Welcome to VDB!
For historical purposes I wanted to keep track of our progress and product while building.
My dad has been a “manufacturers representative” for as long as I can remember. His Job was to get brands and manufacturers onto the retail store shelves, like HomeDepot, Ace Hardware, Target, Lowe’s Hardware, Costco, etc.
This niche job exists because most inventors, manufacturers, and brands don’t have internal resources to manage their relationships with all the different retailers or distributors in the country, there are way too many conversations happening and too much to manage.
Instead brands will hire “independent reps/agents” around the country to act on their behalf.
I had graduated college in 2007 and bounced around while trying to find my place in the world. My dad offered me a part-time $15/hr job to keep my head above the water while I was searching for my passion.
My dad had been spending 50+hours per week managing a relationships with retailers, but also organizing the manufacturer’s data with rigorous discipline so that he could always respond quicker to every question that came through.
I also realized he was maintaining spreadsheets with thousands of rows, often updating them 1-at-a-time. (bling bling)
The first time he asked me to update a spreadsheet cost file, he estimated 2 weeks for me to lookup 2K items out of a manufacturer file that contains 30K rows. His brain exploded after I did a VLOOKUP and delivered project files in less than an hour.
A week later my dad had mentioned he had previously onboarded 2 clients with Amazon, and I was free to pursue that opportunity.
Fast forward and I onboarded all our clients with Amazon, and our agency sales (and income) tripled in less than 18-months. I was helping clients organize their massive catalogs, digitize them, and sell more faster faster because my quick learning on retail-merchandising, internet-marketing, data extraction, and database management.
We had multiple clients selling +$10 Million/year on Amazon alone and growing from nothing to a major growth channel.
The rest is history.