Setting up an online store – Michael Crean, Mick’s Garage

Michael Crean is chief technology officer of Mick’s Garage, Ireland’s largest online car parts and accessories store. Here, he talks about the realities of setting up an online store, the long days and nights and the advice he got along the way.

Founded in 2004, Mick’s Garage sells online and delivers across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

“What makes a successful business is a love for the business. If you have a love for what you do and can make a business out of it, the business will grow rapidly. The best business advice I ever received was to go for it, or you’ll always regret it.”

What’s the best way to start selling online?

“Have a vision and go for it, be prepared for long days and nights of working at it.”

What are the major pitfalls of setting up an eCommerce site?  “The first is the notion that ‘this is easy’. It is not easy. It’s very difficult to set up an online store. Parcels don’t just jump into boxes; you can’t just set it up and go on holidays. It’s a very difficult thing to set up so be prepared for the hard work.”

What are the major opportunities in eCommerce? “They are in technology. For example, there are no eCommerce order management systems on the market for medium to large businesses. There’s a lot available for smaller businesses.”

Michael also admits he struggles to achieve a work/life balance. “For me, work is a hobby, which is a problem when I get home in the evening.”

However, he would encourage others to go for it and set up online. “There are lots of supports but sometimes it about finding your way through those supports. Go for it, is the best advice I can give.”