Sully is the CEO & founder of Bombtech Golf, designing, manufacturing and selling Golf clubs direct to consumers. They launched in 2012 and are on track for $7m turnover in 2017, with a 50% year on year growth.
About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche
- In the USA, selling worldwide
- Platform – on BigCommerce
Listen to learn about Sully’s new membership site and service business extensions.
Sully was a sales representative for many different companies, but was obsessed with golf. When he was unable to find a golf driver he liked, he began building his own wholesale drivers and sold about $1,000 in custom drivers in 2011. However, he wanted to make his own product and design. A past roommate from the University of Vermont recommended that Sully call up the University and ask them for help. After contacting the University, they put him on a capstone project with four seniors to design the drivers.
Sully documented the process on Facebook and built a following there that allowed him to launch a brand. In 2012, he made his first sample driver and took it out to try it himself. When another golfer saw it, Sully offered to let the man try it. He took two swings and bought it on the spot. That night, Sully put the clubs on preorder and did about 15,000 on preorder without yet having the product in stock.
Bombtech Golf keeps a very lean team. Sully shoots videos, makes content, and talks about ideas and strategies. His general manager, Chris, does all the day-to-day inventory and forecasting and checks on the website, sales, and emails. Chris is also an email expert, bringing in about 40% of their revenue through email. Another team member, Alex, handles customer service, and they have one full-time videographer who edits and shoots videos. They use a third party for advertisements, and a fulfillment center for picking and packing.
Listen to learn why moving to the fulfillment center has been the biggest cost saver and game changer in terms of systems and operations.
The Website and Customer Service
Sully believes that the biggest action that moves the needle is attaching a person to the brand. To reflect that, he’s all over the website. There are people and videos on every product page, and Sully gets on camera as much as he can whenever he has something valuable to say. He also engages with comments and customers. Attaching a human to the brand made people feel like they were buying from him, not an empty, faceless brand, and videos get reactions.
The website also has phone numbers all over because they want people to call them. Some eCommerce owners don’t want to be called or offer guarantees on their products, but Sully believes that’s the wrong way to do business. If you’re not confident in your product, then don’t sell it. Just because a business is online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your customers.
Bombtech Golf also has a generous return policy of 60 days, but if someone wants to return a club 90 days or a year later, Bombtech will still hook them up. Returning a club after such a long period does not mean the customer is vindictive, it just means they didn’t have time to make it out on the course within the 60 days or some other issue came up. Sully will do whatever it takes for the customer to be happy, and if there’s a problem, he makes sure the customer is pleased with the solution.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
Instead of a book, listen to different podcasts and look for one tactical tip that you can use without getting overwhelmed. Pick one tip to test per month. Some podcasts to try are:
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Facebook group
- Email with extreme segmentation
- Content that gets a reaction
Listen to learn why you need to get your product, offer, and content right before starting with advertisements.
Tool Top Tip
Listen to learn about Bombtech Golf’s internal funnel.
Start Up Top Tip
Get a job at an eCommerce company to learn on someone else’s time. If you really want to start yourself, then don’t start with a product, start with your passion. You can’t chase a trend, but you can build a brand and an audience without having a product, then monetize later. Build up a Facebook group, start a Youtube channel, start a page, make content, and get feedback. Then you can offer the right product or service to someone.
- Sully’s consulting services,