Exclusive interview with Konstantinos Patsalos, Operation Manager at Cosmea Gardens. A company offers a variety of fresh flowers in Cyprus and surrounding areas. Cosmeagardens.com is one of the best florist brands in Cyprus working since 1980.
Tell us about yourself?
I am the older son from a family of 5. I finished my bachelor degree in Greece and then I moved to the USA, for my Master Degree. By the time I had finished my studies, I came back to my home country (Cyprus) and started working in the family business. Since I was able to study abroad, I had the opportunity to improve my knowledge with new ideas and experienced new ways of business operations.
What makes your organization different than your competitors?
Our Family business has been in operation for the last 30 years. We are the younger generation, with fresh and innovative ideas on doing business that most of our competitors cannot implement, due to lack of knowledge. We have created an eshop, and we try continually to upscale it, improve it, and differentiate it from all the others. We listen to our client’s feedback and try our most to put their suggestions in action if it’s possible. We do our best to offer our customers the best service we can.
How much potential market share can you achieve in the next 3 years?
In my believe, by the next 3 years, since our eshop will be established and known, I would predict an increase of 10%-20% on the international orders received. We are already investing in SEO and Google Ads a lot, but it needs time to catch up.
Also, we need to invest in local advertising because we have noticed that we are not so much well known in our local market. If we managed to pay attention to local advertising and promote our Eshop in Cyprus on the proper advertising channels, it would be on our privilege to earn another 10%-20% on the local market.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
I had the chance to come across a book called ’’Rich Dad, Poor Dad’’ by Robert Kiyosaki. It promotes the importance of financial education and building wealth through investing in assets & real estate, starting and owning a business, as well as helping you to improve and increase your financial IQ.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
The best purchase was buying a house for me when I was forced to leave my rented apartment. Since the rents have increased so much, it would be a good idea from my opinion, not to throw money away, and better invest them on a property.
My worst purchase was buying a brand new car, and not looking for a used one. I really like my car and I would never sell it, but since it was so expensive, I could have bought a used one for less.
What takes up too much of your time?
The most challenging thing in the business is to find good employees that would believe in you and give their best for the prosperity of the business! Most of the times they are unmotivated, either it’s their nature or lack of knowledge or not satisfied with their work.
You are obliged to supervise them on all their work, which leaves you no time for yourself to look into new stuff that would help your business to grow further.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
Know your business, never rely on others. Even if it’s not your expertise, get to know all the processes, in order to be able to control and supervise your employees, but more important be aware of what is going on in each department. Be consistent on the way you do business and punctual. Furthermore, customer service is a very important aspect to your success.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
I admire people that started from nothing and after hard work and persistence; they were able to create their own business. I am curious to look into their achievements, get to know their path of success, learn from their mistakes and if something applies to my way of life, I would try to implement it to my business. Although, it might need to be customized according to our market’s standards.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
My most important challenge was being able to finish my Master Degree in the USA. I had a difficult time to adapt at the beginning since I came from a Greek College School, and we hardly had any English classes. The transformation from a low-level English degree, into an upscale business high-level degree, it was really difficult for me to follow up. For the first half year, I was struggling to pass the classes, but thankfully I managed to catch up and by the end of the year, I was able to graduate with a good grade, same like many of my classmates.
How people should connect with you?
I like to meet people that we could share the same interests, as concerns business and activities (gym). I like to get to know new business ideas and opportunities, share thoughts and adsorb business knowledge and experiences from others.