Mini Materials – my name is Mat Hofma and I started it along with my partner Erik Polumbo.
a. Monthly Revenue
Around 17k/month but we double that during Q4.
b. Date Started / Years in Business
Started on March 30th of 2015. Here’s a link to the Reddit post I made the day I opened
the store: https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/30sruj/launching_my_first_company_today_miniature_cinder/
c. Location / Homebase
It started in Orlando, FL, but now the warehouse is in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
d. # of Employees
During the launch phase, did you maintain a full-time job? (or even currently)
My partner and I both work full-time jobs. At the same time, Erik is fully involved with the warehouse, hiring, finances, and customer service while I focus on marketing and design and we both take care of product development.
How did you acquire customers/subscribers/users?
Content marketing through social media, advertising on men’s gear types of sites, Google advertising, and being available on different channels like Amazon and Etsy with respective paid advertising.
What software/platforms/tools have you utilized since launch?
Started on Shopify and still use it. We use shippo for shipping and dabble in different Shopify apps to figure out what works. As a designer, I create in Illustrator and Photoshop and make videos in Adobe Premier. The best app we have on Shopify so far has been the wheel spin app which collects emails in exchange for a wheel spin that will give you a discount code. You can check it out by visiting our website: www.minimaterials.com
Which have worked / not worked?
We try out different Shopify apps all of the time and the ones that don’t work we quickly drop. There’s nothing that really stands out as failing hard. We tend to go after low hanging fruit so most of the things we try to end up working or they’re quickly disposed of.
How did you fund your startup and how do you make money/revenue?
The first year we only made a little bit as we didn’t have the miniature cinder block processes down. We’re fully funded from our profits and have not taken out any loans. We try to keep things steady by only paying for things we can afford and taking a reasonable salary for ourselves.
To date, what have been your biggest challenges as a company? What have you done to overcome them?
Creating the perfect production of miniature cinder blocks is the nail on our side. We’re still working on it but hope to have a turnkey operation by the end of the year.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? What would you do differently?
Without a doubt. I would stick to marketing our pallet of miniature cinder blocks harder and starting paid advertisements on men’s gear sites and social media sooner. Almost everything we’ve paid for as far as advertising has paid off.
Lastly, if anyone reading this wants to know more about your company… where do we send them?
www.minimaterials.com or if you have any questions, send them to [email protected]