Building a Successful Herbal Supplements Business in the Natural Products Niche – Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs
INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 52:35)
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In this episode, Logan Christopher, the co-founder and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs, takes us through his entrepreneurial journey in the natural products industry. From his early days in fitness to his venture into herbalism, Logan shares how he combines scientific research with ancient wisdom to offer high-quality herbal products.
Logan Christopher, the co-founder and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs, shares his entrepreneurial journey in the natural products industry. He explains how his interest in herbalism led to the creation of Lost Empire Herbs, a business that combines scientific research with ancient wisdom to offer high-quality herbal products. Logan discusses the challenges he faces in marketing his unconventional health products, as well as the importance of quality and education in standing out from the competition. He also highlights the key elements his business focuses on, including identity verification, low levels of heavy metals, and ensuring products are free from mold or harmful bacteria. Logan emphasizes the commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, particularly targeting older men looking to improve their performance and well-being. Despite challenges in advertising and distribution, Logan’s adaptability, alternative marketing strategies, and commitment to building partnerships help drive growth for Lost Empire Herbs.
- 00:00:00 In this section, Logan Christopher, the co-founder and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs, shares his journey of becoming an entrepreneur in the natural products industry. Before starting Lost Empire Herbs, Logan ran another business called Legendary Strength, where he focused on fitness and health. As someone who was looking for an edge in his own performance, Logan got into herbalism, using herbs to support his own health and well-being. Eventually, his older brother approached him with the idea of starting a business around selling high-quality herbs, which led to the creation of Lost Empire Herbs. Logan emphasizes that while there may not be FDA approval for these herbs, there is scientific evidence and studies that support their effectiveness. He believes that people’s belief and personal experiences play a role in their decision to use these herbs.
- 00:05:00 In this section, Logan Christopher discusses the rich history of Western herbalism, which was suppressed with the rise of modern medicine but still has a significant amount of scientific evidence behind it. He mentions examples like ashwagandha, which has been studied for its various benefits such as stress relief and fertility. Logan emphasizes that Lost Empire Herbs combines scientific research with ancient wisdom and focuses on providing experiential effects for its customers. He also touches on the placebo effect and the importance of customers actually feeling a difference when using the herbs. Moving on to the manufacturing and sourcing process, Logan explains that they have relationships with farmers and suppliers, importing some Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs from overseas. They also do some light manufacturing themselves and are expanding to offer capsules in addition to tinctures and powders. Logan describes the slow growth of the business initially, starting with offline sales and a website, and then gradually expanding. However, in 2014, the business became more serious, getting an office and focusing on growth.
- 00:10:00 In this section, Logan Christopher talks about the growth and competition in the e-commerce industry. He mentions that his business experienced a significant uptick in sales and revenue, hitting over seven figures in 2015. However, they later plateaued, but are now starting to see growth once again. Logan discusses the competition in the herbal niche and acknowledges that there are many other companies selling similar products. To stand out, Logan focuses on the personality of his business and provides extensive educational content on his e-commerce site. They differentiate themselves by offering high-quality products and providing third-party lab analysis, something that most supplement companies don’t do. Logan also explains that their products fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA, and they follow the certified good manufacturing practices. Overall, while the competition has grown, Logan’s commitment to quality and education helps his business stand apart.
- 00:15:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the three basic things that need to be covered in their business: identity verification of the product, low levels of heavy metals, and ensuring that the products are free from mold or harmful bacteria. They emphasize their commitment to quality and go above and beyond in many cases. They also explain that their target customer is mainly older men who are interested in improving their performance, sexual function, and testosterone production. They mention that customers often come to them after Western medicine has failed them or if they are looking for alternative solutions to support their health. The speaker also mentions that once customers try their products, many of them become repeat customers. They plan to introduce subscriptions in the future but need better inventory control due to sourcing herbs globally.
- 00:20:00 In this section, Logan Christopher discusses the challenges he faces in marketing his unconventional health products, specifically in the area of testosterone. He mentions that advertising on platforms like Facebook is difficult due to restrictions, and they have had their ad accounts shut down in the past. As a result, they have had to explore alternative marketing strategies such as SEO, affiliate marketing, and utilizing alternative social media platforms like gab. Logan also mentions the challenges of being in the Cannabis industry, where distribution and reach are severely limited. He emphasizes the need for adaptability and nimbleness, as big tech companies like Google can change the rules and algorithms at any time. To counter these challenges, Logan is focusing on alternative traffic sources and building partnerships with social influencers to drive sales.
- 00:25:00 In this section, the speaker discusses their strategy of tapping into people leveraging massive networks without having to do so directly. They also talk about their own warehousing and fulfillment process, emphasizing that most people in the supplement space don’t do their own warehousing and fulfillment. They mention that there is no hard and fast expiration for powdered herbs, but they typically use a two-year expiration date. They also mention that some herbs are more sensitive to air, light, and heat than others. They talk about their main products and a VIP section available only to long-term customers. The speaker mentions they have been experimenting with alchemical methods of making tinctures and plan to explore it further. They then mention pine pollen as their number one herb, as it contains testosterone, DHEA, and phytoandrogens, supporting the human hormone system.
- 00:30:00 In this section, Logan Christopher discusses the use of Tonkat Ali and Blue Vervain as herbs that have testosterone boosting effects. He emphasizes the importance of finding quality products, as there are many low-quality options on the market. Additionally, Logan explains how natural extracts and herbs work in a more holistic and gentle way with the body, unlike testosterone replacement therapy. He mentions the importance of finding the right dosage and cycling on and off certain herbs. Logan also highlights the need for supplemental support due to the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment, which have led to a decline in testosterone levels in men. He encourages both the average person and those with low testosterone levels to consider using herbal supplements. Finally, he briefly mentions his team, indicating that he has support in his endeavors.
- 00:35:00 In this section, Logan Christopher discusses the structure of his team, highlighting the various roles and responsibilities within his business. He mentions that there are people focused on herb processing and fulfillment, quality control, marketing, and customer service. While Logan acknowledges his entrepreneurial tendencies, he expresses his commitment to staying focused on his current business. However, he does not rule out the possibility of starting another venture in the future. In terms of products, Logan states that his company will continue to focus solely on herbal ingredients, avoiding traditional supplements. Although they ship internationally, the majority of their sales come from the US due to prohibitive shipping costs and customs fees. Logan also addresses the challenge of shipping tinctures in glass bottles, mentioning that they are sealed well to minimize the risk of leaking or damage.
- 00:40:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the challenges of packaging their products, specifically their switch from glass bottles to high density plastic for their capsules. They also mention that their tincture bottles survive well and have never had a problem with TSA. In terms of their technology stack, they started on WordPress and WooCommerce but acknowledge that Shopify would be easier to use. They mention the pros and cons of each platform and the difficulties of running WooCommerce without conflicts between plugins. Additionally, they touch on the potential risks of changing platforms and the current stability of their website. Moving on, the speaker reflects on their past mistakes and lessons learned in their entrepreneurial journey. They admit that they were initially focused on expanding too quickly and adding too many SKUs, leading to bloating and financial struggles. However, during the pandemic, they made the necessary changes by letting go of employees, cutting software, and streamlining their operations. As a result, their profit increased significantly, and they are now focused on growing in a smarter and more sustainable way.
- 00:45:00 In this section, the speaker discusses the biggest challenge faced in Toronto, specifically in terms of acquiring new customers. Due to the pandemic, their customer acquisition was weak and they relied mostly on existing customers. They are now focusing on marketing strategies to bring in new customers and solve this bottleneck. Additionally, the speaker recommends the book “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown, which their organization is currently reading and discussing. They also mention their use of AI technology, such as an AI chatbot for their website, to assist customers in finding the right products and information. The speaker believes that AI can enhance their writing skills but not replace them entirely, and they recommend Asana for project management. They admit not paying much attention to other businesses in the industry but acknowledge the potential of AI startups.
- 00:50:00 In this section, the speaker mentions the existence of tools such as Consensus and Elicit that allow users to access scientific references on websites like PubMed. These tools provide a way for individuals to find and explore research on specific topics of interest. The speaker also mentions being inspired by Perry Marshall, a business person focused on marketing and AI. The importance of understanding bookkeeping and keeping track of finances is emphasized as essential advice for entrepreneurs. Overall, the speaker discusses the value of staying informed, being grounded, and continuously learning and improving in the business world.
People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode
Book: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
What You’ll Learn
Interview with Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs
|[00:00:31] Welcoming Logan Christopher to TrepTalks|
|[00:01:00] Logan’s Introduction|
|[00:01:36] Logan’s Entrepreneurial Journey|
|[00:03:12] Business Start Date|
|[00:04:00] Effectiveness of Natural Products|
|[00:05:30] Sourcing and Manufacturing Process|
|[00:09:13] Growth Trajectory and Organic Growth|
|[00:11:14] Competition in the Niche|
|[00:11:32] Competition in the E-commerce Market|
|[00:12:00] Quality Assurance and Third-Party Lab Analysis|
|[00:14:00] Target Customer and Their Needs|
|[00:16:00] Customer Acquisition and Marketing Strategies|
|[00:18:00] Repeat Sales and Average Order Value|
|[00:21:00] Challenges with Big Tech Platforms|
|[00:23:00] Adaptation to Changing Trends in Tech Platforms|
|[00:24:25] Importance of Partnership Networks and Influencers|
|[00:25:00] Warehousing, Fulfillment, and Managing Product Expiration|
|[00:25:42] Top Herbs for Male Performance and Health|
|[00:29:00] Considerations for Using Testosterone-Supporting Herbs|
|[00:32:31] The Gentle and Holistic Nature of Herbal Supplements|
|[00:33:00] Cycling On and Off Hormone-Supporting Herbs|
|[00:33:54] The Influence of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals|
|[00:34:45] Encouraging Supplemental Support for Hormonal Health|
|[00:34:58] Introduction and Team Composition|
|[00:35:00] Team Structure and Responsibilities|
|[00:36:00] Future Business Vision and Expansion|
|[00:37:00] Expanding into Traditional Supplements|
|[00:38:00] International Markets and Challenges|
|[00:39:00] Shipping and Handling Tinctures|
|[00:40:00] Technology Stack and Platform Choice|
|[00:42:00] Learning from Mistakes and Business Growth|
|[00:46:05] Rapid Fire Segment Introduction|
|[00:46:18] Book Recommendation for Entrepreneurs|
|[00:47:00] Exciting Innovation in AI and Chatbots|
|[00:48:00] The Role of AI in Copywriting|
|[00:49:00] Recommended Business/Productivity Tool|
|[00:50:00] A Promising Startup or Business|
|[00:51:00] Inspirational Figure: Perry Marshall|
|[00:51:16] Best Business Advice Received/Given|
|[00:52:13] Contact Information and Closing Remarks|
In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs
- Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown)
- An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: AI ChatBot)
- A business or productivity tool that you would recommend (Response: ASANA, Trello)
- Another startup or business that is currently doing great things. (Response: ChatGPT)
- A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Perry Marshall an American business consultant)
- One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships
- Best business advice you ever received.
(Response: Prioritize learning and understanding bookkeeping as a business grows to prevent financial difficulties and debt, continuously improve your bookkeeping skills, and adapt to the increasing size of the business.)
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey there entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to TrepTalks. This is the show where I interview successful e commerce 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 really excited to welcome Logan Christopher to the show. Logan is the co founder and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs. They specialize in high quality herbs from across the world that help people in different aspects of health and performance, most notably hormone support. And today I’m going to ask Logan a few questions about his entrepreneurial journey and some of the strategies and tactics that he had used to start and grow his business.
So Logan, thank you so much for joining me today. I really, really appreciate your time. [00:01:00] You
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: welcome and I’m looking forward to it.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. So again, you know, on this show I get the opportunity to interview so many diverse range of entrepreneurs and sometimes I’m really surprised on, you know, the kind of Um, products and categories, and this is definitely a unique category that you have, uh, can you talk a little bit about, you know, your story, how you actually, you know, what were you doing before starting the service?
How you got interested in these kind of natural products? And what really motivated you to start this business?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah. Uh, so, before Lost Empire Herbs was around, I was running another business, one that is still alive to this day, called Legendary Strength. I started out as a personal trainer, uh, but, uh, went into the online world and have, now have many books and videos and courses around different aspects of fitness as well as health.
And for me, it was getting into this field. [00:02:00] And I do a lot of weird things from body weight exercises to kettlebells. I’ve pulled a fire truck by my hair, bent horseshoes, ripped exit cards in half. So some fun and unconventional stuff like that. And because I wasn’t naturally strong or athletic, I was looking for an edge.
And that’s what ultimately led me down the path of herbalism. So for a long time, I was using the herbs myself just to support my own performance. Uh, but then one day my older brother cloud, uh, came to me and said, well, he, he was, uh, getting our, what is our most successful herb today? Pine pollen from another company and just kind of a natural salesman type.
He would talk it up to his friends and get them to try it. So he was buying wholesale from this company and just kind of. For fun, selling it to his friends. But he came to me and said, Hey, you want to start a business? If I like find a good, um, source of this and we’ll bring in our third brother as well and just get started.
So we started real small. It didn’t really know what we were doing, but just as a kind of like. Hey, this is [00:03:00] something where we can get our own herbs supplied and the company has grown nicely since that time. So we started real small on the kitchen table, but, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s been a fun ride, that’s for
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: sure.
How long, how long ago did you start this business?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Uh, 2012.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Wow. So it’s been almost 11 years this year. Yeah. Wow. Very, very interesting. So, I mean one, you know, I’ll ask you one, one obvious question from, from an outsider, I guess, you know, I’m from India and I know there’s a big tradition there, you know, there’s something called Ayurveda and, you know, traditional medicine practice.
There’s also like a big homeopathic, um, um, Tradition also there. And of course, you know, you think about Chinese medicine, you know, there’s like a lot of, uh, herbs and teas and all these different kinds of things that are practiced, um, people in the West, you know, there’s almost like, you know, there’s almost, I think [00:04:00] people need a little bit of a persuading in terms of, you know, getting them to buy into, you know, what is the effectiveness of these are.
So I’ll ask you from like an outsider’s perspective, what is, Okay. I mean, uh, have you found, uh, are there studies out there like clinical double blind kind of studies that actually show that, you know, there is an effectiveness of these arts? I’m assuming, you know, some of these items are not FDA approved.
So how do you, um, is it, is it really about, you know, If someone believes that this, this works on whatever they’re trying to fix or, you know, achieve, uh, then it’s okay. Otherwise, you know, if you don’t believe it, then, you know, there’s maybe, you know, you don’t have to use it. But is there any scientific evidence in terms of, you know, effectiveness of some of these things?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, yeah, so it’s an interesting thing is and I know I got my start in herbalism is like kind of the, uh, the shiny like faraway lands where these rare and crazy herbs come from. It’s like, why [00:05:00] don’t we have this stuff in the U. S. But the truth is, there actually is rich histories of Western herbalism.
It definitely was kind of squashed underground with the growth of modern medicine. But, uh. From Europe and yeah, various traditions in the West there certainly is that and many herbs do have a significant amount of science behind them showing a wide range of effects in many cases, whatever, like traditional uses were found when that is scientifically studied, there is data to back up those things.
So, for instance, one of the famous herbs from Ayurveda, ashwagandha, um. Which is, uh, one of the ones that we sell. There’s quite a few studies showing it helping in various things from like fertility to testosterone, uh, definitely stress relief. That’s one of the things that’s most well known for. So in, in some herbs cases, yeah, there’s a good amount of science there and other herbs.
Like there’s a few rat studies, some herbs, there’s like almost nothing there. Uh, so what we like to do at lost empire herbs is, yeah, we look at the [00:06:00] science for sure, but also like the ancient wisdom and really try to bring the two together. because we find that that is useful. And lastly, uh, we, we really aim to have like experiential effects.
So we aim for people taking the herbs and actually feeling a difference in them. Uh, I think that’s the best way to get a customer that’s going to want to come back because most supplements are taken on faith and it can be the same thing with medications even. Uh, if you don’t actually notice something going, how do you know that it’s working?
Maybe some blood tests or whatnot. You can see some stuff going on in the background, but if you can feel a difference, that’s quite useful. And this in some cases may be a placebo effect, but there’s actually, there can be a placebo effect, a belief in the thing on top of an actual effect as well. So those things, two things aren’t necessarily disconnected.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I was actually, even today I was, you know, I, I. Um, use TikTok and I go on TikTok and even today I was watching in India. Um, [00:07:00] I mean, India is such a wonderful place, you know, there’s like this and people kind of believe in, in a lot of different things. And there was this guy who’s like sitting and there’s like huge line of people.
And basically, you know, people are bringing the, he doesn’t even bother asking, you know, what’s wrong with you. He’ll just pat you down like randomly and then people go and maybe it’s possible that, you know, 20% of those people have some sort of a placebo effect where they, you know, they’re actually
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: here.
So as long as it works, I’m willing to spend as long as it works.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. So most of your products, are you purchasing it? Like, or are there like some of these are that are you’re growing yourself? What is the manufacturing or sourcing process like?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, so we are not directly growing any herbs ourselves.
We do have some relationships with farmers and suppliers within the U. S. that we’re quite close to, uh, that we’re like mutually supporting each other’s businesses growing in some cases, especially with the [00:08:00] Chinese or Ayurvedic herbs, they are, we are importing them from overseas. Uh, oftentimes in a finished extract, so we, we do some light manufacturing ourselves as far as like our own formulations and whatnot and are aiming to grow that like we just got our own capsule machine and are building out the room and setting that up to be able to offer a wider supply of capsules because most of what we deal with right now is tinctures and powders, which, you know, to the average person out there, like we’re, we’re in a capsule society.
They want the ease and convenience of that, even though there are some, um, um, Some issues with that. It’s good to actually be able to taste the herb. So yeah, for the most part we are getting Herbs either processing them ourselves or getting finishing extracts from various vendors
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: so this would be Uh, this business would be a classic example of a niche business so to speak, right?
Um, when you got started to me, it sounds like you know, you got started very organically So, you know somebody was selling something and some you know, there was a [00:09:00] little bit of a demand. So maybe you Put up a e commerce website with a few products and then slowly started building on top of that. Can you talk a little bit about what that growth trajectory has been since the beginning?
Has it been a, you know, a very organic, straight line kind of progressive growth? Or was it at a certain point you kind of hit a hockey stick or you found something that worked really well that helped you to grow quickly?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, it was, it was pretty slow in the beginning. We were, as I said, just kitchen table.
We were doing some like offline sales mentioned my brother, just kind of selling it to his friends as well as I just threw up a website and promoted it to my existing email list from the other business, you know, it was already health and fitness list. So there’s natural crossover. Or symbiosis in that.
And we kind of just marched along little bit by little bit for a while. And I believe it was in about 2014 when we kind of got serious. Like that’s when we got our first office. Uh, that’s when we really [00:10:00] started focusing more. It was actually, the business was running just as a, uh, just. An agreement out of my other business at that point, we went and formed an LLC.
And from there, we seem to hit our first hockey stick. And some of what helped this to happen was, uh, we were working with affiliate marketing. So we had some people that could drive some major traffic and sales. And it just from there grew and we broke over seven figures. Um, At some point, uh, I think that was around 2015.
So that was, yeah, that was experiencing that hockey stick growth was really good. Then things kind of leveled off and we’ve actually been plateaued for a little while, but are starting to grow once again. So I think we’ve done the foundation building to, from which to build our next hockey stick growth.
At least that’s what I’m hoping for. For sure.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, so you, you got started in e commerce pretty much at the beginning of when e commerce was starting to boom, boom. Um, how, [00:11:00] um, How have you seen, uh, you know this category or niche in terms of competition? I’m assuming there’s now a lot of similar kind of businesses or, you know, I’m assuming you can.
Easily find any of these products. Um, if you search for it online so many similar shops like you maybe even on amazon And do you encounter a lot of competition or is it still is it still kind of a obscure niche where you know? You kind of have a dominant,
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: um, yeah, it’s kind of a couple different ways to see that and certainly e commerce has grown in the competition has grown.
So many of these herbs are will popular. And yeah, you can find a 1000 different, uh, companies selling them. Some of our herbs are quite a bit more unique and especially the quality of them. Uh, so in some cases, you won’t find a lot out there, including on Amazon, though, there’s other stuff available from.
Various suppliers and in [00:12:00] all cases, uh, what we’ve done to really kind of stand apart from the pack is, um, one there’s like, I’m the personality of the business. So I do a lot of our copywriting and, uh, because I came in the other business from an information marketing background, like selling books and videos, a lot of teaching and education and long form copy, you’ll, you’ll see that in our e commerce site.
So, you know, the average e commerce site has like, you know, five sentences worth of description of the product. Here we’ll have like 2, 000 words. Um, and we, because the average person’s like lands on our site and hasn’t heard of any of these herbs, we need to educate them into like what is an herbal lifestyle?
How do you include these into, um, What you’re doing and what to expect with it, dosage, all those different things. So tons of education that comes along with it. And we’re, although we’re focused on selling the herbs, um, we really do talk about, uh, overall holistic lifestyle as well, uh, because, you know, herbs is just one part [00:13:00] of being healthy.
So, yeah, we have some things that help us to differentiate and we do things with quality, like we post online or independent third party lab analysis of the herbs, uh, which is. Something that most supplement companies don’t do. They just go off the COA of their supplier, um, which may or may not be legit in the first place.
So we do a few things that are different that help us to stand apart, but it certainly is a competitive area.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s very interesting. Yeah, I was going to, you know, you mentioned quality and I was going to ask you about it as, um, for, for a product like this, I mean, it’s definitely probably good to have some sort of a proof point to say, yes, this is an authentic product, because I think the lay person would.
Would have no way to know if, you know, what, what is in the, that’s true. Right. So, can you, can you talk a little bit about what, what goes into that? You know, is there any governing body in North America that kind of regulates these kind of [00:14:00] items or, um, who are, what are these labs like? Are these labs kind of government authorized?
And what, what, what is the testing
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: process like? Yeah, so what we do does fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA. That doesn’t mean that our herbs are approved by the FDA, but there are certain standards like CGMP, Certified Good Manufacturing Practices, um, there is testing that is supposed to be done, um, just with anything like this, you know, just because, you know, there’s.
Some paperwork there doesn’t necessarily mean all the steps are followed really well. So, as we were growing in this, and again, me and my brother started this without having any sort of background in manufacturing or e commerce. These are just things that we learned as we went along, but. Uh, we’re really committed because, you know, everyone in our company takes our own herbs.
Like, we want the best quality stuff. So, uh, what we started doing is, uh, not only sending the stuff off for third party analysis, but [00:15:00] then posting these to our website. So, there’s kind of three basic things that need to be covered is one, identity verification. that the thing is what we say it is. Um, there’s all kinds of adulterants that can be used in the industry.
So unfortunately, that is not always the case that what it says on the bottle is not necessarily what it is actually inside. Then you’re looking at heavy metals. Obviously, these are dangerous things, so we want to have very low levels of them. Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of them completely because Well, our world’s very polluted.
Uh, and then aerobic platelets, so it’s not going to be like moldy or have, uh, E. coli bacteria or something like that. So these are the three kind of basics. We do that for all our herbs and we’re also going like a step above and beyond in many cases. Granted, this is… So we haven’t done this with everything, but looking at like pesticides and glyphosate, uh, some of our herbs are organic, whether certified or not, that can be a whole thing.
And then there’s a variety of other things that we may end up looking at as well. So this is just something, again, that’s our [00:16:00] commitment to quality and something that we do a little bit differently than most of the people out there.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, And also what you were describing was that, you know, you are kind, kind of using your skills and copywriting and you know, your own sales, uh mm-hmm.
skills to kind of educate the people. And I guess that’s, that’s an important piece in a business like this. Um, can you talk a little bit about, you know, um, you know, you said you do long form copy. Um, What? I mean, you know, you’ve been selling it for 11 years, so you probably have a good idea of your target customer.
You know, what, what is it that the customer is? Well, who is the target customer? And, um, what is it? What are some of the triggers or what are some of the things that they are kind of? Because I think, you know, in marketing, it’s usually said that people buy products not, you know, because they’re trying to achieve [00:17:00] some sort of vision or an outcome of, you know, they’re trying to achieve something.
Um, So can you talk a little bit about your target customer and how, how do they see these products helping them and how, how does your copy incorporate some of those items? Yeah.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Uh, while we do have stuff for everyone, our main demographic at the current time is older men. Um, so me and my three brothers, like, we got started in herbs because we were all athletic, and we were looking at herbs that helped with our performance.
Turns out the same herbs that help with performance help with things like sexual function and testosterone production, uh, things that older men, uh, who have more of a disposable income oftentimes are, uh, really interested in. So the market kind of called us a bit further into that direction. Um, let’s… In, in many cases, or in some cases, uh, customers find us after western medicine has failed them, um, whether this is like, you know, we don’t treat specific diseases or anything like that, we’re not legally [00:18:00] allowed to do so, but if people are looking like they may be on some medications that, uh, cause them to lose libido or, uh, sexual function, so herbs in some cases can help to restore that, um, Or, yeah, just whatever sort of side effects come from that or they’re looking to, uh, conquer some disease and just, yeah, Western medicine exhausts its option.
So in those cases, through a variety of means, uh, customers may come to us. Other ones are just already focused on more of an alternative healthy lifestyle, uh, and are just looking for herbs and supplements that can help support them in such. So those are some of the main things about our demographic and the people and what they’re looking for.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in terms of your marketing, um, what has been working since you started? What has changed and what is working right now? Yeah in terms of let’s say we can talk about like new customer acquisition and also bringing in like repeat sales and Increasing average order value and all those [00:19:00] metrics.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, i’ll start with the the latter part So we’re pretty good. Like once customers come in, um, a lot of them are going to return again We have you know the quality products and By us going for that like experiential feel of the products, like if a person feels more energy after they take our stuff, there’s a good chance that they’re hooked and they’re going to want to come back, right?
Um, so we really kind of lead with the products in that way. Um, and we, we’ve had customers that have been with us for a decade and just continue to buy. Um, of course we love those customers a lot, wish we had even more of them. Um. We, we haven’t done a lot with subscriptions right now because we have a wide range of products, but that is something we’d like to roll out more so in the future.
We just have to have tighter inventory control, which is sometimes hard with us getting herbs from across the world. And sometimes, um, yeah, not something like if one supplier runs out, we can just pick up the same thing from another supplier because the extract may not be the [00:20:00] same at all. Um, So, uh, along with the education and the email marketing and stuff that helps to bring the customers back and we hold like discounts and sales and new products, various things that keep people excited and in the loop as far as what we’ve been doing on the marketing, getting new customers.
Unfortunately for us, like a lot of what we do with like testosterone, like you can’t advertise that on Facebook. Um, we’ve had many ad accounts shut down. Like some people get around it, but we have not successfully done. So, uh, we’re invested in again, like it’s been years since we tried Facebook or maybe going to give it another shot, but for the most part, just kind of like we’re dealing with unconventional herbs.
We’ve dealt with some unconventional traffic. Generation strategies as well. Um, something that really did work well for us in the beginning was SEO. Um, like we were number one on Google for a couple of years for Pine Pollen, which is our number one seller. Unfortunately, Google did the medic update where they.[00:21:00]
Downranked or even delisted like alternative health sites. And we got slapped with that and have never recovered. So our SEO is crap now, which is unfortunately we have all this content and no one’s finding us for that reason. Uh, but such as the, the games that Google and the big companies play. Uh, so we, what we’ve been focusing on right now is again, affiliate marketing.
Uh, we grew real well with that and we’re seeking to do so again. We’ve used some alternative social media platforms like gab. Um, we are on Amazon. That is a sales channel for us, but it’s a minor part of the game. We do over 90% of our sales on our own website. Um, and then, yeah, just some video marketing.
Uh, uh, we’ve done some email ads as well. So, yeah, unconventional channels that we’re, you’re not so much in the, the big tech censorship control stuff that they got going on, unfortunately.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that’s so interesting because I’ve spoken with a few entrepreneurs who are [00:22:00] in the cannabis industry and they kind of, they kind of face like Even bigger challenges, like they don’t get any, any distribution at all.
Like even when I posted some of the clips from the interview that I did, and you know, even if I remotely mentioned cannabis, like zero views, like zero distribution. So, I mean, it’s like, it’s a challenging position. Like if, if the big tech who own kind of the majority of traffic or audience, they kind of just shut you out outright.
How do you. Um, how do you go about doing business? What is the rationale behind this? Is the rationale really that they consider this to be alternative or not? Not kind of approved or is there is there some way to kind of
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: persuade there’s rationalizations for that. I won’t get into the conspiracy theories on why I think it’s actually going on, but there’s, uh, yeah, a push towards certain certain methods of health and [00:23:00] not towards other ones and kind of a huge drag net.
So it’s just an entrepreneurial thing. You know, we. As entrepreneurs, we’re like looking for these little niches where we can, uh, make a profitable business. And depending on how the wind turns, which, you know, Google can blow a tornado, uh, we’re going to have to adapt to that because, uh, we can’t change Google, right?
So based on these things, we just got to be nimble and it sucked. Like when the Google, um, medic update happened, we hired an SEO guy. We were trying to play it by all the rules and we got effectively no results in doing that. Because what they said the rules were and what the rules actually were in, in my opinion, were not actually the same.
So, uh, it, it’s been difficult at times, but that, that’s why we have made efforts towards what are these alternative channels that, because I don’t think this direction, this trend is going to stop anytime soon, uh, with the way things are going. So. Uh, we’re, we’re putting more energy and resources into these alternative traffic [00:24:00] types that may not be as big, but together, uh, we can get some good results with them because we figure at some point, Amazon is going to kick us off.
They always, they, they just kick on products for random reasons, left and right. So we already have issues with them. We’re still on there. Uh, we still do a little bit of advertising with them, but we figure the day comes when we’re just booted off because that’s, that’s the direction these big tech companies are going for the most part.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So in that situation, then I think you’re probably very heavily interested in really the partnership network, right? The affiliate network and really, um, do you partner with like social influencers who talk about similar things or also?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: We haven’t tapped into that as much. We’re actually just rolling out some campaigns with social influencers right now.
So that is something we’re testing out a bit more. Um, yeah, we’re being nimble and fast. We’re like testing a lot of things and we find what has some traction. We’ll double down on that, spend a bit more time, energy and money and then go from [00:25:00] there. So, yeah, that’s that’s part of the strategy. That’s something that’s useful.
So it’s like, can we tap into people that are leveraging the huge, massive networks without us directly having to do so in terms of your,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: um. Warehousing fulfillment, shipping. Um, can you talk about a little bit on how many SKUs you have and, um, what, how do you warehouse and fulfill all these items? Mm-hmm.
Is there like a, is there any issue with like, products getting, um, expiring, like their effectiveness going down or something like that? If, if they’re mm-hmm. on, on the shelf for too long and things like that, and how do you manage that?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, so we do our own warehousing and fulfillment. We did work with a fulfillment company at one point during our growth.
Um, and the truth is most people in the supplement space, they don’t do their own warehousing or fulfillment. Most stuff is like manufactured within a [00:26:00] few big manufacturers and fulfillment is done. So, uh, in most cases, e commerce is done in a more of a hands off way. So that’s also something that we do a bit different and granted, it’s much harder to do it the way that we’re doing.
Uh, but there are some advantages that, that come with that as well. Um, so in doing that, you were asking about the expiration. Yeah, there is, there, there’s really like no hard and fast expiration, like a powdered herb, um, it’s not going to go moldy or, uh, completely bad. It’s basically going to lose potency over time.
So in general, there’s, uh, you can do shelf life. Stability testing and ideally that should be done with everything. But that’s, uh, can be a tricky thing to do, especially for, uh, a smaller operation such as our own. Um, but in general, you go with like something like a two year expiration date, and that’s just kind of like, it’s a line in the sand, right?
Like you’re not gonna be poisoned if you take something two years and one day old and stuff like the tinctures. [00:27:00] bottles here. Truthfully, it’s stuff like this, um, which is an alcohol extract done in amber glass. Like this isn’t gonna go bad at all. You could take this decades later and it’s still gonna be good.
Um, so yeah, there’s different factors like that. And some herbs are more sensitive to air, light, and heat than others. So there’s a bunch of factors at play in this. Um, you also asked about SKUs. So, uh, our main products, we have something like, I believe it’s around 40 SKUs. Then we also have a bunch of VIP items.
Uh, we have a whole VIP section that’s only available to our, uh, customers that have been with us for a while. And with that, they get some stuff that I’m personally making and processing. Um, it’s called Logan’s Private Reserve. So that’s, that’s been a fun product that’s been growing over the past few years.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: What’s, what’s in the, what’s in Logan’s private tractor?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: I’m so curious. So, uh, there are tinctures. They’re done with some alchemical methods, um, that, of, of processing. So I’m, for whatever reason, like I’ve learned some good [00:28:00] methods of making tinctures. And we, we play with a lot of herbs and it’s kind of like an experiment.
Experimental skunk works type program and with that we’re moving some of those products into more normal normally available products as well and I’m planning to over time go deeper and deeper down the alchemy rabbit hole because it’s not just about turning lead into gold, there’s actually like laboratory science of making stuff quite a bit more potent than your average, you know, tincture you’ll find on your store shelves.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, you’ve been doing it. You, it seems like you’ve been studying this whole area for quite a few years. You’ve been selling it. You’ve been doing it. You’ve been experimenting with it. Um, what has been like the, um, I’m very curious now, what are the like top two, two or three thinkers or earth that, you know, um, really that you’ve seen really makes a difference in terms of whatever, like, you know, [00:29:00] male performance.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Um, Uh, muscle mass,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: you know, what, what does it actually work?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, um, I’ll just mention a few that popped in my head. So I’ve mentioned pine pollen a couple of times. So this is literally the pollen of pine trees. Everyone’s seen pine trees. They’re all across the world. Um, it’s pretty unique in that it has testosterone and DHEA and other human hormones in it.
Just very small trace amounts. Uh, but it also has phytoandrogens. A lot of people have heard of phytoestrogens like are found in soy and flax and hops, but there’s actual phytoandrogens. So it’s, uh, plant hormones that are going to have function within the human body. So pine pollen is great for helping to, uh, support the human.
Hormone system as well. And we have a couple different kinds that taking in a tincture It’s a bit more directly boosting to testosterone, but the powder definitely has some hormone supporting effects So that’s our number one herb and I think it’s our number one herb for a reason like it works really well Uh, the thing I always say is [00:30:00] like nothing works for everybody So, you know, whoever’s listening this, you could try it, see if it works for you.
If it does great, then, you know, you got something that works. If it doesn’t, then, well, we offer a 365 day money back guarantee. Uh, so you can try something else because just because one herb fails, that may mean another one works great as well. Uh, another one in that department is Tongkat Ali. This is a root from Malaysia, uh, pretty well known and popular.
And you’ll often find it in testosterone boosting, uh, formulas. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of crap, Comcat out there, but there’s a lot of good stuff as well. And so this is another one that works along those same mechanisms. Um, just to go a different direction, I’ll mention this one here. It’s Blue Vervain.
Uh, so this is a Western herb, not known in Ayurveda or, uh, China. This was actually a favorite of the Druids. It was a big herb that they used a bunch. It’s really interesting because it’s a bitter nervine. And so it has a really bitter flavor. And it’s actually like downward draining on the, the nervous system.
When I take that, I can immediately [00:31:00] feel, uh, nervous system stress dissipate. Um, so it’s, it’s quite great. It’s actually like specific for type A personalities. It’s great for entrepreneurs. If your mind’s always running, you can take this and it’s gonna get you out of your head into your body a bit. So that’s a few herbs that we got.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: very nice. Um, do you, uh, I mean, is there any issue where I’m assuming like someone, a person who has kind of the normal testosterone level, right? People, especially men, you know, you know, the, our natural instinct to compete. I think, you know, people think if I take more, you know, maybe I’ll have more testosterone.
I’ll, you know, I’ll have more effect out there. Um, but do you think that there could be, I mean, I have a little bit of a biology background also, it’s like, you know, if you kind of supplementing something that’s already normal in your body, it may have an opposite effect in the sense that if you stop taking it because your body is now kind of [00:32:00] expecting that to come from the outside, the body’s natural ability to make it is kind of diminished a little bit.
So, I mean, do you, do you, um, do you recommend that? You know, anybody who’s kind of experimenting with these kind of things, um, they should talk to their doctor or like the, um, they should have, I mean, they should already have a very lower, lower levels of testosterone to try to, you know, supplement some of these things to see if it makes a difference rather than like normal people just trying it
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: out.
Yes. So. To be clear, like this is different than doing something like testosterone replacement therapy. Um, obviously with that, you’d need a doctor involved, but that’s specifically like one hormone when we got like thousands in the body, right? Uh, when you’re working with, uh, natural extracts and herbs, often they’re, they’re working more kind of holistically or in a more gentle way.
Of working with the body where there’s feedback loops in [00:33:00] process, and it’s not going to generally drive things to absurd levels that are going to be dangerous in some cases with herbs, you’re actually going to have like a bell shaped curve. dosage response. So more is not necessarily better. In fact, more could be worse.
It’s about finding that right dose. Sometimes more is better. Like there’s a time and a place to do more, but more is not always better. So we have to be careful with that. With some of the stronger hormone supporting herbs, like the pine pollen tincture and then Tom Cat Ali, we do reckly recommend cycling on and off.
Um, the way I like to think about hormones is kind of like a game of musical chairs, right? So if you’re constantly doing the things and yeah, the body is going to like, Oh, I don’t need to do this myself. But if you take some breaks from it, uh, in a couple of different ways, you can do that. But if you take breaks and your body’s going to ramp up its own production, then you introduce it back in and that that may keep going.
But if you understand that hormones are all working through these various feedback loops, um, then [00:34:00] you can understand that just playing with it in this. Again, generally natural in, uh, supportive ways, then you’re going to, uh, be quite useful. The thing is, like we have a ton of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment.
So like every man’s testosterone is lower than his father’s before him, and this is like a generational decline. So we actually have to be doing more now. And this includes like, you know, basics of getting good sleep, exercising, stuff like that. But, uh, these, these, uh, Herbs can be very helpful because in some cases they are not just supporting the hormones in various ways, but some of them have been shown to have like, uh, effects of like kicking BPA out of our cells, which has a estrogenic effect, which is detrimental.
So yeah, all kinds of fun stuff. So I do encourage the average person could use some supplemental support in these. You don’t necessarily need to be low, but if you are, then definitely you could do something like this.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: What does your [00:35:00] team
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: look like right now? So we have, I think, about somewhere around 15 to 17 people.
Um, so that includes me and my two brothers. Uh, so we have the facility where we have people that are focused on, uh, Putting together the herbs, bagging them and then fulfillment, right? That that’s a big chunk of our team right there, as well as the quality control and everything involved in that. Then more on the marketing side, we have a digital team, um, that maybe in remote places that is focused on, you know, keeping the website running, all the tech involved in that or customer service agents, then, uh.
You know, me and other people involved in the copywriting, the advertising, the email marketing, all the steps involved in that. So a good mix and match of different people across the different domains needed for it. Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, um, given that, you know, it’s like you are bringing a lot of your marketing, copywriting, selling skills to [00:36:00] this business.
Do you ever think about, like, in terms of future vision of your business, um, Are you always thinking about growing the same business? Do you ever think about, like, starting a different business, utilizing your marketing skills to grow or create a different set of products or categories? Um, what is your, how do you think about this?
Or you’re so kind of interested in this niche, um, that, you know, this is what you really want to focus on for the foreseeable future.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, great question. Um, so for the most part, really trying to stay focused on this. Um, we’re doing well now, like we’re happy with with the business and we see a road for growing a good amount bigger than we currently are and still have the passion for it.
So, by no means am I stopping this. However, I do have that like, entrepreneur, quick start, ADD type self. So, um, you know, in five years there may be another business venture going on. [00:37:00] Uh, right now between Lost Empire Herbs and Legendary Strength, like two businesses keeps me plenty busy. So I, I definitely don’t need a third one.
Um, yet it probably will happen at some point.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Do you ever consider adding like more of the traditional supplements because there’s so many supplement businesses out there Do you ever consider like creating your own brand or like more traditional supplements? It almost like Isn’t it like, you know, the more product skills you have, the more opportunities for cross sell, up sell, and so forth?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: we’ve considered that. We, we decided as a company that we’re going to focus just like purely on herbal ingredients. Like that, that’s our thing. Uh, we don’t do like vitamins or minerals or whatnot. We, we do herbs. Granted, it’s a broad definition of herbs that includes fungi and insects and, uh, various other things, resins.
Uh, but we, herbs is what we focused on. Uh, we have thought maybe at some point there’ll be like a Lost Empire Nutrition Brand or Lost Empire Skin Care. [00:38:00] However, right now, like, again, there’s enough of a growth runway available in front of us that for us to start something else wouldn’t necessarily be useful.
So we’re, uh, trying as best as we can, right, to focus on what’s in front of us and what really already has a lot of legs. Uh, at some point those things may come, but right now this, this is our focus. And your
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: biggest market I’m assuming is really, um, uh, us. And then are you shipping like internationally as well?
Are there any other big markets that, that, uh, that really buy from you? Yeah,
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: we do ship internationally, but as you said, 90% plus, I think it’s probably closer to 95% of our sales come from the U. S. And the only reason for that is the prohibitive shipping cost. Um, it really adds a lot when you’re paying, you know, like 40 bucks to ship and then your country’s going to hit you with customs.
Our customers always get pissed off at us, like, we have to pay this customs fee. It’s like, that’s not [00:39:00] on us, that’s on your government. Um, so that, that definitely makes it a little bit trickier. Uh, in doing that. So predominantly we are faced, uh, focus on the U. S. We do have a good amount of sales coming in from Canada.
Um, just again, the reason that although shippings a bit more and there are customs fee, it is less than other parts of the world. Uh, and unfortunately, there are problems in getting packages or different rules and regulations in different countries. So we’re not able to ship to every country in the world.
We have a. A ban list of unfortunately, like we’ve got too many lost packages or it doesn’t accept things in. So we don’t ship to every country.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Are there any challenges with shipping like these tinctures that are, you know, in bottles and liquid? Like how do you ensure it doesn’t like leak or break in the process?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: So they’re sealed well. So leaking is generally not a thing. Occasionally one will break because yeah, it is in glass, but they’re pretty small bottles. So [00:40:00] wrapped in bubble wrap and packaged well, uh, in the vast majority of cases. And unless the package is really abused, it’s not going to be a problem. We did when we first launched our capsules, it wasn’t a glass bottle, a bigger one, and we had too many bottles.
It broke too many times, so we decided to switch to, uh, high density plastic for that. Um, so yeah, there are some challenges in this stuff, but overall with the tincture bottles, like, these things survive quite well, and I, like, carry them through airports. I’ve never had a problem at TSA. Um, it’s convenient in that way.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Um, in terms of your technology stack, I’m assuming your site is running on Shopify. Is there anything?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Okay. No, we’re on e commerce. Yeah, so we started on WordPress and WooCommerce, uh, like before Shopify existed, but it was like just getting started. If I was starting today, I would likely go with Shopify just for the ease of use.
Uh, but as of right now, like, I mean, [00:41:00] Uh, RooCommerce is definitely a Frankenstein, uh, monster of different plugins and duct tape to software, but, uh, it works and it allows us to do a lot of things that may be different from your typical Shopify store. Yeah,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, I guess there’s like pros and cons of, uh, WordPress, RooCommerce, right?
Like, of course, there’s a lot of plugins, so you can customize functionality. I mean, sometimes it can be clunky, but I think even if you want some. Custom functionality built. I think there’s so many developers out there that can probably do it easily.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, just keeping it all running without conflicts is the hard part.
There definitely are, like, oh, you know, this plugin broke that one, and yeah. It’s craziness. I have almost a full time tech guy just making sure the website’s running. Okay.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, do you, um, I mean, the reason that you don’t consider moving to Shopify, I’m assuming it’s really related to SEO, right? Like, there’s probably a huge risk of, you know, changing [00:42:00] platform.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: No, more just like right now, um, the website is working well enough. So we’re not looking to switch to anything. Um, I figure at some point we may reach, uh, a point where WooCommerce is not for us anymore, then we could look at different platforms. Um, Shopify would be one of them, but there may be some other options that would work out there as well.
Uh, but yeah, don’t, don’t fix what’s not broken, right? We got enough other projects to focus on now versus doing like, that’s a lot of work to, uh, completely migrate a website.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. And that’s, it’s a big, big project. And I, you know, From some of the stories I’ve heard, a lot of the times it kind of leads to lower traffic and things like that.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, in every entrepreneur journey, there’s always mistakes made, lessons learned, um, failures, you know, in the business growing process. I mean, you’ve been running it for 11 years. What has been some of your, like, big mistakes or failure for learnings? You know, things that you think to [00:43:00] yourself, you know, I could have done without that.
What did you learn from it? What, um, can other entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah, um, in the beginning, I think we got a little too, like, we were focused on too many SKUs too fast, rather than, it would have been better to focus on fewer things and really kind of drive on those, um, it always has been like an easy, it will bump revenue to some degree to, uh, just add another SKU on there, um, so I think we got caught in that trap a little bit early on, it would have been better to focus, um, The other the biggest mistake that comes to mind is we were trying to grow too fast in too many directions at once.
And that just sucked cash. We had a line of credit and we we dug ourselves into a bit of debt. And overall, our team was just a little bit too bloated. So we were like, You know, there’s a lot of activity, but it wasn’t necessarily always contributing to the bottom line. Um, then the pandemic came around [00:44:00] and, uh, kind of used that opportunity.
Like, you know, we’re not going to survive if we continue like this with the uncertainty that was going on at the time. I knew it wouldn’t just be like two weeks and everything was over. I had some insight that there’d be a bit more of a longer tail to that going on. So we let go of a good amount of our employees at that time.
And we really like streamlined everything. We were trying to move on to a ERP software, which was a six figure mistake in its own right. Um, so we had all this thing together and we just cut employees, we cut software, we cut a bunch of stuff, streamline the ship focus, kind of kept our heads down and doing that while our total top line revenue dipped a little bit.
Uh, only a little bit and our profit went way up, like the next two years, just running in a streamlined way, we did much better. So, uh, we’ve been coming out of that and now we are focused on growing once again, but we’re being much more smart about it and not growing like too much in too many directions.[00:45:00]
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: what is the biggest, um, I guess, bottleneck in terms of, I mean, what is the biggest bottleneck that, that you think is like, if you can solve that problem? Is it more on the technology side? Is it more on the… People side marketing side for this kind of a business
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: for a while, and we’re getting some traction on this, but our new customer acquisition was real weak.
Um, so we’ve kind of with with what happened with the pandemic and everything, we just skated along on our existing customers. For the most part, there’s a be a trickle of new customers going in, but we didn’t have a lot going on. Lately, we have been focusing more on the market, like, how do we reliably bring in customers, you know, spend, um, 50 bucks and get a customer come in, that sort of thing.
So, while we’ve got some traction, by no means is that solved, um, and that, that’s a big thing, because, again, like, our products are great, our systems are great, a lot of the customers are going to come back. So, if we can really dial that [00:46:00] in further, that’s going to allow us to scale. Um,
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: now we’re going to move on to our rapid fire segment.
In this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you answer them maybe in a word or a sentence or so. So the first one is one book recommendation for entrepreneurs and why?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Um, I mentioned this one that I’m reading right now. This is Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead. This was recommended by one of the employees in the company and we’re going through it and really focusing on like, you know, where are we avoiding conflicts and where are we not dealing with issues properly so it’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve been doing but, and we’ve just gotten started with this process, but overall.
Already feeling really good about it and excited to see where it leads.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So it seems like you kind of have a book club in your, uh, uh, in your
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: organization. No, this is the first time where we just discussed at one of our strategy meetings like, Hey, I, I really recommend this. I’ve seen this work in other [00:47:00] companies that I’ve worked for, so, um, here’s what it’s about.
We all agreed to do it. And so now we have, uh, a meeting every other week where we do some of the exercises from the books and then, you know, see what. Comes up so again still early in the process, but it already seems to be paying some dividends
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um, an innovative product or idea in the current e commerce, retail, or tech landscape that you’ve seen excited
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: about?
Um, well, all the stuff happening with AI is certainly exciting. Um, one thing that we’re working on right now is putting together an AI chatbot for our website. The average customer that lands on our website, like, again, can be overwhelmed by all the herbs. And what to do. So having that as like an assistant there to guide them to, you know, what products might be right for them.
And are many like hundreds of blog articles that you have that may deliver the information they want. So that’s, that’s something we’re working on and excited about.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Do you think that when given, given that you’re kind of a marketing copywriter [00:48:00] yourself, can AI replace that skill? Or does that help you in terms of, you know, yeah, so I have
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: been playing around with it for my writing and it’s it’s not so much a replacement, but one can be if you know how to use it right.
It can be really helpful in. Um, making your copy even better or speeding up production of certain things. So, uh, like a lot of the emails that I write, for example, may use like a review from a customer. Um, and I can just like write like an intro and kind of outro to that. Give some information, usually like a lesson learns, like.
Oh, can that be done by AI? Like, just say like, here’s the product, here’s the review, can that be done? Um, so I’ve been playing around with that sort of thing. I don’t think it’s going to replace anything, but it certainly can, uh, yield better writing if you use it right and a bit faster.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. Uh, a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tool.[00:49:00]
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Um, I’ve recently, we started using Asana for our project management. We were using Trello before, and I enjoyed that, but Asana just seems to have a few features as far as like assigning stuff to people that is making me like it and the flow of it a bit more. So I was, I was hesitant to do as like, I don’t want another thing.
thing like this. I really like what I’m doing a Trello, but now that I’m playing with a little bit, uh, me and my team are enjoying it. Awesome.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, another startup or business in e commerce, retail or technology that you think it’s going to be doing great things. I
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: don’t actually pay attention to too much.
Other people are doing, um, I mean, yeah, the, again, the AI, there’s going to be so many startups and most of them are going to be crap out there, but, uh, there certainly seems some cool different tools that I’ve been using in that one of the ways I’ve been using it as, as a research assistant. Um, I made the mistake of doing that with [00:50:00] chat GPT at the beginning, and it’s literally like hallucinating references to scientific articles that don’t exist.
So that was a horrible experiment, but there are tools, uh, consensus. and elicit two different websites that Help you to actually dive into all the scientific references out there on pubmed So you can like ask a question and just from there pull up research. So i’ve been having fun with those I don’t know if those are like how they’re monetizing or whatnot, but it’s something i’ve been using.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: very nice. Um, A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you? um
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: perry marshall Uh, he was the original guy on Google AdWords that really kind of blew that up. But then his focus more on like 80, 20, and he just did a amazing AI, uh, summit that was really groundbreaking.
And, uh, what I really like about him is, you know, he’s focused on the marketing and, uh, the stuff happening, but really in a grounded [00:51:00] human way. Um, that stands out from a lot of the, you know, like overly salesy people out there. Awesome.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, Final question. Best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: What’s coming to my mind right now is, you know, learn how to look at your books. You need to understand bookkeeping and, uh, you know, at some point as a business is growing, it probably, even if you come in with some skills, I mean, this was the case for me. It just kind of grew to be like too big of a thing.
It was hard for me to wrap my mind around. And with that, I kind of let something slip that I shouldn’t and we got into debt. Um, so yeah, learn how to do those books and keep freshening those. Skills and get better just as the size of the business grows
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: awesome. Well, Logan, those are all the questions that I had for you.
Thank you so much for sharing your story for sharing, you know, um. Uh, ideas about [00:52:00] this interesting niche and also, uh, you know, how you grew your business and some of the challenges that you’ve faced. So thank you so much again for your time. And if somebody wants to, uh, get in touch with you or buy your products, what are some of the best ways they can do that?
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yeah. So the website is LostEmpireHerbs. com and you can reach me directly at Logan, L O G A N at LostEmpireHerbs. com.
Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Well, thank you, Logan. Thanks again. Really, really appreciate your time and wish you all the very best.
Logan Christopher of Lost Empire Herbs: Yes. Thank you very much.
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