ESV Client Spotlight: 15 Minutes with Yosuke Hall, Managing Director of Zanui

Yosuke Hall Zanui

ESV Client Spotlight: 15 Minutes with Yosuke Hall, Managing Director of Zanui


Tell us about your business

Zanui is an online retailer of furniture and homewares products. With 35,000 products across every category in furniture, homewares and décor, our goal is to be the number one online destination in the home and living space.  


How did the idea for your business come about?

The founders of the business grew tired of traipsing around mammoth homewares stores, and so, the idea of an alternative which meant it was possible to achieve the same outcome from the comfort of your own couch was born.  The business has only been running for four years but has grown quickly - our turnover has been doubling each year since our inception. 


What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in business?

You need to be passionate about the product that you’re selling. In a start-up you face a lot of hurdles and it’s very difficult to keep pushing through those hurdles if you don’t love what you are doing.  That leads to persistence. Sometimes when things get tough you just need to keep on pushing through.  Lastly, keeping positive with a smile in check. Positive people are a pleasure to work with and will go much further than those who aren’t.


What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Our business has seen large fluxes in sales that come with rapid growth and retail seasonality. Having to keep up with a Christmas rush that doubles the business we are doing from October to November, plus the organic growth of sales hasn’t been easy.  It’s a good problem to have but it’s tough to quickly scale up and down nationwide distribution nonetheless. Our saving grace has been bedding down some strong processes to rely on so that nothing falls through the cracks. 


How has working with external business advisors helped you?

We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Harvey’s which was acquired by ESV this year. Our partner David has teamed up with Colin and the pair ensured a seamless transition and are continuing to look after our business.  With such a rapidly growing business, processing around 300-500 invoices a day, our accounts could have easily fallen to the bottom of a very long priority list and ended up a mess. Thanks to the team’s professionalism and strong counsel that hasn’t happened.


Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I really admire the work of Elon Musk who helped found businesses like Tesla, Paypal and SpaceX. Not only does he have an unbelievable commercial mind, but also an inherent desire to create products that change the world for the better.


In one word, characterise your life as a business owner.

Is there a word between challenging and exciting?