Now, he’s in control of the leading online sports nutrition company in Europe with 5,000 unique visitors to the site per day and a projected turnover of £5.4m this year.
“I’ve always been a big believer in the internet," Cookson says. "When people were saying online businesses are a fad and the trend would just die off, I knew there was a lot of potential there.”
According to Cookson, the biggest benefit of being an internet business is having national coverage without the cost of running a nationwide link of shops. “We’re in everyone’s home without having the brick and mortar on the high-street.”
Cookson says internet retail is a flourishing marketplace because it’s becoming more of a trend for people to buy online than on the high-street. But there is a downside to having an online-only offering. Cookson explains: “It’s a very competitive place because it’s very easy for someone to start up a rival business in their bedroom. It’s not like doing business on Oxford Street where you’ll never get a competitor without much collateral just setting up a store next to you.”
He says the only way to make sure an internet business keeps performing well is “to keep ahead of the game”.
Cookson taught himself how to run an online business. “I bought a book about starting up a website, burrowed my head in it and got on with it," he says.