Hi guys! Nate Powell here. Today I thought I'd do something a little different. I'm going to use this BLOG to make a Q&A session about Ferocious Beard Company because there are quite a few people out there who have been asking me about what we're all about, how big a company we are, wanting to know about our products, and other related questions.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? My wife Barb and I started Ferocious Beard Company in October of 2017. The reason for our existence is that earlier in 2017, I grew a beard for the first time in my life. I had previously grown goatees and always liked that look, but I decided I hadn't grown a full beard, and wanted to. When I started growing the beard, my buddy at my "real job" who has a magnificent beard told me about beard oils and recommended that I use some to help keep the skin under my beard moisturized, which would in turn help my beard grow. He's the kind of guy that does a lot of things himself and he built me a beard oil from some carrier oils and essential oils he had that he liked. He told me "A beard will change your life". Little did he know what an impact that statement would be.
After using his beard oil, I started looking around out there online and found, of course, the big-name beard oil companies out there. But I was floored at the price of some of these products. I'm not saying that they're not worth it and I have the utmost respect for the companies that have paved the way, but I thought I could make some damned fine beard oils myself for quite a bit cheaper. I conferred more with my friend at work and he gave me some great pointers on how to start building my own beard oils. I went out and bought a lot of different oils, some essential oils, and started crafting my own beard oils. I was hooked! I continued practicing making beard oils, giving some to friends to try, and the feedback I received was extremely positive. Meanwhile, at work, one of our VPs said to me "Your beard is looking ferocious"!. You never know what that means when a VP at a fairly conservative company says that, but I was able to ascertain over time that he didn't think it was a bad thing. But, in thinking about his comment, I thought "That would be a GREAT name to use". So, at the end of September, I registered Ferocious Beard Company as an LLC with the State of Texas and we opened for business in October.
WHAT HAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE BEEN? My biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how to actually SELL beard products. We'd run small ads on Facebook and Instagram (we have a shoestring budget), and we'd get dozens of LIKES on Facebook, and literally hundreds of LOVES on Instragram, but that did not equate to a lot of sales. Let's face it. There are a tremendous amount of beard oil companies out there, and many use similar ingredients. But, during my research, I discovered that there was a tremendous opportunity to establish a niche. And our niche is this - we sell top quality beard oils and beard balms at fair prices while focusing on providing top notch customer service, and we also make it easy for our customers to literally create their OWN beard oils and balms. We ask "What do I wish were available to ME if I were a customer"? So, with this mindset, we established a very robust Rewards Program for our customers that provides significant discounts. We rolled out the "Create Your Own Beard Oil" section initially and it's been really fun to create exciting custom blends of beard oils for people! A Facebook visitor asked us why we didn't have an area to create custom beard balms, so after some serious contemplation, I thought it was a very fair question and worked on a solution to provide that for our customers too.
HOW LARGE A COMPANY ARE YOU? We're very small right now, although we have large aspirations! It's our second job for both of us, and it's just Barb and I running the whole operation. Our entire second floor is basically the Ferocious Beard Company. We run our web site on Shopify, and they have been hugely helpful in assisting with any technical issues we've had with setting up the site as we wanted. Aside from building beard oils and beard balms, we built the web site out to how we wanted it to look. We use a great template that is very customer-focused. As an example, if you type into the search bar for a product, you'll see it automatically populate as you're typing it with an image of the product which is extremely helpful when searching, because you'll know right away if that's the product you're looking for and not waste time searching the whole site. We value our customers time, and don't want them to be looking in vain for things that don't yet exist. While we're small, that doesn't mean we don't believe we can compete with the largest companies out there. We THINK big which keeps us focused. We prepare for success as is we're already BIG, but work on a smaller scale. It's a mindset.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT? Our entire mindset has been that we're a small company that ACTS BIG in ways that we can, and we think of our company as a part time job that will grow bigger as more people find out about us and what we have to offer. And we DO offer a tremendous amount of value to our customers. Our customized beard oil and beard balm section is an undiscovered powder keg that is ripe for growth. We're quick to respond to inquires from potential customers, and we always treat our visitors and customers with valuable and genuinely friendly responses. We LOVE their feedback. We're small so we're extremely nimble, and we are able to roll out new items very quickly as a result. Our whole mantra is identifying new opportunities through customer feedback and brainstorming, then rapidly prototyping test products with customers, and for those products that have a high potential for customer satisfaction, we quickly scale up and bring them into full production. We seriously love doing this. The research and experimentation is fun, and we enjoy the camaraderie of the variety of people from all sorts of different backgrounds that we stumble across looking to improve their beards.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS? Our plan is to keep growing organically (meaning, spending very little on advertising - but instead getting to know people on Facebook, on the streets, at festivals, and other similar locations and getting the word out that way). We want our products to be reviewed honestly and are happy to coordinate product samples to those willing to provide these reviews. We have a soft spot in our hearts for newer reviewers, because they are just starting out too in their Zen World. We sponsor a variety of contests in order to get the word out about Ferocious Beard Company. We're already seeing a spike in visitors to the site as a result, and we've made some sales and made several great friendships so far. We're hopeful to grow into a full-time business and expand our product line-up. No doubt about it, it's a challenging environment, but the journey is really exciting and fun! Barb wants to create some additional products for a spin-off she's been working on too, and our goal is to make it all happen.
ANY LAST WORDS? Yes, I'd like to thank everybody that has believed in us. We truly thank you for the words of encouragement you've provided to us! We exist for your benefit, and take seriously each and every comment we receive. We love to have fun but at the same time, we're running a business and so we make a point of listening to our customers and trying our best to ensure that at the end of the day, their satisfaction is met.
I hope you've enjoyed this insight into Ferocious Beard Company! "Be Ferocious". It's more than a slogan. It's a mindset. It's what makes us keep pressing on and doing what we like to do.