It has been less than 10 years since Vashi Dominguez set up the online diamond and fine jewellery store Vashi.com. Competing at the top with some of the world’s most leading luxury jewellery brands, Vashi has quickly become the go to guy for diamond advice and jewellery, turning over a profit of £10 million. Providing expert advice to an audience of millions of people worldwide and jewels to celebrities from Myleene Klass, Leona Lewis, Binky Felstead, Holly Willoughby and many more, Vashi Dominguez gives his top five tips on how to succeed as an online entrepreneur.
Vashi’s Top 5 Tips
Turn your passion into a much needed resource: I firmly believe your character dictates how far you will get in life. Drive and determination can turn a great idea into a multimillion pound empire. From a very young age, I had always had a fascination with diamonds, as I became intrigued at how something so small could be so valuable. I studied gemmology, worked within the industry and eventually sold my electrical business to focus all my efforts into diamonds. My aim was to offer the web the best value on diamonds and fine jewellery. I started doing this by selling jewellery through eBay, which then launched into my independent site, Vashi.com.
Turn obstacles into prospects: Increasing competition together with a downturn in the economy can make it very difficult to turnover a profit, especially if you’re a small business. I was turned away from over 200 offices before anyone would meet with me. Having said that, for every problem there is a solution and that is why it’s extremely important that you conduct due diligence to turn most of the threats into opportunities.
Be proud of your achievements: It is important to step back and be proud of what you have achieved, whether it’s taking an idea and turning it into a fully-fledged business, building trust amongst your customers and employees and/or winning awards.
Look after your clients: It depends on the industry but the one thing that I’ve learnt, is that customer service is paramount for any new business. If you provide your customers with the best service then they will always come back and that is essential to grow any business long term.
Be aware of your competitors: There are millions of online businesses all targeting the same group of people. At Vashi.com, we offer the strongest guarantee in the business backing every product with the combination of a no questions asked money back guarantee including great value and a lifetime warranty on all diamonds and fine jewellery. This allowed our business to create a gap within the marketplace, separating us from internal and external competitors. With continuous competition battling to be the best on the high street in addition to online companies, it’s vital that your business stands out and offers something quite unique. I quickly recognised that the best way to connect with my customers is to offer a product with great value at the comfort of their own home by directly dealing with the mines to avoid high street inflation.
Having the right business ethic and product: Business can be tough and it’s essential that you do your research and evaluate the pros and cons. I also feel it’s important to establish the purpose of wanting to start your own business e.g. does your targeted customer really need your product or service? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve it? Will your idea turnover a profit in the next five years? Is there a gap in the market for it? Familiarising yourself within the area of business you wish to get into and all its competitors, are the key tools needed to succeed in the world of online business. It’s also important to install trust within your brand at a very early stage. I believed it was essential to deal directly with the Diamond Trading Company, the world’s largest diamond miners, to ensure that our diamonds are ethically sourced. We only deal with associated companies whom, like us, proudly adhere to and enforce the standards established by the Kimberley Process (an international system that polices the trade of diamonds) to ensure that they’re from sources free of conflict; therefore building trust with our customers and making us a recommended and reputable company.
Ultimately, running a successful online business with an ego doesn’t mix. If you’re in business for the wrong reasons it will not work.