Sikeres vállalkozás – játékbolt az étkezőben


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‘I worked in the evenings when the children had gone to bed’

Tracy Martin turned her love of traditional toys into a home-based enterprise

Tracy Martin started her traditional toy-delivery business The Bear and Miss Rabbit in 2012 after being made redundant while on maternity leave. “The business was inspired by my children. The name came from their nicknames: we call my son ‘the Bear’, then when my little girl came along she was ‘Miss Rabbit’,” says Martin.

Starting a toy business wasn’t something she had envisaged, but she began to do some research and saw potential in the wooden toys she loved buying her children as gifts – an antidote to the plastic wares that fill shop shelves.

“I began with the toys I’d bought in the past and what I liked. Then I started to attend trade fairs.” When she launched the business in July 2012, Martin’s children were both toddlers. “With two children under three, childcare was quite expensive.” Running her own business seemed a good solution, particularly with her background in IT and customer relationship management.

“When I first started out, I worked in the evenings when the children had gone to bed. That’s what’s great about online businesses – no one knows when I’m working, as long as I maintain service levels.” Now the children are at school, Martin often works in the daytime, but reverts back to her after-hours routine during their summer holidays and half-term breaks.

As well as adapting her working hours, Martin had to make room in her home to accommodate online deliveries. “The office is also the utility room – it’s cut off from the house, so the kids can’t start tapping away [on the computer], or start posting all sorts on Facebook.”

She shuts the door when she needs some quiet, which helps her maintain a work-life balance. Meanwhile, the toys from suppliers are stored in her garage before they are shipped. “In the busiest months, where we need to increase stock, we take over the dining room too,” she says.

However, stock is never kept in Martin’s home for long. In the past year, she’s started using the “just-in-time” supply-chain method, receiving goods only when they are needed. This involves using only selected suppliers and employing a courier service. “We reuse our suppliers’ packaging for deliveries, thereby reducing waste, keeping delivery costs down and saving on space,” she says. “And 90% of orders are there [with the customer] the next working day.” Her local customers can also collect their orders from her home.

“I love the flexibility of working from home,” Martin says. “But I miss working in an office environment; working by yourself can be lonely.” But social media offer Martin a virtual community. “I use Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for business every day.” The platforms help her gauge reaction to new products while driving people to the business’s website.

Social media have also helped her to meet other owners of small businesses: “There’s a group of us and we’ve named ourselves ‘the small business support group’. It’s really good because we bounce ideas off one another.”

Of course, not all Martin’s business meetings are virtual and she is happy to arrange face-to-face meetings at her home. She says that she wants to be transparent about how the business is run. “But I try to have them when the kids aren’t there,” she adds.

Find the definitions of the following expressions, please.

fair, launch a business, courier service, customer relationship manager, maintain service level, office environment, gauge, supply-chain method, envisage, to be made redundant, enterprise, on maternity leave

1.    on organization, a business

2.    a person whose job is to maintain communication with clients

3.    to imagine or expect something in the future

4.    to be fired

5.    a large public event where goods are displayed

6.    to keep up the quality of a business

7.    to stay at home with your baby

8.    a company that takes messages, letters or packages etc.

9.    a method to transport goods which was developed to be as efficient and economical as possible

10.  a place where people usually work with computers

11.  to start a business

12.  to calculate an amount of something


1.    enterprise

2.    customer relationship manager

3.    envisage

4.    to be made redundant

5.    fair

6.    maintain service level

7.    on maternity leave

8.    courier service

9.    supply-chain method

10.  office environment

11.  launch a business

12.  gauge

Nézd meg ezt is:  7 dolog, amit a sikeres emberek csinálnak reggeli előtt




to be made redundant

elbocsátva lenni

on maternity leave

szülési szabadságon



to envisage

kitűzni, szembenézni valamivel



wooden toy

fa játék

plastic wares

műanyag áruk



to launch a business

elindítani egy üzletet


totyogó (baba)

customer relationship manager

ügyfélkapcsolati menedzser

to maintain service level

fenntartani a szolgáltatás szintjét

to revert back

visszatérni valamihez

to accommodate

elszállásol, elhelyez

utility room

mosókonyha, tároló helyiség



to increase stock

növelni a készletet

supply-chain method

ellátásilánc módszer (modern irányzat a logisztikában)

courier service


to reduce waste

csökkenteni a szemetet

office environment

irodai környezet


itt: kommunikációs platform, csatorna

to gauge


to bounce ideas off one another

megvitatni, megbeszélni ötleteket egymással

face-to-face meeting

személyes találkozó

Kapcsolódó anyagok

Egyéb megjegyzés