We are actively developing, expanding the pool of our clients abroad. In this article we will tell you about our partner from Slovakia. We invite you to study this case - interview, there are many useful materials for beginners!

Tell me about yourself and your business. What country are you from?

We're from Slovakia. We have a sales business. We used to sell motorcycles one of the famous company. And then, unexpectedly for myself, I decided to start selling orthopedic mats TM «ORTHO PUZZLE». Although earlier I did not deal with children's goods before and it wasn't even planned

When and where have you got the idea to sell orthopedic mats of TM "ORTO PUZZLE"?

A friend of mine was looking for a product to treatment a talipes valgus in her baby. I decided to help her with that. First I looked at the European market, but I couldn't find anything to match it. And then I tried to find it in Russian. And then I saw your company on the Internet. And I realized at that moment that the product was really cool.

What steps have been taken to starting a business in your country?

Of course, first of all this is a demand study. I relied on my personal opinion and on the opinion of my friends who are also parents, asked the opinion of competent people- doctors.

The doctors praised highly orthopaedic mats of your brand actually without seeing them live. I was invited to the congress to tell the doctors of the various clinics what it is about the product. Orthopedic mats produced bright unforgettable impression on all participants, even we can say «furor». I think if I had them in my warehouse, I would have provided them with a few clinics. That's when I realized that the product was really valuable, and I made the right choice.

And then I decided to analyze proposals in Europe. Watched in England and Germany and in other countries. There were products for orthopedics, but something like of stalk. Exactly a similar product I didn't find. This was one further argument in favour of opening a business together with TM «ORTHO PUZZLE».

Since I made the final decision to work with you as a manufacturer, I started product registration in Slovakia and Europe as a medical product. I've never done anything like this, I had no idea how to do it. But I did it because I believed in the product, and I knew that a medical certificate was an incentive for purchase by the end consumer. I know this process is not fast. Many people have been waiting almost a year for all the documents, but it's taken me less time than most people have been wondering. Most likely my enthusiasm helped me.

Did it matter to you availability of a medical device and availability of conducted clinical tests on the mats when you decided to cooperate?

Yeah. It mattered. This is the first thing that got me the most hooked because it's not only important to me as your partner, as mom, but also to the end user. I would choose a product that is registered as a medical device, even if it is more expensive. Although not everyone understands the importance of this moment yet, when I speak at events about the product and why orthopaedic mats with registration as a medical device deserve their attention, they understand the value of the product and give it preference. And it was also important that the product has no toxins in its composition, and it's ecologically friendly. European countries, it's very important. Now I am actively working to convey the value of the product with medical certificate in Slovakia.

Who do you work with? How do you sell the goods?

There are two main marketing channels now: the sale of orthopaedic mats wholesale and retail in private kindergartens, as well as through physiotherapists.
Now there are products that are lower in price. We're always proving that your product is better. We put the aim to present your product as a luxury, so we do not lower the price and keep the blow. Despite the difficult situation with coronavirus, we are not standing still, moving, progressing. We often get calls and buy the product even those who do not live well, although the price on mats is not low. All «magic» lies in that we correctly positioning the product.

How do you promote the product ?

Promotion takes place through television, Facebook Instagram, orthopedists, articles in children's magazines, retail websites (Slovak and Czech).
And also, on television, we try to involve professors - orthopedists who act as speakers on the TV-program for parents.

The biggest impact on the promotion of the product has been on television. It often happens like this that applications we receive already during the broadcast.
If you talk about retail websites, the IT people are doing their SEO promotion. They are the business card sites of informational character.

How did you know that the product is in demand in your country?

There was a demand before the product came to our stock. Because the orthopedic mats of ORTHO PUZZLE are a medical device that is valued by doctors and ordinary people who understand the value of it. I already had orders, even though the product wasn't available yet.

How do you build your business? Do you have a team? Who helps you promote and sell products?

I have a team of like-minded people who think the same way I do. For example, I have a girl on my team who handles my Instagram account, and another one writes texts because they like doing it. It's important to me that people do what they love, and then the product is easier to promote. With me, our team compose five people.

What was the difficult for you when starting a business?

I never wonder: «Is it difficult or not?» I clearly understand that I have some purpose, motivation, and I don't care if it's difficult or not. I often think: «How much it will take me» and «How much it is useful for me». Sometimes even what at first glance seems complicated is actually solved very easily. What is difficult and impossible is just in our head.
What advice can you give newcomers?

My advice to the newcomers is "Love Your Business". It's hard to do the unloved work and work the unloved job. And what you like it's nice to do

What are your plans for the future development of the ORTHO PUZZLE brand in your country? Do you plan to cover new markets?

I plan to reach the markets of other countries - Austria, Hungary, and their neighbors, but initially I believe that it is necessary to settle in my country and in the Czech Republic, because in the current coronavirus situation, many baby toy retail stores are closed and new products are not in demand among companies. For example, before the coronavirus, I had an arrangement with the management of a large German chain of stores. I even sent them samples to decide to cooperate, but they apologized and said that until they put orthopaedic mats on the sales list, because the product is new on the market and its profitability needs to be analyzed.

How can we help with your development plans? What kind of support do you expect from us?

I really want to see new products, photos, promotional materials.
Speaking of what I would like to see as a novelty, it is orthopedic mats for adults, for example «Sea stones» more pastel tones. I speak about this because the most popular were and remain modules in the mix «Health Path». I also think it would be nice to make yellow or orange mats with a picture of the sun, which is often depicted in Russian books. They could be a great addition to any mix

What do you dream about ?

I wish there were no situations which hinder business development, restrict promotion.
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