The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
I knew years ago in my one car
garage in Point Loma, San Diego that my product the Bottle Breacher was special
and that I was on to something much bigger than my original idea of
supplemental income. I also knew that if
we were going to build something amazing, that it had to be done right. I knew we would have to overcome the odds and
do something that many manufacturers and business owners avoid at all cost. Being made in America. I am proud to say that even after all the
exposure, the inquiries and offers to manufacture our product off shore that we
are still made in the USA. Not only is
our manufacturing still here, but so are our jobs.
I would like to be completely honest
and admit that as a boy and even a young man I had no allegiance or preference
to made in America products. This is not
something I am proud of. Like they say,
“you don’t know what you don’t know.” After making the commitment to be a made
in America brand I now have a huge respect for those companies and businesses
that take the road less traveled and at times price themselves right out of
certain markets and channels.
I have learned that there are many benefits to manufacturing
here in the USA. One of the biggest
reasons is because I feel it is the
right thing to do and the people that work at Bottle Breacher have a sense of pride
about it. I also love doing business
face to face. I routinely hop on a plane to travel across the country to check
out a new process or equipment I want to purchase.
I want to meet with people in person so I get a better feel for
them and what kind of business they run. You
can have the best product or service in the world but if there aren’t great
people behind it then it won’t last and stand the test of time. As a matter of fact, 90% of the manufacturing
we do is done right here in Tucson, AZ. Most
of the time I don’t even have to hop on a plane, I can just drive over and drop in to see exactly what issues there are, or why a process is delayed. I also love the fact that once a
product is complete I don’t have to wait 30 days for it to travel in a cargo
container on a boat half way around the world and then be held up in customs
for another week or two. The final
reason I like manufacturing here in the USA is because I feel like a lot of
consumers are starting to catch on to why it is important to give these
products a second look and why it’s worth to spend a few extra dollars on them.
People have asked me many times why
Bottle Breachers are not on every shelf in sporting goods stores and many of
today’s big box stores that carry an assortment of everything from pantyhose to
motor oil. Honestly it isn’t because of
a lack of interest from either side. It
all boils down to margin. Because we make
our products in the States we have to pay between 50-70% more to manufacture versus sending our process to China or Mexico. Most people also do not realize how brutal retail is. If you get your products into the Walmart, Target, and
Bass Pro Shops around the world you may only come away with 20-25% of the sale
price of the product. In addition to
that a lot big stores won’t pay you until 30-60 days after the
transaction. A lag in capital flowing
into a business of a month or two can sometimes break the back of a small
business that doesn’t have a good reserve of cash flow. This isn’t to say that Big Box stores are
evil, far from it. Many of these chains
employ thousands of people and must be very competitive to survive themselves.
My point is that it is much more difficult for made in America companies to get
their products into them.
There are many pros and cons to
being a made in America brand. We enjoy
the pros and are constantly fighting the cons on a daily basis. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any
other way and I really enjoy the challenge.
I also hope this piece was educational and inspiring to entrepreneurs
who are making this decision right now and also to those consumers who are
contemplating a purchase that involves products that are made in the USA and a
competing product that are made oversees.
I know I once didn’t appreciate the constraints and difficulties that
come along with businesses that make the commitment to keep their dollars and
jobs here in the USA. I am glad I have educated myself and made the decision that we will either
make it as a made in the USA brand or we will die as a made in the USA