Read the interview with the CEO – Krzysztof Wyląg Office Support. The article appeared in the weekly GWAREK, edition 42, p.12, of date 18.10.2016.
People are the key to success
He started as a trader in the steel industry. He worked intensively, sometimes even 20 hours a day. Efforts compensated for high wages. When he decided to throw and open his own company supplying inks and toners, but everyone was knocked over. Today after seven years, Krzysztof Wyląg, the owner of Office Support, employs 19 people and is building his own office, where he plans to run a second certified laboratory in Poland.
You have been advised against the ink and toner industry.
When I opened the business, many people repeatedly said that the market is saturated with this type of business. It was said that the competition is so numerous that practically no chance to break through it. Today, companies that initially competed with us are often our customers.
From where the idea of trading printer substitutes?
Miałem kilka planów na biznes. Na tę branżę zwróciłem uwagę, gdy handlowałem stalą. Zadzwonił do nas człowiek, proponując tusze. Nie byliśmy dobrym klientem. Rocznie zużywaliśmy go bardzo niewiele. Sprzedawcy mimo to bardzo zależało. Traktował nas jak dużego kontrahenta. To mi dało do myślenia. Ostatecznie jednak o tym, że produkuję i sprzedaję tusze, zadecydowała
analiza ekonomiczna. Po pierwsze, jest to produkt, który się zużywa. Po drugie, nie psuje się jak „spożywka”. Po trzecie, rynek jest duży. W końcu tusze i tonery można oferować zarówno osobom
prywatnym, jak i firmom.
I had some business plans. I noticed this industry when I was trading steel. A man called us, offering a inks. We were not a good customer. We used very little each year. The sellers nevertheless cared. He treated us like a big contractor. That made me think. Ultimately, after economic analysis I decide to produce and sell substitutes for printers. First of all, it is a product that is consuming. Secondly, it does not spoil like „food”. Third, the market is big. Lastly,inks and toners can be offered to both retail client as well as business client.
How did your beginnings „on your own” look like? Usually it is not easy
W branży stalowej zarabiałem bardzo dobrze. Dlatego nikt z otoczenia nie popierał mojej decyzji o rezygnacji z posady. Wiedziałem jednak, że jak nie zaryzykuję teraz, to potem będzie mi tylko
trudniej. Przez rok pracowałem w piwnicy przy malutkim okienku. Przez pierwszych kilka miesięcy nie pobrałem żadnego wynagrodzenia. Jednak firma powoli się rozkręcała. Po roku pracowały już ze mną dwie osoby, dziś jest ich 19, a wkrótce dojdą kolejne dwie.
In the steel industry I earned very well. That’s why no one around me supported my decision to resign. But I knew that if I did not take a chance, then it would only be harder. For a year I worked in the basement with a tiny window. For the first few months I did not get any salary. But the company was slowly spinning. After a year I worked with two people, today they are 19, and soon another two will come.
Now you are working in offices at Towarowa street in Tarnowskie Góry. Soon you will move to a new headquarters in Tąpkowice.
Its building is about to end in December. In Tąpkowice we will have 4 times more space than today. We were looking for a plot of land for investment in Tarnowskie Góry, but the choice in the city was small, and the land is very expensive. The plot in Tąpkowice also has the advantage that it is close to the airport, highway and national road, which for trade is of great importance. It is also bigger than the ones I saw in Tarnowskie Góry, which gives prospects for expansion.
Are you thinking of extending it?
Not without reason. Our sales grow twice a year. Perhaps we will soon be able to create our own lab, which will be able to issue certificates to other companies from ours
Industry. If we succeed, we will be the second such laboratory in Poland.
What is the recipe for a fast growing company?
We focus on people, not so much with experience, but with charisma, ideas and the desire to grow. In most companies in Poland the boss decides about everything. There is a lack of discussion with the crew, staffing initiatives are hampered, so the team has a sense of professional stagnation. Besides, we employ people who are sky-changing. And that still forces the market. Modern business must anticipate trends, be one step ahead of them. The second element is the book’s premise that with the growth of the company, employees’ earnings must also increase. Wages should increase in succession so that there is no significant disproportion between the level of board life and the rest of the crew. The third issue is specialized customer service. We strive to provide our employees with the ability to solve every business problem of our business partners. The customer must know that he can count on us in the situation. In addition, we offer a professional photography product to contractors. Elegant presentation of goods facilitates its sale, and when our customer will have problems with the sale of goods, we also. Fourth, we try to integrate our staff by organizing training sessions or integrations trips. Several times a month we also play volleyball matches. Good relationships between employees affect the quality of their work.
Office Support was founded in 2009 by Krzysztof Wyląg. The company sells wholesale and retail substitutes for branded inks and toners. They created brand – My Office under which they produces. Their products are exported to 16 countries in Europe. To France, Spain or Croatia.