A Man's Toyshop owner, Ross Mylrea outside the Gladstone Road store.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
A Man's Toyshop owner, Ross Mylrea outside the Gladstone Road store. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK060916cmanstoyshop

5 tips for start up businesses from a man with 44 years experience

HE started in business in a caravan travelling from town to town 44 years ago and has survived countless economic downturns.

Now, the owner of A Man's Toyshop, which last week celebrated its one millionth customer since switching to a computer accounts system, Ross Myrea has shared his tips for those starting up businesses now.

Tip 1 - Image is not everything.

Mr Myrea says before the image comes the content.

"The content of the business is what it is all about," he said.

"The image comes last. The image is the most expensive thing and is usually one of the first things people put out there. And it is the wrong thing to do."

Tip 2 - Purchasing

"Get your purchasing right," Mr Myrea said.

"If you purchase right, you can sell right."

Tip 3 - Advertising

How you advertise and promote your business is important.

Mr Myrea said have all the products and all their details online is crucial.

He said while you may not get many or lots of online sales that way, lots of people do their shopping research online and then buy from the shop-front.

"That's why in our ads in the Bully, you will see detail of the product," he said.

"It's not just a photo with a part number. It's detail with the product."

Mr Myrea said A Man's Toyshop also has an email service that sends out an email to all customers, an SMS service that sends out alerts to 7000 phones and he spends about $200 to advertise a post on Facebook.

He said by using these tools for special sales, his business almost doubles the amount of products they sell in a day on sales days.

Tip 4 - Computer system and website

Mr Myrea's tip is to keep your computer system and your website linked.

He said A Man's Toyshop's database is in the computer system that is linked to the business website.

Mr Myrea said when they enter the details of a new product, or change the details of a product in the database it is fed straight to the website.

He said the other important thing was to have videos demonstrating what your products do.

Tip 5 - Be aware of you expenditure

Mr Myrea said new business operators need to watch what their expenses are and keep them under control.

"Most important thing," he said.

"In expenses, everything has to be justified. It's all very well saying 'I want a shop where 5000 cars go past', but if you don't get any benefit out of those 5000 cars and you are paying $320 per square metre in rent, that's just silly."

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