G.I. Jobs Latest Issues

JAN 2019

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32 G.I. JOBS | JANUARY 2019 | GIJOBS.COM – November 2014 – Facebook had just begun to allow advertising on its site. Moyer took advantage, paying the social-media giant 20 bucks a day to run a rudimentary ad he made himself. He was soon filling 100 orders a day – and falling behind in school. After some discussion, Moyer and his wife decided together that he would drop out to focus on the company, reasoning that he could always return if things didn't work out. HIGH-GROWTH COMPANY Things did work out. Badass Beard Care saw skyrocketing sales, pulling in $30k in December alone. Moyer says he was working 18-hour days, with his mom, brother-in- law, and Ashely pitching in to help pack orders. At the same time, Ashely, who was by then pregnant with the couple's first child, continued working as a nurse and running the household. "After Christmas, we realized things weren't going to slow back down, so I hired my first employee," Moyer explained. "I didn't want to give up any control, but it was really the best thing I could've done, because I could finally market the business and answer questions that came in from the site and through social media." Once he hired his first employee, the Moyers together agreed it was time to move Badass Beard Care out of their house. Moyer used their savings, as well as the money that was coming in, to rent the new building and buy the necessary supplies and equipment. Through October 2015, the company grew by another $10k in sales every month, and every month Moyer hired yet another employee. Over the 2015 holiday season, the company made nearly half a million dollars. Moyer was working like crazy, doing everything he could, not just to keep up, but to keep his customers coming back for more. "I wanted to make this the best experience my customers have ever had from an online company. So I kept on hiring people to ensure we could get all our orders out the same day they came in, and I committed to responding to people online within an hour. As a result, we created a really strong brand image." CULTURAL PHENOMENON In a bid to boost customer retention even more, Moyer established a subscription service in the fall of 2015, offering each of his bearded buyers the chance to choose a package tailored to their facial hair length and type. The company also offered complimentary laser- engraved membership cards – each one featuring a built-in, church key-style bottle opener – to those who joined. He promised his patrons they could have any membership number they chose – and 600 people signed up immediately. Moyer soon realized there was a huge demand for certain numbers: by far, the figure that was most requested was 420. Seeing an opportunity, Moyer put several thousand numbered membership cards up for auction on eBay, intending to donate any money that was generated to Hire Heroes and another veteran- centered charity called Mission 22. To his surprise, Moyer raised $5,000 from people willing to pay for the custom-numbered club cards. "Membership just grew from there and website sales kept increasing. But then in January 2016, numbers started to decline for the first time, falling back to $175k. By August, we were down to $100k, and we couldn't figure out why." SALES CYCLE By the end of the year, though, sales had spiked again, topping out at $375k in December. Since that time, the company has accepted the somewhat seasonal nature of its business. Sales drop off a bit during the hot summer months, when many men tend to trim or remove their facial fashion statements, but numbers again soar when colder weather returns. Moyer hires additional staff during the holiday season to help handle the volume. He also boosts his ad budget during the busy season, then reduces it again during the summer to boost profitability. THE BEARD BUSINESS IS BOOMING Each year, subscriptions and website sales have increased, and the company is on track to do $3.5 million in sales in 2018. Ever since Moyer moved the company out of his home, Badass Beard Care has been housed in the same facility, where every product is still mixed by hand in a clean room. However, Moyer was excited to share that the company recently broke ground on a brand-new warehouse in Granite Bay, Calif. As for Moyer, he's dropped his work schedule to a (somewhat) more manageable 12 hours a day, seven days a week – a pace he and Ashely have been able to keep up with despite two children. And, all the while, of course, Moyer's worn his own badass beard proudly. MOYER'S FOR ASPIRING VETREPRENEURS ADVICE Make sure you are willing to commit to your venture 100 percent. You need to go all in. However, it's always great to have a back-up plan just in case. Early on, I still job-hunted and put out résumés, just in case Badass Beard Care didn't work out. Live below your means and reinvest your earnings back into the company. When we started, my wife and I had about $6k to float us if needed, but we've never taken out a loan. Hire other vets when you can. We serve as a landing pad for vets getting out of the military. They work for us, then go on to trade schools or other opportunities. Stay neutral, don't get political, and keep it professional, especially on social media. Always be aware that you are representing your brand. Be sure to invest in employees. Hiring my first employee was a very hard step for me, but it really allowed me to grow the business. Think like your customers: We were offering a FREETRIAL coupon code, but people kept spelling it wrong, then protesting that the coupon didn't work. So instead of pointing out their mistake, I started creating coupon codes that were purposely spelled incorrectly to avoid any further complaints.

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