Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Stefan Chiriacescu and I’m a beloved husband, a father of 2 wonderful kids, an eCommerce business owner and an online marketing agency owner.
At eCommerce Today, we pride ourselves on being a premier agency that provides top-notch website management and optimization, expert consulting, cutting-edge email marketing, and dynamic digital advertising services to more than 70 companies worldwide. As a trusted partner to our clients, we are proud to serve as their dedicated eCommerce team, delivering unrivaled solutions that drive revenue and fuel growth.
What's your personal history and the inspiration for your business?
My journey towards entrepreneurship was fueled by a deep-seated desire to take control of my destiny and create a workplace that was unlike any other. From a young age, I was driven by an entrepreneurial spirit that led me to find ways to make money and create value for others.
Even as a child, I was already thinking outside the box, devising ways to turn scrap metal into a profitable business venture. That’s how I bought my first ever movie tickets and a pizza when I was in the fourth grade.
As I grew older and gained more professional experience, I became disillusioned with the traditional corporate world. I had worked in numerous jobs and encountered my fair share of managers who didn’t prioritize their employees’ wellbeing or care about their growth and development. When I learned that I was going to become a father at a young age, I knew that I needed to take control of my future and build a business that aligned with my values.
Today, as the owner of my own business, I understand the importance of hard work, dedication, and truly caring about my employees. I take a hands-on approach to management, working closely with each of my team members to create personalized growth plans and foster a culture of collaboration and support. My background and life experiences have shaped me into the leader I am today, and I am proud to continue learning and growing as an entrepreneur.
Describe the process of launching your remote business
Embarking on the journey of launching my remote business was a thrilling and dynamic process that began back in 2010, with the start of my first eCommerce venture. After selling that successful enterprise in 2014, I spent the next few years honing my expertise and skill set by collaborating with numerous companies across various industries.
Driven by passion and a steadfast commitment to meeting organic demand, my dedicated partner (who also happens to be my beloved wife) and I took the bold decision to create an agency that would cater to our clients’ diverse needs. The beauty of our endeavor lies in the fact that we operate entirely as a remote entity, and yet, our reputation for providing exceptional services has propelled our growth to unprecedented levels. Whether through referrals or clients reaching out to us via our website, we have remained steadfast in our resolve to serve with excellence, and our results speak for themselves. The journey of launching a remote business has been nothing short of exhilarating, and we are excited to see where it takes us next!
What has worked to attract customers and earn their loyalty?
At the heart of our business lies a retainer-based managed services system that transforms our clients’ eCommerce departments. Acting as an extension of their existing teams, we fill in the gaps and help them achieve their goals. Our secret to success is rooted in our approach. We don’t dive headfirst into recurring collaborations with new clients. Instead, we take the time to understand them and their business through one or two one-time jobs. This allows us to build a strong foundation and foster a relationship based on trust and collaboration.
Once we establish a great working chemistry, we develop a customized game plan that outlines how we can help them grow their business over the next 3-6-12 months. Most clients are blown away by the value we bring to the table and are eager to give us a try. It’s no surprise that we have clients who have been with us since 2016, and we continue to successfully manage their accounts to this day.
Knowing what you know now, are there things you would have done differently when first starting out?
Reflecting on my journey thus far, I believe there are some strategies I could have implemented earlier on that would have accelerated my growth. For instance, if I had focused on establishing robust procedures and assembling a team sooner, I would have likely achieved success at a much faster pace. However, I also recognize that my hands-on approach has provided me with invaluable knowledge and experience that would have been hard to gain otherwise. Despite the challenges of working tirelessly for long hours, I am confident that everything has been unfolding in the right order. Looking back, building my agency earlier would have contributed significantly to the strength of my brand.
What has been the best part of starting a remote business?
Starting a remote business has been nothing short of amazing for us. While many people were struggling to adjust to remote work during the COVID lockdown, my wife and I were able to seamlessly continue with our work as we had already been working remotely for six years. We simply equipped ourselves with top-notch mesh routers that could withstand the demands of homeschooling and work, purchased laptops, and taught our kids how to use them.
The best part about starting a remote business before it became mainstream is that we had a head start on our competitors. We had the experience and knowledge needed to grow quickly and efficiently, without relying on outdated management techniques that are more suited to traditional offices. This has allowed us to build a cohesive and effective team that is able to work together seamlessly, no matter where we are located in the world.
What’s more, remote work has given us the freedom to work from anywhere and create unforgettable memories with our children. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy month-long working holidays with our kids in incredible destinations like Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Greece, and Costa Rica. And the best part is, we plan to make this an annual tradition!
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Today we’re working primarily with Shopify and Klaviyo. We started with WordPress/Woocommerce, then we were 100% Magento, and slowly moved away from CMSes that required our clients to spend small fortunes on development.
What have been the most influential books, networking groups, podcasts, or other resources you've found?
When it comes to resources that have had a profound impact on my personal and professional growth, two names immediately come to mind – Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar.
Their books have been an absolute game-changer for me, imparting invaluable sales skills that I’ve been able to put into practice with great success. But it’s not just about the old guard – I’m also constantly on the lookout for fresh perspectives and insights. That’s why Jim Collins’ “Built to Last” has been such a revelation to me, providing a roadmap for building sustainable, enduring organizations.
With these resources at my fingertips, I feel empowered to take on any challenge and keep pushing myself to new heights.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to build a remote business of their dreams?
Building a remote business of your dreams may seem like a far-fetched idea, but with dedication and hard work, it is definitely achievable.
While it’s important to have a strong work ethic and strive to become an expert in your field, you also need a partner you can trust to help you along the way. Honesty, fairness, and respect towards your clients and employees are essential ingredients for a thriving remote business.
And let’s not forget about the power of gratitude and helpfulness towards those who support you on this journey. So roll up your sleeves, stay focused, and with these principles in mind, success is within reach!
Are there any positions or internships you're hiring for now?
At our company, we firmly believe in promoting from within, which is why we are constantly on the lookout for talented juniors to join our team in various departments. This not only allows us to provide growth opportunities for our current employees, but it also ensures that we maintain a strong and dedicated workforce.