This is a follow up story for The Maxbit. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 1 year ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello, I am Michele Morgan Morton, inventor of The MaxBit. The MaxBit Powered Garden Tools are our top products with our company, God’s Way Enterprises, Inc. We manufacture and market the tools here in the USA. Our customers range from the DIY everyday gardener to the landscaper who digs for a living.
The MaxBit helps in many outdoor fields; gardening, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, arboriculture, and well you get the point, wherever you need a hole!! Currently, The MaxBit Product Line has 4 dig sizes and an Extension to allow you to dig holes from standing up.
This female-run company has grown from the first year to this third year in over $200,000 in sales and added two new products this year. All this from an idea because I kept saying, “There must be a better way!!”
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The MaxBit Product line debut on Fox & Friends on National Gardening Day this year which yielded great National coverage.
Here is the Foxnews Video.
We have expanded into Hammacher Schlemmer through The Grommet and more up and coming platforms for next year that will lead to exciting growth.
We love our local mom and pop stores and you will find The MaxBit Display scattered all over the US in stores. ACE Hardware picked The MaxBit for its National show in 2018 and several ACE stores throughout the US now carry the product line. In addition Forestry Suppliers, and A M Leonard customers keep coming back for more.
We expanded internationally into Canada and Australia. We are pleased to see people all over the planet enjoying digging in the dirt with The MaxBit. We launched two new products, The MaxBit 1 Gallon and 3 Gallon digger that is powered by a one-man auger. It is a big hit in Canada and making its way into the US markets.
We work heavily with our state development office. As we participate in trade shows that attract international attendees, our MDA will reimburse up to 50% of funds spent. This is a great avenue to expand our horizons and travel to national shows that otherwise might not be feasible. We also set up booths at trade shows nation-wide. This helps in brand awareness and because The MaxBit is highly demonstrable it is remembered well. Our website and FB page showcase our products, videos, travels, and blogs.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
As we have grown we have looked at options for growth and decided to pursue companies that would be interested in licensing The MaxBit product line. With more inventions in the back pocket, we need the freedom to explore and help with a company to expand. I think for some companies this is the threshold point. How do I manage the growth, do I want to manage it, grow with it, or give someone else the opportunity - responsibility?
We need people and they need what we have, not necessarily our products, but that we can offer them kindness, integrity, and honor.
My experience in business and education combined helps me to research sources and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of many decisions. Some decisions, most decisions, are about timing. We can’t do it all ourselves, and we don’t want to, so we look at what the next steps are with all options on the table.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
When I started on this journey a few years ago with an invention and writing the patent, my intent all along was to license to a company and go on to the next. In learning all the steps in between manufacturing, marketing, and fulfillment, I am better equipped to make the best decisions going forward.
We found a company that is like-minded in mission and vision with a companion product that matches The MaxBit Product line. Teaming with a large corporation gives us the resources needed to grow quickly in ways that would take us more time. And as you know with product branding, time is important.
I will join this company in marketing and customer service as we expand the product line, the branding, reaching into homes and businesses worldwide. These are two areas I flourish in because I love people, and I believe in the products. Did you see the order of that sentence? I believe it is important that people know you care. Listening is a skill to be developed. God gave us two ears and one mouth!
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
My family owned several businesses while I was growing up so many things come naturally to me that others have to study and strive for. A mistake I see people make that can stymie success is putting the product before the people. I don’t mean on display but in priority.
If it were not for the students in a school, there would be no need for teachers, but some teachers don’t get it and treat their students likewise. We need people and they need what we have, not necessarily our products, but that we can offer them kindness, integrity, and honor. Then the product is a given.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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