By Chris Mole, Founder & CEO of Molzi
I am the founder and CEO of Molzi, Europe’s leading Amazon agency, which manages more than £100m of annualised Amazon revenue, and provides full-service Amazon management, training and consultancy, and marketplace management. Our mission is simply to continuously find and conquer Amazon growth opportunities for brands.
The appetite for full service Amazon consultancy is huge. The Amazon platform can appear to be very complex: there is set-up and platform integration, content optimisation, advertising, customer service, data analytics and much more to navigate. Amazon is also the world’s largest online retailer – that continues to expand by the day – and brands are increasingly wanting a slice of the Amazon pie.
When I first founded Molzi, the initial uptake of clients was so huge, we had to stop onboarding brands for six months while we made sure we could still offer great service as Molzi scaled up. And now, over the past year, the pandemic has seen brands and consumers flock to Amazon and more businesses than ever are prioritising Amazon as part of their overall channel strategy.
But Molzi didn’t happen overnight. The drive to hunt down profitable niches began with an entrepreneurial niggle years ago.
When I was taking my A-levels, I set up a company selling laptops to students heading off to university saw me included in News World’s young rich list, nestled amongst the likes of Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint (it’s safe to say the paper was well off!). Adult life saw me working for the world’s biggest music equipment manufacturer selling their products to traditional shops. We started dabbling with Amazon and soon the business exploded with a huge uptake in sales. Through this experience, I first-hand understood the nuances of achieving success on the Amazon platform and saw that it takes a whole team to refine a successful Amazon strategy. In recognising this huge gap in the market and identifying the opportunity to ride on Amazon’s coattails, Molzi came to life.
When I was looking to start Molzi, I struggled to find real-life experiences from existing e-commerce founders. Four years into Molzi’s journey, I’ve realised just how important it is to not only learn the practicalities of running an ecommerce company, but also the realities.
Consider what you actually want:
What I thought I was aiming for with Molzi was a lifestyle business that allowed me to have greater control over my work-life balance. However, it didn’t take long for me to realise that my daydreams took me to opening our first office, a growing team of people, and getting our first £1m of revenue. What I really wanted was to build a business that could have a real impact on the world.Really take the time to understand what it is you truly want and address this with yourself.
Redress work-life balance:
Whilst I don’t wholly agree with hustle culture, starting and running a business certainly can’t be done 9-5 Monday to Friday. You must be upfront with loved ones about boundaries as you begin to get your business off the ground. You will never be able to focus on anything non-work related unless you’ve agreed on appropriate times of catch-up and extra-working.
Work hard and be nice:
This was Molzi’s motto from the get-go. Many of our largest clients are people I started building relationships with years ago. It is crucial to continue those relationships even when commercial opportunity is lacking – you will win long term when you silence the voice in the back of your head asking “what’s in it for me”.
Be willing to pivot:
Molzi began selling brands into brick-and-mortar retailers too, leading to 70% of our first-year turnover driven by this. But at the start of year two, we stopped and shifted focus 100% to Amazon. We were turning away the majority of our revenue, but it was clear we couldn’t scale a global business quickly with retailer sales.
Despite the trial and error at the beginning of Molzi’s journey, the company will this year be the biggest Amazon agency outside the US. We work with some of the world’s biggest global brands across a broad range of sectors helping them develop effective Amazon strategies. In only four years, we have expanded well beyond our flagship UK office into Spain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Brazil, and have plans to open in Japan and Singapore in 2021.
And we’re only getting started.