6 steps to start your own business
My son started his own business — SlideBelts.com. Now his wife runs the show too. He made this happen with a lot of work and important steps:
1. Find a new product, a niche market that has not been tapped — How it happened for him:
“Ever heard of Moldova? It is Europe’s poorest country and formerly part of the Soviet Union. I went there in part to teach English many summers ago and made friends with some of the folks in the country’s small but unified military. An older gentleman by the name of Oleg took a few classes from me and would always tell me amazing stories from World War II. One day after one of our English classes, he came up to me and said that even though the classes are free he would like to give me a gift. Oleg told me about his “glory days”, including military apparel of the time, and then out of nowhere he pulled up his shirt and began to unbuckle his belt. I was shocked as he whipped off the belt, until I realized he was graciously giving me the very belt off his waist!”
2. Perfect the product:
“I worked hard for the next year, redesigning the concept from the ground up while preserving the simple idea: a leather belt that you could fully adjust. Variations of the belts exist all throughout the world–ratchet belts, holeless belts, clickbelts, and others–but in America they are known as SlideBelts.”
3. Give some of them away and then start selling to your contacts.
4. Build a website, shopify, Amazon — start selling them online.
5. Maintain inventory.
6. Make customer service number one.
“This belt is freaking sweet! NEVER have I owned a belt so nice! so easy to wear and the sliding feature is awesomeness like you wouldn’t believe. Sleek elegant design. No holes. This belt is on my list of gifts. The buckle comes off easy so you can alternate sizes or colors of leather. Comes in a fancy tin box. Great customer service from seller as well. If you’re looking for a nice belt look no further. Holes in belts are so obsolete. It is not just another slider belt. The sliding is smooth & sleek & the release is effortless.”
“This is the very best belt I have ever had the pleasure of owning in terms of both form and function. The adjustment is smooth, easy and fast, an important consideration, if like me, you travel a lot by air and need to remove and then replace your belt every time you go through security. The buckle is well designed and proportional, not overly thick like some other inferior products. The release mechanism design is elegantly simple and strong, again the other products are much more cumbersome and in some cases difficult to use. I was so impressed with the design that I ordered two more.
The only mystery to me is why everyone doesn’t own one or more of these, and why they’re not more widely distributed.
From, function and quality all rolled into one. Thank you Erik Blaire!”
You can buy them at SlideBelts.com or at Amazon:
Erik Blaire Men’s Leather SlideBelt – XLarge, Black