Eric Bussey jokes that he only looks like a great marketer… he’s just selling the EXACT thing his voracious audience craves most.
Not a bad idea, right?
And to think, he used to think he just needed some good luck to make it this time. See, a while back, he tried selling private label products. You know the drill… find out what’s selling, copy it, then try to sell it. Nothing seemed to stick (of course). But now, Eric knows better.
Just a couple of years ago Eric and his partners created Extra Mile Tools, a home improvement store selling to the people who love tools most - contractors.
More tools = mo’ money for these guys.
The inventory was secondhand and new tools that were headed to a liquidation store. They started it in his garage, buying tools on eBay, storage units, and other places, refurbishing them, and selling. Soon, they moved to a warehouse, with the hope things would work out. Warehouses aren’t cheap, after all.
Eric was in charge of marketing. He’d learned the importance of building an audience and a genuine connection with them. So, even though he felt like a dork talking to, well, pretty much himself… he got on Facebook and did Lives 1-2 times every single week. Consistently. Even when it seemed like nothing was happening. Eventually, there were people on the other end, typing comments in as he spoke.
Was it slick? Noooooooo. And that’s perfect. As Eric puts it, when you see an ad for a car, it’s all fireballs and explosions capped off with fake scarcity threats saying the price is going to go up in the next 12 seconds. Authentic? Hardly.
But when he pulled his phone out and shot video live? His audience vibed with that. They - like all of us - were used to being ‘oversold’ and to have something so real was refreshing.
So, did it work?
Um. Yeahhhh. Now they have four physical locations, a distribution center, and an audience that can never have too many tools.
But that 8-figure business was just the start.
Eric knew he wanted to build an ecomm business. With a family he describes as “everything I ever wanted” and a passion for creating opportunities for others, going back online was his way of thinking even bigger. Joining the Capitalism Incubator was his way of putting this new business on the fast track.
So, he started Rebel Tool Co. and Extra Mile Tools is its funding source. And its audience source. And its manufacturing source. See, when a competitor caught wind of what he’s doing, a funny conversation happened. It went a little something like this…
“Hey, how about instead of competing against us, we make your product for you? Please?”
Behold, the power of building an audience. You never know whose attention you’ll capture.
Plus, once you build an audience, you can just keep serving them and solving more problems for them (a.k.a. Bolt on a whole new brand!) That’s the built-in advantage Eric’s Rebel Tool Co. has - the audience was already there with Extra Mile.
So when he did a pre-sale on Rebel’s first tool? WHAMM-O. They bought. They already know, like, and trust him. Eric was able to survey 100 contractors to find out what they wanted him to make for them (he gave them a 10%-off coupon for Extra Mile). Funding your new biz’s giveaway from your current biz? Brilliant!
And when you’ve got a company that’s serving you so well, buying when they launch their own product, made just for you? No-brainer. It sold like crazy. It didn’t sell out - but that’s by design. Knowing it was going to do well, he ordered way more inventory than just what he thought would sell at launch. After all, Q4’s a-coming.
A team effort
Now, you haven’t heard diddly-squat about Eric’s partners in this article. That’s because the big story is how he’s leveraging all he already built to make a new brand. But we’d be remiss in skipping right past them.
There are three partners in Extra Mile. Three entrepreneurs steering the ship. Let that sink in for a sec. Three visionaries. Three guys with strong ideas about what they should do. Extra Mile is their shared baby, and they all want the very best for that baby so it can grow even bigger and stronger.
So… how does THAT work? Well, they each have their own area of expertise. And they all truly want what’s best for the business. But sometimes, it’s hard to come to a consensus. That’s when they pull the Switzerland card. With three partners, there’s always someone to break the tie.
A word to the wise
I asked Eric to share his best advice for you, and here’s what he said:
“Be stubborn. Whenever you hit a roadblock, realize that THAT is where someone else will stop. But if you keep going, eventually you’ll be the only one left. Just keep going.”
Now, we'll keep updating Eric's story as he builds his road to $1 million. We're rooting hard for him! He's building a business that makes the world a better place. In the process, he's also building a business that can create generational wealth.
That excites us a lot! After all, we're on a mission to make one million millionaires by 2028.
We'd love YOU to be one of them, too!
If you're ready to get started on your own road to $1 million, the first step is requesting your FREE million dollar brand playbook. Get started now!