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Small Business Marketing and Fads

small business marketing promotion cover shot

Scott Huskinson never imagined he’d fund his kids’ college tuition with silicone wristbands.

by Shannon McRae (Reprinted from Mybusinessmag.com)

Late last year, Huskinson noticed lots of people wearing yellow wristbands, a fund-raising effort for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to cancer research and education. After a few celebrities were photographed wearing the yellow bracelets, they quickly became a hot commodity: Forty-seven million LiveStrong wristbands were sold in the first year that they were available.

Seeing a great fund-raising opportunity, other charitable groups started producing their own versions of the wristbands—and Huskinson, who is based in Logan, Utah, got an idea.

“I had relationships with some overseas vendors for other things I had done, and I started wondering if any of them could do wristbands,” says Huskinson. In particular, he was looking for a supplier who could produce smaller quantities so that customers could order 50 personalized wristbands instead of 50,000.

As it turned out, his supplier could produce them, so Huskinson built a Web site, put in a phone line and expected to get a few orders a day. Instead, thousands of orders poured in from all over the country, and hundreds more e-mails arrived every day. People loved the wristbands.

Huskinson got in on a craze at the right time, and now just nine months later, Reminder Band has 24 phone lines and its Web site receives almost 40,000 hits a day.

“It’s kind of like winning the lottery, it has all happened so fast,” says Huskinson, who started the business with two partners, Aaron Bishop and Clay Broadbent.

But it’s also an undeniable fad. And even though pre-teen kids are coveting the wristbands now, something new could come along any day. “We know it’s a fad,” Huskinson says. “But we’re preparing for it.”

If you’ve capitalized on a trend at the right time, congratulations. But good luck maintaining your small business if you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to do when today’s fad is forgotten tomorrow. Here’s how the Reminder Band partners plan to maintain their success:

Stay creative. In a business where everyone wants their order yesterday, Huskinson could be tempted to work day and night on orders that have already been placed. He does focus on running the business, but he also spends a lot of his day thinking about new ideas and concepts. “There’s a big emphasis on developing new products,” he says. “We know wristbands could fade away.” That’s why he’s investing money into infrastructure now, so that he can use systems in place to produce different products down the road.

Reward employees. The employees at Reminder Band are dedicated—a few have even slept at the office before. Their volume of work is immense, but so is their enthusiasm. The founders use a monthly profit-sharing program to make sure employees are rewarded for their hard work. “The phones are ringing off the hook. At times it’s very stressful here,” Huskinson says. “We wanted to show our employees that we’re all benefiting, not just the owners. We couldn’t do this without great people.”

Keep your wits. Hitting a fad is like finding a gold mine, and you may be tempted to celebrate. But take a tip from Huskinson and his partners and remain calm. Even with their overwhelming success, Huskinson still lives in a four-bedroom house (with seven kids). His partner, Broadbent, drives a car with 150,000 miles on it. “No new house or cars yet—we can do that sort of thing when we have more time,” Huskinson says. “The focus now is doing the best job we can.

*Learn more about handling growth spurts in “Managing Growth” at https://www.NFIB.com/toolsandtips.

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Bracelets in the News Reminderband Press Releases Who's Wearing Wristbands?

Official Wristbands at Tour de France

August 5, 2005
Contact: Whitney Russler
1-800-922-5401 Ext. 119
whitney@reminderband.com

For Immediate Release

 

REMINDERBANDS ADORN THOUSANDS AT TOUR DE FRANCE

Logan, UT— Reminderband, the official providers of the wristband of the Tour de France, was worn by thousands at the Tour including cyclists, fans, police security and reporters.

Fans of all ages were seen wearing the signature wristbands as they cheered on the cyclists with great enthusiasm.

“The Tour de France wristbands are fantastic and they are not only fashionable, they are unifying,” said customer Michele Antonelli of Saint-Etienne, France.

There are two different wristband designs that were sold at the Tour. The first wristband symbolizes the journey through the mountain stages by mirroring the esteemed polka-dotted jersey, in honor of victory in these difficult stages. The second band uses the colors gold, black and white, the official colors of the Tour de France’s logo.

“I bought some wristbands for my whole family so we would be a part of this worldwide sporting event,” said Antonelli.

Numerous cyclists wore the bands as they glided across the finish line after yet another grueling day of conquering a course full of hills and difficult terrain.

Kiosks set up along the course sold almost 20,000 in only the last ten days of the event.

Reminderband earned the official license to be the designer, manufacturer and distributor of such a prestigious event as the Tour de France in July of this year.

“It was exciting for us to provide the official band for such a prominent event as the Tour,” said Aaron Bishop, one of Reminderband’s partners.

The Livestrong wristbands inspired Reminderband to promote causes whether big or small by making custom silicone bands affordable. Reminderband continues its commitment to community and donates tens of thousands of wristbands to great causes and fundraisers they believe in, such as disaster relief and cancer research.

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Who's Wearing Wristbands?

Wristbands for Miss Utah 2005

Reminderband Creates Wristbands For Miss Utah

Miss Utah 2005 uses wristbands

Julia Bachison, the new Miss Utah for 2005, has been using Reminderband to bring increased awareness to her platform, “Healthy Weight for Life.”

“I want to express my gratitude for the positive and supportive response that I received from Reminderband as I competed for the title of Miss Utah,” Bachison said.

Bachison beat out 58 competitors for the title of Miss Utah and will compete in the Miss America pageant in the fall.

“We are honored and excited to be a part of her campaign,” said Aaron Bishop, one of Reminderband’s partners.

Reminderband, the leading distributor of custom silicone wristbands, sponsors Bachison on her commitment to increasing awareness in the state of Utah on healthy weight for life.

“My bands are perfect, each one looks great as I distribute them throughout the state promoting my platform,” Bachison said. “I am so impressed by how professional and yet personal Reminderband Company is.”