview to unravel everything about Telecomsuperstore.com, the success and the man behind it.
The telecomsuperstore.com inside story
Starting off as a police officer, I resigned after about 7 years, from my profession, owing to the growing distance of me with my family due to the erratic shift work involved. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and seeing the internet grow as a prosperous tool; I took advantage of the same and became involved in sales and marketing. After a number of years that involved extensive learning, I applied my skills to my own web site, which took off immediately.
One amongst the top sellers in North America, our business concentrates on supplying end user communication devices for businesses. With our spanning knowledge and technical expertise in this field, we provide the best solution to our customers. Our products include headsets from Plantronics, GN Netcom and Sennheiser. We also carry Aastra phones, Polycom, Konftel and Clear One conference systems.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?
Or what inspired you to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business
A relative of mine had me try a headset one day. This headset was a $350 unit, which struck me as expensive. But after using it for awhile, I found it invaluable and felt headsets would become a growing field as the use of them increases productivity well beyond their cost. Physically, it was also a great tool for people to use on a daily basis.
How important is it to have good employees?
Good employees are the key to any business. The business depends upon them everyday. The key is to hire the right team. For even a bad plan that is executed by good people can do quite well.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
1. Find a way to get something done given the resources you have. There is always a way.
2. You only get back what you put into it.
3. Nothing comes easy, it takes a lot of hard work, luck comes to those who work hard.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would have found a mentor to help me learn all these things I now know from experience. This would have saved me much wasted time and money.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
1. A vision, without a clear vision, you don’t know where to go.
2. Listening skills, listening to the customer and finding problems will help you identify how you can differentiate yourself from anyone else.
3. Communication, you must be able to get your idea across clearly and concisely quickly. Remember, the sale is made in the first few minutes.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Sometimes you don’t get the home run right away. In order to find out, you need to start testing the market to see if there is a demand. Do these before you spend tons of time and money. When you have finished testing, you’ll know. Make sure you try different approaches around the same idea. Many times, the original approach is not what you end up with.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
10hrs per day
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
It has opened up many options for me, allowing me flexibility in my schedule to do what I want. It has been great.
What motivates you?
Money motivates me because it provides flexibility. Everyone needs money. But after that is taken care of, doing something that I enjoy is just as important.
How do you generate new ideas?
As I go along daily, I see problems, or hear complaints from people and I file that knowledge away. Sometimes I’ll spend a minute or 2 thinking about an idea. Talking to people also helps, brainstorming can evolve ideas to something that works.
What are your ideals?
Be open and honest with customers, employees, partners.
What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Keep innovating and don’t become complacent.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I have seen people try and fail. I think the ones that failed lacked follow through; they did not drive it all the way and usually fell short of their goals. You have to really want it for it to happen.
If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
I would be interested to talk to Mark Zuckerberg form Facebook. I’ve read stories about how he built his business. The speed at which he built it and the valuation that he achieved in the time is simply amazing, while maintaining control all along.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I like the freedom it offers to make impactful decisions everyday.
To what do you most attribute your success? What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?
1. Vision, you have to know where you are going
2. Time, if you don’t put time into it, you will not get anywhere
3. Guts, many people have ideas, but if they don’t have the guts to do it and forge ahead and take risks, they get no where.
4. Research, market research is the key. Not every idea that seems great will work. Or perhaps needs adjustments before you go all out.
5. Support, taking risks and being an entrepreneur is easy if you are alone. However if you have people depending upon you such as your family, you need their support to carry on. Especially when times are tough.
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I think it comes down to what you want in life. Working for someone else means you have a secure job, and you don’t have to make the big decisions everyday. Some people are not cut out to start a business from the ground up, they just don’t know how to get it done, and that includes CEO’s of large corporations as well.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Though primarily, we market online, but once we get the customer, we always try to make their experience with us as great it can get; so that they come back and tell their friends.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
The biggest mistake I made was when I did not get an NDA from a potential investor. Unfortunately, that very same investor, later, went on to steal my ideas and compete against me.
How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
I learned this from a great leader, who said “Do it right the first time”. If you do things properly up front, don’t cut corners, it will save you a mountain of time and energy later.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I often mentally can’t leave the office, even when I am on vacation; there is always something to deal with. I don’t think I have had a completely work free vacation since I became an entrepreneur.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I admire Apple. They came from almost nothing to being bigger then Microsoft. They keep innovating and pushing the envelope.
Where you see yourself and your business
in the next 10 years?
I am currently working on a large project which I’m expecting would be really big. As stated in the previous answer, I always listen to my customer’s complaints, find the problem in the industry and look to solve the issue from the roots and disrupt the space. That business can be found at www.warrantylife.com