Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ron Iraheta, owner of Mongous Retro, located in Winnetka, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is an online retro video game store that sells video games released in the year 2000 and before. My customers are retro video gamers and collectors looking for those long-lost classics.
Tell us about yourself
Originally, I had been buying and reselling items online. I would visit thrift stores, swap meets, flea markets, or search through craigslist, etc., and one category that seemed to work effectively was reselling video games. The further I thought about it and researched, the more it made sense for me to pursue it. I grew up playing the original Nintendo NES and Super Nintendo, so this made sense. The games were a little easier to come by when I started, and also easy to store, lightweight to ship, and some were very valuable.
Motivation comes easy... I spend very little time doing it, and I enjoy remembering to pay for certain game titles. Who would not like to wake up to sales and talk about a childhood pastime with other collectors?
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
They say most small businesses close within two years. I've been working on my small business for more than ten years, and I think that it is driven by such a great community of gamers who enjoy the hobby and continue to appreciate it as time goes by.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Particularly with online sales, you are never closed. If I take time off for personal reasons, customers continue to purchase what they are looking for. It's definitely a good problem to have, but it's hard to commit to fulfilling orders when you aren't physically there.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- When you start a business, nothing is going to be perfect or work out, but you have to keep at it. The passion for what you are doing should outweigh those problems, or else close up and do something else.
- Running a business is tedious and sometimes overwhelming. Spend time whenever possible to improve and streamline things. If you make an improvement that costs you money, make up that money somewhere else.
- Growing a business is the best problem to have, but pace yourself. Understand if you will be able to handle the growth. As a small business owner, you don't want to stress yourself out with new problems. Think carefully about how you'll be operating after the growth, and if it makes sense to you, then go for it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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