Starting a 7 Figure Baby Gear Business for Tough Dads – Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear

Interview Video

Podcast Audio

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Beav Brodie, Founder of Tactical Baby Gear shares how creativity and the need to solve a personal problem can help create a new niche of products. Beav also shares insights into how leveraging partnerships helped his business grow and also shares a peek inside his marketing strategy.

Resources Mentioned in the Episode

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear

Segment 1: The Story

In this segment, we will briefly discover the story behind the entrepreneur, businessperson, or brand.

  1. Could you please share the startup story of Tactical Baby Gear? How did you come up with the idea?
  2. What steps do you take to continue to grow personally as an entrepreneur, business owner, CEO (e.g. read books, coaches, mentors etc.)? Advice for other entrepreneurs?
  3. As a business person could you share what your day usually looks like? Which business activities take most of your time?

Segment 2: The Business

In this segment, we will dive into the business and explore topics related to business strategy and tactics.

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear

  1. Could you share some of the first steps and decision that you made when launching this business? Which and how many products did you initially launch with? How much time did it take from the idea to launch? What was the initial investment?
  2. What was the thought process behind the business name, branding, color scheme for the products, website etc.?
  3. Where are your products manufactured?
  4. Is your fulfillment in-house or do you use 3PL?
  5. Do you have any direct competitors now?
  6. How big is your team? What does your marketing team look like?

Segment 3: The Digital

In this segment, we will explore questions related to eCommerce and digital strategy and tactics.

  1. You initially launched by leveraging your existing Instagram audience on your Custom Cars business page? How would you have launched if you did not already have access to that audience? What would you have done differently?
  2. How would you rate the effectiveness of different online marketing channels Social Media, Paid Ads, Email Marketing etc. in terms of new customer acquisition versus building relationship with and selling to existing customers?
  3. Could you share a bit about the process of planning out your social media posts, content calendar etc.? How much time every day is spent creating posts and managing social media channels?
  4. Could you share one marketing campaign that worked really well for you?

Segment 4: Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

  1. One book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs/business professionals in 2020 and why (Response: I don’t read books)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Canon EOS R5)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend (Response: Trello)
  4. A startup or business (in eCommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things (Response: I don’t know)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or business-person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Evan Hafer of Black Riffle Coffee and Tyler Merritt of Nine Line Apparel)

Interview Transcript

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear

Sushant Misra: hey there entrepreneurs my name is sushant and welcome to trep talks this is a show where I interview successful entrepreneurs business executives and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses. And today I’m so excited to welcome mr. Beav brodie. Beav is the founder and ceo of tactical baby gear. Tactical baby gear creates and sells a line of diaper bags and accessories designed specifically for men that look like they were ripped right out of a swat team van and today I want to ask beav a few questions about his startup story and some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to grow tactical baby gear so thank you so much for joining us today at trep talks. 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yes of course. Thank you for having me I appreciate that intro I love I always loved how people describe our product or our gear so it gives me a little bit of insight for some of those future marketing things and tactics and I’m sure we’ll get into uh but thank you thank you for having me and I appreciate it I’m happy to be here.

Sushant Misra: my pleasure so the first segment is called the story where I want to discover the story behind the entrepreneur business person or the brand so I’m very curious to hear your startup story how did you come up with the idea for tactical baby gear and and what motivated you to start the business? 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah so you know I come from a background of of in the automotive industry and I’m I’m a I’m a builder creator make stuff kind of person I’m not really a business type which we’ll get into in just in a little bit I’m sure on the business end of it but um you know so anyways coming from an automotive background and I’m I’m sort of your man’s man right I’m covered in tattoos and I do all the typical like guy stuff shooting guns messing with cars going fast like building stuff welding you know that kind of stuff so anyways um you know we my wife and I had one child already we had a daughter and uh we found out she was pregnant pregnant again with a second daughter and of course you know I’m the kind of guy who’s like I gotta have a boy I gotta have a boy and we find out it’s a girl again and uh at that moment I was like son of a bitch sorry if I can’t curse son of a guy like I’ve got I’m gonna have to carry her diaper bag again like I already you know typically in parenting a lot of times the diaper bag will get picked out based on the gender of the child so if it’s a boy you’re gonna have something that’s a little cooler for guys to carry sometimes or or it’s black or gray or it’s got dinosaurs instead of flowers like it you know a lot of times it gets picked out based on the gender of the baby um so we had this purple diaper bag that my mother had given to my wife at the first baby shower and I just knew I was carrying this purple bag again and uh wow at the time my wife was working full time and she was working till 10 11 o’clock at night managing a business and I was and I was an entrepreneur then I had my own business car shop and I was constantly the one carrying the bag I was picking the kids up from daycare I was taking them to the park I was making them dinner I was putting him to bed I was I was I was dad mode all the time because my wife worked you know these late night hours um so I was always like super hands-on with the kids and uh and I loved it and I was like just completely owning the dad position but I was always caught off guard with like this purple bag and I’m just like and I wanted something that spoke more to me and my personality and the stuff that I was into and um I was looking online as googling for you know cool diaper bag for dads men’s diaper bags like and nothing was cool like there was just like you might find a black this is back in 2beav brodie of tactical baby gear: 3 too do you find like a black or a gray version of a pretty typical looking diaper bag but it still looked like a diaper bag and I didn’t really care for it so um I took some of my skill set within the automotive industry with being able to sew and do upholstery and stuff like that and I made my own and then um some of my buddies were like dude this is sweet like where make me one you know um and I was like dang I I guess I’m not the only one that feels like this so I kind of had that aha moment where I was like man I’m not the only one that feels this way and I know that there are a ton of people in the world just like me who are proud parents would take do anything for their kids uh but if they’re gonna be carrying a diaper bag around they want a cool bag that they that kind of empowers them a little bit more to be a little bit more excited about when what they have to do versus feeling like ah I have to carry it’s more like oh I get to carry it right so um I I thought to myself you know shoot I I bet I have a side hustle here and that’s how I started it was really just a side hustle and I was like you know I’ll call it tactical baby that was the the design aesthetic of it you know um back then you know with webbing on it and it’s military-looking and that’s the kind of stuff that I’m into guns and gear and things like that so I was like you know you think that that that was 

Sushant Misra: and that is your value proposition because bag is such a generic thing uh your your your value proposition is the branding and and the design of it that speaks specifically to manly men I guess 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah sure right so like you said it’s like the value proposition is one we’ve built a community of people of dads especially who are far more excited about it than they might have been otherwise and I’ve talked to a lot of guys and a lot of wives and uh you know it’s always like man my I my husband wasn’t excited at all about the baby until I got them your diaper bag and now that’s all he’s talking about you know so it literally something as simple as a diaper bag could change the way someone feels about something you know and it’s not just a hyper bag but there’s a lot of other products in the world around other niches that can change your perspective of the way you think about it you might not be pumped to to drive a pickup truck but if somebody gives you the cyber truck or something you might that might change the way you think like oh okay this is a sweet pickup truck or maybe you hate it and you know whatever but like there’s other things in the world like that that’ll change your perspective and the way you think about things so um that happened to be the case for the diaper bag there just wasn’t anything out there cool for dad you know having a baby and being pregnant and all that kind of stuff is so mom centric and so heavily focused on women and females and what they’re buying that there’s really no market for dad you know and it’s kind of unfortunate that you know we get left out of a lot of things when it comes to baby uh even in the baby showers like historically baby showers have been for mom what about dad you know so like more recently in the last probably 10 years you started to see more um stuff you know more um events for dads like dudes guys will throw like a beer and diapers party and get a bunch of your buddies together drink some beers get some like everyone brings a box of diapers and you just kind of hang out with your buddies and you get a bunch of diapers out of it you’re like sweet you know and then you know you’re starting to see more of the uh men and women going to baby showers it’s more of a family event and not just women so you know I think we’re evolving as a society to realizing like hey dads are just as much a part of this situation as mom is like let’s not exclude him he’s already one he probably already feels more excluded already because like he’s not growing the baby you don’t moms and dads have a different connection with the baby especially on from day one you know like we don’t know what it’s like to to grow a child inside of us and have that connection you know and and for a lot of parents and a lot of dads that I’ve talked to it’s taken them weeks or months or years to kind of develop and build that connection with their with their child because they just it’s a different it’s a different situation you know so you know it’s like dads just keep getting excluded from this parenting side of it and we found a way to kind of like pull them back into the mix and show them like hey you can be excited about this you can be pumped about this and we’re showing moms too like hey you want your husband or your father or this child to be like super pumped about it like don’t exclude him how about be a little bit more inclusive and say like hey let’s get you a cool baby carrier hey let’s get you a cool diaper bag so that when you’re carrying the kid or you guys can go to your raven adventures or go fishing or do that and not feel like you’re having to carry my stuff around like you have your stuff I have my stuff whatever um and it’s very much like you know give a man give the man the right tool for the job he’ll get it done you know it’s like it’s that’s 

Sushant Misra: a lot of that definitely makes a lot of sense um I want to ask you more questions about the business specifically but on the personal side I’m very curious to know um you know a lot of times it is said that now you’re you know you’re a business person you’re an entrepreneur that your business is only going to grow as quickly as the you know that you grow as a person as an entrepreneur I’m very curious to know uh you know what what are some of the things that you do as an entrepreneur to continue to grow to continue to um improve being that entrepreneur and business person right educate myself things like that 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: honestly I’ve slacked on this a little bit recently um well I guess you know you you do podcasts on things like you’re talking to other people so I’m sure that that definitely yeah we talk to other people you know I I I get inspired you know by by other people there’s guys like garyvee I’m sure you’re familiar with the garyvee is you know we had 3v on our podcast I’ve talked with him quite a bit and I was a big fan of his before um and you know I get a lot of inspiration and stuff out of that but I’m pretty self-motivated so I this is a weird thing maybe it’s not for an entrepreneur I don’t know I don’t really actually have any goals and for me I’m just the kind of guy who just wants to keep moving forward and I want things to keep improving I want today to be better than yesterday and maybe it won’t and I’ll learn something from that right you fail you learn from those failures but I’m always just trying to move forward and get more um of whatever it is it doesn’t have to be money it doesn’t have to be this like I just want to keep moving the needle forward in some regard uh whether that’s just making a better product or or improving myself personally or getting more content out today or making more money by the end of the year or impacting more lives and helping more dads like I just want more more more um and that’s my goal so um it’s interesting because I I’m having some of these thoughts as I’m talking about 

Sushant Misra: so in a way you basically you’re competing with yourself you’re not looking at some external goal or external personal to compare yourself 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I won’t look at competition really you know I don’t uh I don’t compare myself to other companies I just do what do what we’re doing I focus on myself that helps me think outside the box and not be persuaded by someone else’s actions um but you know I’m just self-motivated where I’m just like keep wanting more um and I do I don’t do the best job of like trying to educate myself from other people I take little tidbits randomly for people or someone that I might have a conversation with that’s like far more successful for me than me and like they’ll give me a little nugget and I’ll kind of hang on to that and apply it when I feel like it’s necessary or maybe that little thing will change the way I think about something um but I’ve always just kind of paved my own way and gone my own path whether that’s good or bad I don’t know but I’m kind of doing things my way and taking a little bit from other people here and there along the way to try to like improve uh myself and um I’ve just always gone against the grain like I don’t really do anything by the book you know and it’s just like I’ve paved my own way to where I’m at um does that 

Sushant Misra: does that mean that your day is not very structured like how many how many hours a day do you spend like working like and what it’s like what when you wake up in the morning like what are your priorities in the day 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah so my day I kid you not has zero structure like I am all I literally I just hired an assistant this week um and she’s been super helpful it’s actually why we’re finally having this podcast and they got so like you just got an email the other probably yesterday from her yeah or something it was like hey yeah let’s do this because I was like I’ve got so much stuff that I just haven’t gotten to I need you to please do this um and she’s amazing so far I’m super pumped she’s in the marine corps and she’s very structured and I’ve got her here to like tell me what to do and when to do it kind of thing within reason because I need some of that flexibility uh to to to be able to think outside the box and get creative and be wild and try weird stuff um because I think that’s where some of my best ideas come from is just like I don’t have anything to do I don’t have any structure I’m just doing uh and that’s where I’ve always strived and like that creates pressure at times where it’s like oh snap I need to get this done like tomorrow um but those pressures always create really good stuff for me so like I work really well under pressure and I think that’s why I’ve never really tried to put a lot of structure on myself is because I I almost enjoy that last minute like I like I like high speed fast-paced stuff um but I don’t like the structure as much but I know I need the structure so I hired somebody to give me some structure 

Sushant Misra: yeah I was actually talking to someone yesterday also as an entrepreneur and this is exactly what they were saying that as an entrepreneur you know you have uh you’re the idea guy but that comes with the its drawbacks and so you have to find other people who can give you that structure in terms of execution and things like that 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah it can be tough um you know it’s like you have you’re like a lot of people call me the visionary right like you have a vision of the brand and the business and like where it needs to go and trends and some of that kind of stuff but like I’ve got a pretty good team around me now to like help me execute on some of those ideas and visions to help scale it uh because you know when you’re only one person you’re only going to get so much done right uh 

Sushant Misra: now we’re going to move on to our next segment which is which is called the business and in this segment I want to ask you a few more questions about your business and some of the strategies and tactics that you uh have used to grow it um so I’m very curious to know so you know when you had your um aha moment about this business that there is this gap in the market um what were some of the first steps because you know any entrepreneur who’s starting out um would be very interested in knowing you know how do you go from that initial idea to to at least um uh the first uh prototype of a product 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah yeah um you know fortunate for me I had a skill set that allowed me to make my own first prototype product uh so I had that benefit and then um I knew some other people that I reached out to so I started this whole business on instagram really I like when I had the idea and I already had a decent instagram following at the time from my car stuff and I had gained a lot of relationships um with all kinds of different people in all kinds of different industries through my automotive business um so like and again this is 2beav brodie of tactical baby gear: 3 when instagram was just popping and boom and it was pretty new and like there was so much growth to be had it was all organic and it was awesome and uh you know so I kind of leveraged that network um of people to ask questions you know and I I knew this guy named gene higdon who’s known as mean gene who started high speed gear and they’re one of the larger more successful tactical gear companies in the industry he went on to sell it later down the road but I I knew him and I said I said gene how uh I’ve got this I’ve got this idea for this bag and I’ve made some and there seems to be some like some excitement and some demand for it like how do I who do I talk to to manufacture this bag for me who’s a factory um that I can talk to and uh he gave me a few leads which was great and I that that kind of pushed me and led me down the path of like okay now I have a couple of factories that I can talk to that I can give them my prototype or my idea my design and try to improve it a little bit and go into more mass manufacturing market stuff which at the time was was tough and kind of expensive but you know when you talk about factory level manufacturing you have to do hundreds and hundreds or sometimes thousands or tens of thousands depending on what type of product you’re making like injection molded stuff you know a lot of these factories are like yeah ten thousand piece minimum order and you’re like holy smokes I’m just trying to start how do I order ten thousand of these things you know or in my case it was like several hundred bags maybe 5sushant misra:  bags was the minimum order then and typically that’s like per color so like we all I wanted to have different colors so I’m like shoot now I’m ordering 5sushant misra:  of this color 5sushant misra:  of that color you know it starts to get expensive and you’re like man how do I I don’t have 30 grand to pay for that right now you know so it’s like trying to figure out those struggles um and uh you know trying to raise money somehow uh in my case I just busted my ass and I actually started doing some other like random side hustle stuff to just turn quick cash that I could use to kind of pump back in to uh saving money for that manufacturing that I wanted to do 

Sushant Misra: so initially did you just use like one or two products and said because you know you can’t do everything did you just how many products did you start out with uh initially 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: it was just a bag okay and uh and then and then I started offering a few other uh ancillary accessories like paracord accessories I knew a guy through my kind of instagram network of people who just like did small batches of paracord stuff so we did a actually I wish I still had this right now but it was a paracord uh thing like wrapped around a hand sanitizer bottle that we would clip onto the diaper bag and we called it the arm grenade and it was like now that’s like a big thing like we started a huge deal around that uh we did paracord pacifier clips so you could flip the pacifier under the baby shirt or onto a bag or whatever so you wouldn’t drop it on the ground you know if we just did a bunch of like smaller accessories things like that that were like small batch you know I’m paying you know some dude some cash and it’s like everyone was winning we did some other like collaborations with some other companies that had a big following so we were able to like do a really cool collaboration with a company that made sense with ours that we were able to siphon some of their audience you know somebody that had a couple hundred thousand followers we get some of their audience we’re selling a product they’re getting exposure from our audience we’re making money and it was just like collaboration was the name of the game and I believe it still is um but yeah we started with just like that one product and then a few other accessories along the way 

Sushant Misra: and you sold them and then the revenue that you generated you and reinvested in other products and things 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I would reinvest and I would actually take some for myself because at the time I wasn’t making much money doing cars like I had a reasonably successful business being that like um we were well known for what we did we did some really cool high-end stuff but the automotive industry especially where I’m at for the type of work we’re doing is not a very lucrative industry and it was hard to find skilled labor for the type of work we did so I was like a one-man band where I was like wearing all the hats doing all the things and again it’s like you’re only one person you can only do so much there’s only so much time in the day which meant there was only so much work I could do so I could only make so much money and um that got to be sort of a pain point so I was like that’s the point where it’s like now I have two kids and like daycare and all this stuff so I was actually taking some money in the early days from the tactical baby gear stuff while trying to like reinvest more than I was taking um but I had to use some of that to like live because I was like broke you know yeah did you ever think that you know that given that maybe you could see that the business had some traction and you you were getting customers that you can get like an outside in investment and uh so we’ll go down the this path so um I had some traction I asked a few family members for some money um that like just I’m someone that like just believes in myself I’m like I’m going to make this work 1sushant misra:  like I’ve never really like had a major failure in anything like everything I’ve ever done I’ve got 110 into and I’ve had success with it uh to some degree um and I knew that like if I borrowed money from a family member that like I have to make this work there’s no ifs ands or buts about it and uh everyone turned me down they’re like no that’s that’s a cute idea but like no you know uh so a few of those and then um eventually this is this will be good this is a good segue into um me finally bringing on a business partner which brought more passion to the business which allowed us to really grow and he’s more the business mindset behind the business and the operations of it so if you want to go down that path that’s where we can go um so my my current business partner alex is his name who is a very good friend of mine we grew up together from like you know elementary school I’ve known each other since we were probably six years old uh never really close friends but we knew each other we played soccer together stuff like that right um I saw he made a post on facebook that uh his business and a product he invented um he took a picture of it on the shelf at target and he said something about you know it’s cool to see your invention on the shelf at target or something along those lines but I was like ah that’s the guy I just was like scrolling through facebook and I saw I was like you know what alex is the guy I’m gonna reach out I’ve got some questions for him because I don’t I didn’t really know where to go from here I was like okay I need to get these bags made from this factory I’m trying to save money I got you know people um people seem to love it they’re they’re really on board uh you know what are the next steps what do I need to do you’re selling stuff in target so you clearly understand like that side of things so I call him we have a conversation he was living in charlotte north carolina at the time and he’s like you know hits me with all this stuff that’s like to me now is like such no-brainer stuff it’s like things like you know oh you need to have a upc you know like a barcode on your for your product so that if you did sell it into retail like target like they need to scan a barcode so you need to buy the upc’s um you know like just like the random stuff that I’m like oh of course duh you know like why didn’t I think of that but that’s not the world I came from a lot of people don’t come from that world you know I came from an automotive you know where I like fix stuff and build stuff and like I don’t know the retail side of things at all um so he has and I said he was like oh man it’s really cool you know so anyways a few months later goes by and it’s like christmas time and he’s like hey man I’m coming in town to see my parents for the holidays uh let’s get together let’s go let’s go have a drink at the bar and you know hang out so I’m like yeah cool so we do that and we start talking about you know my my business some more and how things are going and things are you know really trending forward and people and I’m just like sewing stuff still and outsourcing like small batches to some other crazy thing and like so I’m able to be selling diaper bags in that meantime and I’m like things are going pretty well and uh he showed interest in maybe partnering in the business because he was kind of over his old business and there was some funky stuff going on there that he was just like man I think I’m just going to sell it to my partner he was getting some some weird stuff going on there so anyways he ends up we negotiate a deal he buys into the company brings cash to the table as part of that deal I was able to we were able to use that cash to then do more mass manufacturing of the the bags through like a real factory uh which was a big turning point for us and then he took over a lot of the like business operations side of things finance stuff like that um and then that’s when you know we really started doing a lot more with it while I was still working on cars this whole time um up until like 2beav brodie of tactical baby gear: 6 I still had my car business operating and um until it got to the point where financially it made zero sense for me to still work on cars but we also had a like a lot of big projects in the shop that take you know six or nine months to build a custom car so I had to like finish those but there was a point where it was quit taking on new business we finished these cars that we owed to these people and then uh once we were done with that I just washed my hands of that business and sort of just put a stop to it and we went all in on tactical baby gear like full-time full-time in about 2beav brodie of tactical baby gear: 7 and we just like skyrocketed the business from there 

Sushant Misra: so right now you um I think I read you’re a seven figure business or um 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yes um yeah almost okay we’ll probably hit we’ll definitely hit eight figures this year for sure um 

Sushant Misra: I know that we’re running out of time do you have a few more minutes so we can go through some yeah yeah okay um so are your products all manufactured in the us or do you have like some um most of our stuff is overseas uh 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: vietnam primarily um there’s like one product comes out of china we’ve got a good handful of things that do come from the us that are like our core bags and stuff or in vietnam 

Sushant Misra: okay uh I’m very interested to know about your team I know you mentioned your um new assistant and and your partner but um do you have like other people in your team especially a marketing side yeah 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: so um I’ve got a photo and video guy who does like all of our product photography video production that kind of stuff uh I’ve got my art director slash graphic designer who does like all of like animations and text and graphic and you know any of that kind of stuff um and then uh we’ve got a agency that we work with that we sub out like all of our ppc like google adwords and amazon ads to too and then we have a remote copywriter who helps us write a lot of the copy for things um but I’ve kind of got my hands on all of that so it’s like a lot of it comes from me and then like they help me execute on some of those ideas um and I did all of that stuff myself for uh a long time up until a year ago I did all of it myself and it shows I mean if you look back at some of our old stuff it sucks

Sushant Misra:  so well I mean and then I mean I mean your your social media and youtube channels and things like that are doing really well so I mean I would say you did pretty good job 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah I mean we certainly got by and we’ve progressed you know it kind of goes back to my my mentality of like just wanting to do more or do better um and I didn’t have the money to like hire some agency nor did I want that because a lot of that stuff I feel like it feel like the brand the feel of the brand and the dna a lot of times gets filtered out and lost once it hits an agency and it just kind of becomes vanilla and bland and not as cool or or punchy as you wanted it to be so having these guys here to like really understand my vision and like be able to execute on it’s been huge on the marketing side of it and then we’ve got you know my business partner as I mentioned does a lot of the operations stuff like that then we’ve got our customer service team uh that handles the uh all the inbound you know email stuff facebook messages um you know exchanges returns defects you know all that kind of stuff we’ve got like a logistics guy that handles like all of our like inbound stuff from the factory getting stuff shipped to customers we’ve got a warehouse for that where we use a 3pl uh for shipping and fulfillment so we’ve got a team of people there helping us we’ve been absolutely instrumental in our success and in the way 

Sushant Misra: do you ship only in the u.S or do you ship overseas also 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: we ship worldwide um there’s a I mean a lot of countries there’s a handful of countries we don’t ship to because we’ve just had constant problems with packages being lost there’s no tracking and it’s like problematic third world country stuff but um otherwise uh international a lot of canada and australia 

Sushant Misra: okay um now we’re going to move on to our next segment which is I call the digital where um I want to ask a few more questions about your digital business and uh digital marketing uh so your business is primarily e-commerce right so you don’t sell in like retailers or do you want to do that in the future 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: we uh no our our b we our business model we said very very early on especially with my partner’s previous experience with big box retailers because he was selling to target macy’s urban outfitters um you know like heb and like grocery chains um a lot of big retailers he was selling to and dealing with and it’s a pain in the ass you know they chop the margins down so much to where you’re barely making anything and then they’re so demanding of what they want and how they want it they want to charge you back for half of it and then you’re all of a sudden you’re paying them to sell your like it’s just outrageous um so you know several years ago we turned down business with target we turned down business with toys r us babies r us we turned down you know a lot of these like retailers knowing that like listen we just don’t want to go down that path we want to control the experience to our customers from start to finish we want to be able to own their data we want to be able to email market to them we want to be able to you know send them a campaign when we release some new product five years down the line that maybe is great for their toddler you know or whatever the case is um we wanted to kind of own and control all of that so and and have much higher profit margins to operate to be able to do other things so we do these retailers the buyers from these retailers reached out to you that you know we like your products and we would like to have uh yeah our stores yep yep which is kind of opposite of how it usually works right you usually have to go to them and try to pitch them on why you they should sell your product and all that kind of stuff which is you know probably a stressful thing but I tell you what man it really changes the dynamic when they’re coming to you and you can actually say no to them they’re like wait no one’s no one’s ever told us no you know it’s it’s really interesting but we realized how quickly it could put us out of business too if it didn’t go well because there’s a lot of money moving around in those types of scenarios where you know you’re to kind of sort of break it down let’s say you’re selling a product it’s a hundred dollars and you want to sell it to target and they want you know some big percentage uh you know and you’re you’re knocking it in half easy they’re buying it for 50 bucks and it might cost you 25 bucks to manufacture this thing or 30 bucks to manufacture it and then you still have to ship it to them and they’ve got this 2 million purchase order and you’re like well shoot I don’t have 2 million dollars to manufacture these products for them so I’ve got to go borrow this money at 10 interest or some period of time and then they’re gonna they want net 60 or net 90 on it and then they’re gonna pay it late so now you’re floating this two million dollar loan for way longer than you want to or need to with a high higher uh interest rate and then they’re going to charge you back because some label is not going to be on the box in the right position now you’re paying them five thousand dollars back on stuff and you’re like cool two million dollar order I might have made like 1sushant misra:  grand you know and it’s like why what am I doing so it’s you know we we just didn’t want it play out that way and it was it’s a very frustrating cycle and and that again it could put you out of business just as quickly as it could elevate you if you don’t do it right or if there’s complications or problems or the factory screw something up and you have a bunch of defects and that’s out of your control it’s kind of a scary thing to think about you know but we do have a couple strategic retail partners uh one of them is aphes which is the army and air force exchange service so they’re like the the px on the military bases so we are in you know quite a few uh army and air force bases in their stores as well as their online store uh and then we are partnered with a company called nine line apparel they have a handful of retail stores uh where in their retail these are like very strategic partnerships that are like you know these are military guys these are not always military guys but like you know people that they’re very much the dna of the brand it’s not target where anybody’s walking in there uh so it made sense for us to like a lot of times people want to touch and feel the product before they buy it which I understand so that gives them the ability to do that we also have a partnership with u.S patriot tactical and they’re again they’re like a military supply store um and they’re worldwide they’ve got like 60 something stores located outside of a lot of the major u.S military bases around the world 

Sushant Misra: yeah I guess that makes a lot of sense you know because your branding goes along very well with these military kind of stores um I’m very interested so you mentioned that you were doing a lot of the marketing yourself um I’m very curious to know you know a lot of these marketing channels I know you did really well on instagram um in terms of customer acquisition and also you know retaining the customer and and reselling in your experience like which of these channels have been uh giving you the best rois uh and specifically I’m very interested in knowing about like google ad and some of these apps 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: so roi wise it would be facebook um yeah face like facebook ads on the facebook platform instagram you know that leads over on instagram too right so uh you know what we get a lot of good positive stuff out of instagram like we do some incredible community engagement and community building on instagram but when you’re talking about like paid facebook ads the roi comes from the facebook side of it um and I think that’s just because I think when uh you know a lot of the people that are in that part of their life are you know posting pictures of pregnancy things and females this and stuff like that like there’s they tend to be doing more social interactions on facebook uh with family members and things of that nature so we kind of it seems like we’re catching people in a more willing to purchase state of mind when they’re scrolling through facebook kind of like without anything else to do versus instagram where I think people are maybe a little bit more entertained and don’t want to be advertised to as much but we do some incredible and community engagement and community building on instagram so that’s been really good google google does very well for us google adwords does because at that point it’s a very high intent to purchase situation like people are actively searching for the thing that they want to buy so that goes into a bigger strategy of how we do things um these are the people who are specifically searching for your brand name or they’re searching like uh you know diaper bags or something oh both like our roi for brand search on tactical baby gear is is outrageous like okay they’re searching for us they want to buy our product they’re just trying to get to it so you know we we have google ads in place for that because we have some other competitors and knockoffs and things that have popped up over the last few years who are also bidding on you know our brand as a keyword uh so we just have to make sure that we maintain you know a top position there but uh 

Sushant Misra: is that are they allowed to do it like can you not stop them from yeah 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: oh you can do that you can do that okay it’s front it’s annoying but you can do it okay um but um so you know with with google being a very high intense place uh in the buying phase when they’re searching for that kind of a product uh the roi is very good for that okay um very quickly um I’m very curious to know given that you have such a huge social media presence when you’re and your your brand is so unique uh when you’re planning out posts for let’s say your instagram or uh you know facebook what is it 

Sushant Misra: have you planned your content like do you already have a content calendar that you know you’ve planned that okay tomorrow we’re going to post this a day after we’re going to post this or is it more like 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: uh um it’s a lot of what I’m feeling whatev you know what’s coming up I’m you know shooting from the hip a lot of times because you know I a lot of the success of this brand you know not to like shoot my own horn or pat myself on the back is just I think my intuition on how I feel about certain things or what I feel like is going to do very well versus what I feel like isn’t going to do well and I don’t do a very good job of articulating the thoughts from my head to my team um on content that I think is going to do well on social I just have to do it myself and I don’t have enough planning in my life to do that and I’ve hired I’ve used I had an employee here who would who would schedule an entire month of posts ahead of time um but I didn’t like it you know like some of those posts performed well and then at that point you’re doing things based on on numbers you know and like he was he his big thing was you know trying to get make a post that’s going to get the most number of likes well I don’t care about that I wanted to get a post that had some other you know some other metric that I cared about or you know whatever the case was you know so it’s like um I just don’t do a very good job of articulating what I want sometimes nor do I have the time to think it out and a lot of times I just have to feel it has to be kind of like in the moment of what I want to write or the picture I want to post or maybe somebody dm’s me a picture right then and there I’m like boom perfect I’m posting that right now you know so like we’re not super structured um whether that’s good or bad I don’t know but that’s how we do it 

Sushant Misra: no I guess I guess that definitely makes sense but um that means that you have to be there to to to oversee that all the time probably 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: yeah but I enjoy it I love it you know like we have the greatest community ever and I love to interact with them um and it doesn’t like I’m on my phone 24 7. My wife wants to like chop my head off and throw my phone at a dumpster all the time she’s like can you put that thing down and I that was a lot of flack I got in the early days with my wife like we got not arguments but she’d be very frustrated like it’s dinner time and you know I’m on my phone posting something or talking to people on instagram and she’s like I’m like I can’t like this is the time that everyone else is on instagram this is when I need to be on instagram I wish I like and she and she gets it you know but she’s just like can you please like this one time just we’re in a restaurant put the phone down you know but I have to and uh it drove her nuts and I’m way better about it now um I feel a little bit less pressure to post so often um you know as the algorithms have sort of changed a little bit and it’s not organic and it’s you know there’s a lot of things so like some of I don’t post as often as I used to post three to five times a day and now I’m posting you know once a day typically and I try to make that one really count so that and then you know because we spend so much money on facebook and instagram ads I just I know that people will see us on those platforms just due to the amount of money we’re spending um 

Sushant Misra: finally we are going to move on to our final segment which I call the rapid fire round and in this round in this segment uh I’ll ask you a few questions and you’ll answer them maybe in a few words or one or two sentences 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I’m long-winded I’m sorry 

Sushant Misra: a recommendation for a book um for entrepreneur or business people in 2020 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I got nothing no recommendations I don’t I don’t read books 

Sushant Misra: okay that’s fair enough I mean you’re more of a creative person so that that makes sense um 

Sushant Misra: an innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you’re excited about say that again an innovative product or idea that you’re excited about 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: that’s a tough one um an e-commerce retail or tech something that catches your attention you know I it’s really fun I don’t I don’t know is the answer right now I don’t pay attention to a lot of other things kind of in my own world um I’m I’m like super into tech stuff you know cameras and stuff like that but um new cam the new canon eos r5 has my attention it sounds pretty sweet I think they’re about to change the game in the mirrorless camera world with that new camera and that’s what you used to shoot your youtube videos or uh yeah I use the canon eos r um but the new r5 is going to be I think going to be a game changer uh to the mirrorless camera industry I’m like I’m using my r right now as a webcam for this so I hope I hope it looks nice yeah it looks looks great yeah 

Sushant Misra: a productivity tool or software that you would recommend 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: um trello you familiar with trello yeah I am yeah it’s it’s pretty good 

Sushant Misra: yeah um a startup or business that you think is doing great things right now 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I don’t know okay I really I I don’t have again I don’t pay attention to that much outside of what we’ve got going on um 

Sushant Misra: a peer entrepreneur or business person who inspires you I know you mentioned garyvee but yeah garyvee uh for sure um evan hafer of black rifle coffee somebody I’ve talked to a few times and he’s uh he’s a pretty pretty awesome guy but he there’s not there’s no like content out there from him if you just pay attention to black rifle where they came from and what they’ve done and where they’re at now that’s a pretty awesome story as well as tyler merritt from nine line apparel they’ve built an incredible thing uh from nothing in uh a short period of time so tyler merritt and evan hicker 

Sushant Misra: okay and last question best business advice that you have ever received or you can you can give to other entrepreneurs 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I would say just to not give up to be patient and to learn from your mistakes 

Sushant Misra: perfect so thank you thank you so much uh for your time today for sharing your story it’s an incredible story um where can people find you where can people find your business your podcast and get in touch with you if they need to yeah awesome 

Beav Brodie of Tactical Baby Gear: I really appreciate you having me uh people can find me the business is tacticalbabygear.Com um and I actually you know I’ve got a youtube channel um that I talk a lot about business stuff and even commerce and marketing things like that and that’s on youtube um you can go to my website it’s beavbrody.Com and I’ve got a youtube channel to be brody there uh where I go in more depth about a lot of the stuff that we do here perfect thank you thank you so much b for sharing your story for sharing a lot a lot of your business insights marketing insights really really appreciate you joining us today thank you thank you I appreciate it  

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