Advice on Selling Direct-to-Consumer from the Beard King
- October 25, 2015 | Lee Polevoi
In 2014, entrepreneur Nicholas Galekovic founded the lifestyle brand and grooming products line Beard King, starting with the launch of its flagship product the Beard Bib, "the world's first and only grooming tool that eliminates manual clean-up and allows for easy disposal."
The Beard Bib is a men's grooming tool that catches facial hair clippings. Its "easy-flap shoot disposal" transforms the tedious and messy task of grooming facial hair into a simple, tidy, and efficient process.
"Getting yelled at as a teenager by my mother, and now as an adult by my wife," Galekovic says, "I figured there had to be something out there that could make things easier than putting down a towel or t-shirt -- but there wasn't!"
After considerable trial-and-error involving a sketchbook and experimenting with various materials, he came up with the genesis for his unique and increasingly popular grooming product.
"This flagship product is very functional," he says. "It helps the brand differentiate itself by carving out a niche in the market that solves a common household problem."
Taking an Organic Approach
Since its founding, the primary distribution channel for Beard King products (including combs, washes, styling materials, and trimmers) has been direct-to-consumer through the Beard King website. "Wholesalers and distributors have expressed interest in our products, but we wanted to see if we could more organically grow our online channel. So far," he adds, "it's been a great success."
Why choose the organic approach? "As a start-up product or company, you have to limit the perception of risk," Galekovic notes. "Entrepreneurs have the obligation to first prove their concept by selling on a small scale and seeing if there's indeed a demand for what they have to offer."
As part of this early process, he advises developing the "message and brand experience" you want your customers to have. From there, "you can begin to build out your store as you go, minimizing the investment risk."
As for selling direct-to-consumer, Galekovic points to three key advantages:
- You can control and obtain the highest margins possible for profit.
- You can control the customer and brand experience.
- You can grow organically and make changes on the fly.
"Inevitably, some mistakes are going to be made along the way," he adds. "But it's very important to quickly learn from them."
Logistical and Back-end Tactics
Even selling direct-to-consumer involves strategies for logistical and back-end support to help your business succeed. Galekovic suggests using an existing ecommerce platform such as Shopify, Squarespace, or BigCartel to help manage and ship your orders.
"You can also outsource orders to a fulfillment center, but I only recommend doing this when you begin to move large volumes, as otherwise these services will cut into your margins," says Galekovic.