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84: Kybotech

The secret of online retailer Kybotech’s success is twofold, according to founder Charles Walton. The first is spotting a niche. Walton admits that the online marketplace for home, garden and leisure products – which form the bulk of his site’s stock – “wasn’t too competitive” when he founded the business with just £5,000 eight years ago. That gave Kybotech the chance to establish its presence early and start to compete with the big boys of retail.

The second secret is to keep everything in-house. In a world where a growing number of companies are outsourcing as much as they can get away with, Walton has his own logistics, web design, IT and delivery drivers. He even plans to manufacture 40 per cent of his stock himself by the end of 2008. “If you’re organised, having your processes in-house helps you retain control and keep costs down. If you make savings here, you can pass them on to your customer – which makes your offering more attractive to them.”

Walton says there’s still room for online retail to mature, and he plans to ride the wave in the market until it does. Last reported turnover was £24.5m, and Walton says sales this year will hit £


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