Tomorrow is the biggest meeting of my life!
I think I’m starting to fall more in love with Canada each and every time I visit.
The people are friendly. The weather’s great in the summer. The food’s delicious. The publication transportation actually works. And people actually have manners! What else can you ask for?
If you haven’t been following along on social, I had the absolute day from hell the other day trying to get from Boston to Montreal for a college roommates bachelor party. After being stuck at the airport for 5 hours & 7 flight delays, my flight was canceled at 8PM. I decided to just say fuck it and rented a rental car for $600 and drove 6 hours to get there at 3AM.
Couldn’t leave my boy hanging and I certainly didn’t want to miss white water rafting in the morning. If he made my wedding out in Italy this was the least I could do.
Pro tip: Always get the front when white water rafting. You’ll get the most wet and be the first to go down the rapids. Also the best chance to fall out the boat.
The trip was a blast. Great food, tons of drinking, and boys just being boys for 72 hours. But not we’re in Ottawa for 24 hours and tomorrow afternoon will be partaking in one of the biggest meetings of my life.
We’re meeting with Costco Canada to discuss going nationwide with them!
This is a complete pinch-me moment and something we’ve been working on behind the scenes for nearly two years. If this closes it will be one of the biggest deals in CROSSNET history and immensely help grow the value of the business. The coolest thing is it will help bring CROSSNET to SO MANY more homes across Canada and spread the sport tremendously. Plus we’ll make a lot of money, so thats cool.
How We Keep Landing Big Box Stores!
One of the most frequent questions I get is how do you guys keep landing all these massive accounts?
The truth is it comes down to:
A bit of luck
Having margins that work
Good product that people actually enjoy
Sell through history
If this deal goes through it will actually be one of CROSSNET’s first ever using a rep group. If you’ve been following along you know that I personally did all of the outreach for stores like DICKS, Academy, Scheels, and Toys R Us back in the early days. There just happens to be a few behemoths that I simply can’t usually shake on my own.
Two years ago we started working with a company called ADW Acosta. They have helped us pitch CROSSNET globally to Costcos in America, Canada, Europe, and Australia. They provide guidance on how to pitch, the ideal pricing, and what products will and will not work. They’ve also been selling exclusively to Costco since 1983… longer than your boys been alive.
So you tell me. Do I keep trying to be the buyer to write back on LinkedIn or partner with the rep group who works daily with the buyer selling them thousands of products and lose a 2-5% margin on the order? You sure as hell know what one I’m taking!
Happy to pass forward any intros to my rep groups as they have been exceptionally helpful and are always looking to take on new products if there is a good fit. They’ve done right by me, so the least I can do is pay it forward.
I Just Stole Spikeball’s Secret Product
You’ll likely find that if you’re selling a single SKU cracking into the big-box stores is hard as hell. Why? Most buyers don’t want to take the time to set you up as a vendor just for one product. Why take the risk on this new company when I can just hit up the company they’ve been working with for a decade and add one of their products?
It sucks, but its the truth.
We received so many rejections when our wholesale catalog was just a one pager about CROSSNET. As soon as we expanded the line and launched H2O, Soccer, and our collab volleyball with Wilson the wholesale business started to unlock itself.
This week’s newsletter’s sponsored by the good folks at Particl and they’ve been so damn fun to work with lately.
Essentially you give them the names of your biggest competitors or companies you want to get ideas from and they will send you their in-store sell through data for each product, by week! Seeing the true numbers for your biggest competition is crazy and their black magic sorcery is legit 80-90% accurate, which gives us more than enough room to make product innovation decisions.
It’s about time we make our own.
For the past few years, we have been on the fence about creating a glow-in-the-dark set for CROSSNET. Think just a cool set of string lights that attach to the net and a cool glow-in-the-dark ball. The Facebook comments from moms wanting it in their backyard seemed like there was decent enough interest but we never made it a top priority. Man were we wrong.
We just got the data for Spikeball’s SpikeBrite set and oh my damn is it moving. I NEVER would have expected to see the volume its doing at retail stores.
A look into Spikeball’s dashboard inside Particl. People clearly like SpikeBrite and they also love bundles.
We are in now in a full sprint to get this product done by Spring 2024 and we’re very confident we can sell these at a reasonable margin given the demand Spikeball is seeing. If I’ve learned one thing from product releases its that if customers love your first product, they will almost certainly give your other ideas a try.
If you’re looking for new product ideas, seeking innovation and want to be in the know on the competition booking a demo with Particl is an absolute no brainer. CROSSNET loves using it and so does brands like Skims, Rhone, Cuts, Chubbies, Hexclad and a million others.
A Few Things I Wish I Knew Sooner
1) Being married is awesome. Being in a relationship like this is an absolute superpower. I spent my early twenties going on dates, feeling helpless, and never thinking I’d fine “the one”. I’ve never been more focused and motivated in my own career and I owe a lot of it to having a wife and a women by my side that makes me want to build for our future.
If you’re feeling like me in my early twenties just know you’re not alone. Spent alot of time with a college buddy at the bachelor party this week who felt like this. The time will come when your least expecting it. You just gotta keep putting up shots.
2) Busy work usually is a waste of time. Of course in the early days you have to put up the reps and try a million different things to make something work. However, once you find that lightbulb moment you’ll look back on all the little work being like what the hell was I thinking? I recently stumbled upon a bunch of Google Docs from 2019 when we started and I just laughed to myself because I must of spent hundreds of hours doing meaningless work to fill the hours in the day as if I was a virtual assistant.
3) Be true to yourself. Money means something different to everybody. Growing up with little I feel like I appreciate all that I have, maybe more than a trust fund kid who grew up on their dad’s yacht. Don’t let social media guilt you into making you feel like you’re not doing good enough.
I don’t own a Rolex. I don’t fly first class. I don’t have a sexy sports car or buy bottle service on the weekends.
I do have an amazing apartment. A beautiful wife and an amazing dog. A loving family. Money to buy what I want when I want. And I overspend on nice steaks and matcha. A simple life, but a happy one. I’ll take that over flexing on the internet to impress strangers all day long.
4) We’re so damn fortunate. Seriously. Wherever you are. You’re reading this on an iPhone or a laptop. LIfe could be so much worse. Be happy for what you have every single day.
See You Next Week!
Wherever you are I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter. If retail and Amazon expansion is top of mind to you, I’m going to host a free workshop next Monday, August 7th at 3PM EST. If you want to come, just shoot me a reply back and I’ll send you the calendar invite.
Say a prayer and wish me luck at Costco!