In this episode of Built to Sell Radio you’re going to hear from Erik Huberman, who started Swag-of-the-month, a T-shirt business he quickly scaled from start-up to sale in 18 months.
About Erik Huberman
Erik Huberman is founder and CEO of Hawke Media, a leading outsourced digital CMO agency for companies like Evite, Bally Total Fitness, Verizon Wireless, Eddie Bauer, Red Bull, and many other brands. Erik and his team provide complete sales, marketing, and e-commerce for their clients.
As a serial entrepreneur and brand and marketing consultant for eight years, Erik previously founded, grew, and sold Swag of the Month, and grew Ellie.com’s sales to $1 million in four months. He frequently speaks at marketing events and recently filmed a television commercial airing on CNBC.
Erik cultivates a positive environment at Hawke Media; all his team members reached their business goals in year one and are on track to do so in year two. Erik’s personal passions include the startup and technology worlds, travel, music, and fitness —Hawke Media’s team members participate in ongoing fitness competitions in the office.
Some Highlights of the Show
Business: Swag of the Month
2:20: Our idea was to figure out a better way to sell T-shirts to men.
3:45: We asked them questions to get to know who they were as a person, and we created an algorithm to see what kind of T-shirt they would wear.
4:30: From building the business to selling it, the timeline was about 18 months. We had five employees, and customers in the mid-thousands.
5:00: We created a very large brand, we built it very quickly, and we had lots of media coverage…. We got to the point where scaling was an issue. We were working day and night and we had a cash flow problem.
6:15: In retrospect, the model was flawed. You need cash to scale.
8:20: Even with 5,000 to 6,000 subscribers, there wasn’t enough money to cover everything.
8:35: The sale was as bizarre and as easy as it gets…
9:25: We got a lot of credibility and connections out of it, and that was worth the sale.
10:10: We threw out a number and we got decent money for it, but it could have been higher; I went too low.
11:38: The diligence: they knew our business and they had access to all the numbers. We spent an afternoon together; they wrote a check; we cashed it. There was an innate trust; we didn’t even have a contract.
12:25: For them it was strategic; they had a massive customer base. They quadrupled the revenue in month two.
12:50: I’m happy where I ended up, but our mistake was around financing. We needed financial guidance in order to avoid typical mistakes.
13:40: Our biggest mistake was financing. We should have raised money and figured things out. I could have focused more time on the venture capital side of it.
Click to Tweet: How to earn a free MBA in 18 months. w/ @ErikHuberman
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