January 17, 2018
“The best entrepreneurial ideas are when someone solves their own problem and then realizes there are other people out there that have the same problem.”
Think about a product you use weekly, then think about every way you could make it better. Then figure out how you could turn that into a product even without a the budget. That’s exactly what David McQuillen did when he launched The Sufferfest, a digital download series of cycling trainer videos that’s grown into a streaming app with exclusive rights to UCI race footage and global audience. While he may have lucked into a better distribution method, he made something infinitely better than the alternatives of the time, and has continued to improve it to stay at the top of his game and remain relevant amongst a slew of new virtual and digital competition. Here’s his story, full of lessons for any entrepreneur!
Check out the full show notes at The Build Cycle, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for bonus content between episodes!
January 5, 2018
Wondering how to start an events business? It doesn't matter if you're running a tradeshow, a conference, a marathon, or a kids obstacle course race series, the fundamentals are the same. That last one is what Billy and Helen Mattison have done, building Kids Adventure Games into a national race series that's ripe for growth. In this episode, they share where the idea came from, the participation numbers they need to fill an event, where their revenue comes from, and how they've created an experience that surprises and delights kids and parents alike. That helps them fill future events with repeat customers and grow the event through the wonderful free marketing known as "word of mouth". It takes more than a great idea to run a successful event, though. We talk about venue selection, timing, staffing and more, giving you a solid foundation upon which to build your own killer event or series.
For full show notes and images, click here.
Be sure to follow The Build Cycle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
January 2, 2018
As a founder, many of us start our companies solo, then bring on people to help. And that's where it can get tricky…we're idea people, right? Not managers. No one taught us how to do this. How do you manage people? Could you do it better? Is there a difference between managing 10 employees or 600? Gary Smith is CEO of Polartec, one of the world's largest technical fabric manufacturers. They supply to The North Face, Timberland, Eddie Bauer & virtually every other outdoor clothing brand. He's also owner of Independent Fabrication, a boutique custom bicycle brand. Between the two, he's managing completely different workforce types and sizes. In this episode, he tells us how he does it and provides lessons on leadership we can all put into practice immediately!
Check the show notes for images and analysis, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for bonus content between episodes!
November 22, 2017
"It doesn't start with the content. It starts with the business goals."
If you're building a brand, you've almost certainly heard you that need a content marketing strategy, too. Which usually means a company blog, which means you need content to put on that blog. The more important question you should be asking yourself is "WHY do I need a content marketing strategy?"
In this week's episode, Blogs For Brands founder Yoon Kim helps us answer that, and provides strategies for developing the right kind of content marketing to increas sales and awareness, and other things to consider when planning your branded storytelling. We dive pretty deep, and I throw a lot of questions at him at once, but by the end of this podcast, you'll know how to develop your own content marketing strategy based on your goals and with performance metrics you can measure!
Find more actionable advice on content marketing on this episode's blog post, plus links to the tools Yoon mentions, photos and more!
Like it? Got more questions? Hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let me know what you want to hear more of!
November 16, 2017
Do you ever wonder if other entrepreneurs are struggling with the same issues you are?
Daniel Galhardo launched Tenkara USA in 2009 and has grown it into the premiere brand of Japanese-style fly fishing rods through a combination of beautiful branding and aspirational marketing. But like every founder, he struggles with the same issues all entrepreneurs do. In this episode, we discuss how he's still figuring out his product cycle and management, hiring, and the ever vexing issue of how to delegate when you already know how to do it so well yourself.
We discuss how to keep things fresh when your products don't change every year, some of the ways we vet potential employees, as well as his startup story of finding manufacturers and launching the brand.
Like so many of us, he's figuring it out as he goes. One of my favorite quotes from this episode is: "I still treat my business as a learning opportunity. It's fun figuring things out, even if it's the hard way sometimes."
So, cast your attention this way and get ready to land some inspiration for running your own business better!
Quick note: If you liked this episode, click that SUBSCRIBE button your favorite podcast player, and leave me a review and rating. I want to know what YOU think, and what you'd like to hear more of!
For complete show notes, photos, links and more, check out this episode's blog post on The Build Cycle!
November 8, 2017
If you're going to start a business, it's hard to beat something that both fuels and funds your passions. Mike Cachat started JensonUSA in the most haphazard of ways, as a teenager, and against his father's wishes. Now it's one of the largest online bike shops in the world. His early startup methods are a little different than how we'd do it today, but his ingenuity is inspiring (and entertaining). This is a little bit longer episode, but I think you’ll enjoy it. If you want to jump past the startup story and straight to some modern day advice, skip to about 32 minutes in. You’ll lose a little context, but that’s we we start talking numbers, marketing and management. We discuss how he runs a massive business with tons of inventory and a huge payroll, plus how they market through social media, Google and affiliate programs. Consider this your crash course in running an online store with equal parts good advice and plenty of things you should definitely NOT do!
For show notes, analysis, images, links and more, check out this episode's blog post. And be sure to follow The Build Cycle on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for bonus content and other cool things.
Oh, and if you're considering making your own podcast, download my free 10-step guide here!
October 26, 2017
And now for comething completely different!
A few episodes ago I promised something a little bit new and different, and here it is. Going forward, I’ll be mixing in subject matter experts to give us actionable tips and tactics we can use right away to improve our businesses!
This week we start off with a bang, getting a masterclass in Search Engine Optimization from Ezoic’s
marketer in chief Tyler Bishop. If you think SEO is as simple as using the right keywords, paying for links or its a total mystery, you’re in for a treat. I learned a TON, and I know you will too! Get ready to take notes, and be sure to stick around to the end for bonus info!
October 17, 2017
"Safe is not groundbreaking. Safe will not bring change to the world."
Phil Keoghan embodies the spirit of The Build Cycle in every way. He seeks out adventure, and he's an entrepreneur in the broadest sense of the word. Phil's launched television shows, written books, filmed a documentary, developed nutritional products, and so much more.
Originally I wanted Phil to talk about how he broke into television and hear any tips he has for anyone looking to create great content or get in front of the camera. And we talk about all that, but the biggest lessons in this episode center on his attitude of seeing No Opportunity Wasted. That's the mindset, but it's the execution that matters, and having a constant interest in learning and preparing puts him in the position to take advantage of any opportunity that comes his way.
Check out the full show notes on The Build Cycle blog!
October 11, 2017
Quick background: In 2006, Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. Seventy two hours later, he was stripped of that title, then spent years fighting doping allegations in the courts at a huge emotional and financial cost. Fast forward 10 years and he's shrugged it all off to launch Floyd's of Leadville, a hemp-product brand of capsules, tinctures and other products that eschew THC for the legal ingredient CBD oil. It's a far more expensive ingredient, but it's legal in all 50 states, and believers say it provides all of the pain relief benefits of smoking marijuana (or more, even) without getting you high. As the medical establishment creeps all-too-slowly toward this natural alternative to addictive opioids, entrepreneurs like Floyd are pushing forward with their own products.
Besides being a cyclist, my interest here is how he bounced back from a very dark time, what could easily equate to failing at a first business attempt, and moving forward in a progressive if not questionable industry that's heavy on regulation. What made Floyd want to launch a "marijuana" business? It's all here in this amazing interview with former pro cyclist Floyd Landis!
Be sure to check out the show notes for further analysis over at TheBuildCycle.com!
October 6, 2017
Ultimately, this story is about making a better mousetrap. After seeing people struggle with lacing systems, BOA founder Gary Hammerslag used his experience in medical device wires to fashion a mechanical wire-and-real closure system that allowed for uniform, consistent fit. Two things are important here: First, consumers weren't thinking they needed something better. Second, Gary didn't try to devise a better way of lacing up winter boots, he came up with something entirely new, different and better. He saw a problem for which a solution wasn't even being considered, which means opportunity. The challenge, then, wasn't just to create a solution, but figure out how he could bring it to market. And therein lie some of the key lessons in this episode - Gary talks about working with OEM partners, preserving capital, and marketing to two different audiences.
For complete show notes and images, head over to the The Build Cycle Blog!