Entrepreneur Nick Mertz on Challenges of E-commerce, In-House Operations, and Hiring the Right People.
Today's episode of The Unofficial Shopify Podcast brings you Nick Mertz, the reclusive yet unstoppable e-commerce juggernaut behind $100 million in revenue. This unstoppable entrepreneur has generated over $100 million in revenue with ventures like Rugged Apparel, Adam's Polishes, and Pins & Aces. How does he do it? Discover his strategies for hiring, in-house operations, and mastering growth.
[00:01:21} Podcast featuring successful e-com entrepreneur Nick, discussing challenges and successful ventures, including Leno's Garage.
[00:04:38} Started e-com business in college selling survival bracelets, sold it after a few years.
[00:08:59} Starting an e-commerce business does not require a lot of money. Differentiation is key to success in a competitive market. Validating the idea is important before starting.
[00:12:21} Stick with it, have grit, and don't expect overnight success. One mannequin company survived the 2008 recession while 90% of competitors went out of business. Some products have TikTok booms, but persistence is necessary to turn it into a business.
[00:13:50} Two successful products: beer sleeve and liquor stick, with a focus on innovation and marketing. Dealing with copycats involves legal action.
[00:20:39} Small brand collab with Bud Light - no license, no royalty, just make cool stuff and use it. Unlimited
beer sent. Those brand collabs legitimized the brand leading to other collabs. Some licensed stuff, like NCAA.
[00:24:38} Starting as a side project, Pins and Aces grew to become a real business by hiring key people while maintaining a fun culture. Hiring slowly and firing quickly is important for building a strong team.
[00:27:19} Employees have equity in the company and a bonus program; giving opportunities for growth leads to retention.
[00:33:55} DIY approach has drawbacks like lost packages, missing inventory, shipping wrong item, but offers personal touch and control over shipping experience.
[00:38:58} New products, collaborations, growing brands, relaunching Hooga Lab, and moving to a new building.
[00:41:33} Stay focused on your product and niche, even if it doesn't sell immediately. Grinding it out for at least 6 months can lead to success.