Each month we like to spotlight our merchants who have found success by running the businesses that they love. Read on to find out how one man turned a simple idea into a successful business.
A Notch Above the Rest
Paul Cunningham’s road to success started with a mild annoyance on the golf course. Namely, the difficulty that came with wearing his glasses with his hats while being out in the sunshine. “I noticed that whenever I would try and wear my hat with my sunglasses the two would sort of fight with each other on my face,” he says.
And thus, Notch was born “out of [a] search to try and find a simple, attractive solution for that problem.” By inserting a strategically-placed notch into their hats, customers can wear them with sunglasses without having to worry about either sitting askew.
[Starting a business] takes a lot more time, money, and energy than I would have expected. But if it was easy, everyone would do it!
Finding Their Niche
As with any new business, it took a minute for Notch to find its footing. “When we first started, our biggest challenges were manufacturing and just getting the product out there,” Cunningham says. “It takes a lot more time, money, and energy than I would have expected. But if it was easy, everyone would do it!”
Then Notch switched to the ecommerce space, and now does over 70% of their business online. Cunningham credits his wife for being the biggest source of inspiration along the way to this success. “Many times along the way I've felt like giving up or sitting back and letting things coast,” he says. “But she always pushes me to keep at it.”
What They've Learned
Now that Cunningham and Notch have found success, he has wise advice for people looking to start their own online stores. Namely: you need to start!
Just get started: get started doing something,” He says. “Sometimes we spend too much time analyzing, and the faster you get started doing something, the better your chances are of success.
Additionally, Cunningham recommends that ecommerce entrepreneurs start with a simple business template, and have a site that is attractive and easy for customers to navigate. “Use high quality images to help tell your story and always take advantage of customer reviews to help drive more sales,” he advised.
As for the future of Notch, Cunningham plans to strategically branch out. “Hopefully it continues to grow as we branch out into other areas of marketing like Google shopping, retargeting, email campaigns, etc.,” he says. “We are also continuing to add new products which will help us capture more customers.”