Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Kalning, Owner of Boxuchan, located in Cary, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I run a personalized anime DVD/Blu-Ray box subscription called Boxuchan, where the customer fills out a survey saying what they like and, in turn, gets a box with anime plus extra collectibles all tailored to their taste! While most of our customers are enfranchised in the anime community already, we get people from all walks of life buying our boxes! From people with no prior experience with anime to customers with incredible collections, we do our best to cater to anyone!

Tell us about yourself

I started Boxuchan with the goal in mind of creating a service for anyone who wants Anime DVDs but doesn't know where to start or wants to try something new. When I first watched anime, all I knew was what was on Toonami and WB kids at the time. It wasn't until my dad's friend hand selected some anime for us to borrow that I learned that there was so much more to see. That was over fifteen years ago, and a lot has changed, anime has become widely more accessible. With that, however, comes an overwhelming amount of choices.

In times of indecisiveness, I looked to see if there was an anime DVD box service, with individuality in mind, handpicking them just like my family's friend did all that time ago. Unfortunately, I didn't see any such thing. So I decided to change that and created Boxuchan!

As for motivation, I get to watch anime and sell it for a living. What an absolutely fun way to make money, I never would have seen this happening when I was younger!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are a couple of things that I am proud of with Boxuchan, but the one thing I bring up all the time is that we are the first link on google when you search "sell anime DVD." We were VERY lucky with our SEO!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think most business owners will agree with this, but it's probably the fact that you are "on the clock" 24/7. There is ALWAYS something you can be working on, improving, and creating. The stress from this dilemma is very real, and it's necessary to designate time for your business and your personal life. While it will absolutely converge a lot, a healthy separation of work and life goes a long way toward your mental health as a business owner!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

The question specifies start, run and grow, so I will give a tip for each one!

When starting out, getting over the idea of perfection is key to success later on. To put it bluntly, your business will look wretched at the start. There will be issues with the site, your product will have problems, and profit margins and taxes will be confusing. And you know what, that's OK! Getting started is already such a large step in the entrepreneurship world, and when starting out, your perspective of a successful business is skewed tremendously. Not everything will be perfect, and you will make mistakes; you HAVE to.

When I started Boxuchan, it was quite frankly on a whim. I was just having fun, seeing what I could do with the idea, and here I am 3 years later with a wonderful community and glowing reviews. That said, the site needs updating, the box needs improving, and profit margins are still tricky at times! But you have to start somewhere, and there's no better time than now!

There's so much that goes into running a business that neither my schooling nor previous endeavors as a thrift eBay seller prepared me for. No matter how simple your idea is, there will be a lot to do to make it successful! I know this might be obvious, but you have to plan things out. Write down everything, type up every idea you have, every event coming up. Staying on top and organized is vital to running a business. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help! Lean on your friends and family, and have a support system that you can reach out to. Small businesses are in a constant flux of incremental and explosive growth, it is impossible to time when big changes happen but being prepared with manpower and support goes a long way!

And that segues nicely into growth! As I stated, businesses are in a constant flux of incremental and explosive growth when they are not stagnant (or, very common and worse, outright failing). While these events all vary in beneficial and negative outcomes money-wise, there is ALWAYS something to learn. Two things every business owner must do, are acquire data and analyze.

For example, I saw that I got good growth on the site with a video ad I did on Facebook. Pretty much every platform that lets you create ads will give you more info than you know what to do with, but it is INCREDIBLY important to look at the numbers. Secondly, analyze and figure out WHY the growth (or decline) is occurring. There is no simple answer to this, and there never will be, this comes with experience and gradual expertise. In my case, I reached out to customers and learned what worked for them in the ad and what about it made them go to the website!

I hope this helps, and thank you for reading!

Where can people find you and your business?


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