I Make $13.2M/Yr Promoting Concrete Counter tops For DIY’ers

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Hey! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin

Hello, all DIYR’s and execs alike.

My title is Ed Baldoni and I’m the founder and proprietor of Concrete Countertop Options. Please don’t let our title idiot you, we’re greater than concrete counter tops!

As our title insinuates we do promote every thing wanted to construct concrete counter tops however have expanded into the swimming pool business as effectively.

Our Z Counterform System for counter tops and Z Poolform System for concrete pool coping are the go-to options for cast-in-place concrete varieties. With a small however devoted staff, we grew this enterprise from an concept to over $12M in income in 10 years.

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What our prospects have achieved utilizing our merchandise

What’s your backstory and the way did you give you the concept?

I used to be a developer/ house builder for over 40 years. As a builder, I used to be all the time trying to keep forward of the curve and supply new concepts to my purchasers. To remain on high of the curve, I’d go to the nationwide house present yearly to see what was new and what new house patrons had been curious about. Concrete counter tops caught my consideration in a giant method on the NAHB present. Perhaps due to my Italian heritage or the truth that concrete was comparatively cheap I figured that I ought to give constructing counter tops a strive in one in all my houses underneath building.

Be affected person, success just isn’t going to occur in a single day.

I’ve to be sincere and say that it was not as straightforward as I assumed it might be. There weren’t many assets on-line nor merchandise accessible to do a pour-in-place countertop. With the concept that there needs to be a neater method, I began brainstorming methods to create a break-away type particularly for counter tops. Not lengthy after, the Z Counterform System was born.

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Take us by the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

My authentic design for a pour-in-place countertop type took me 5 minutes. I assumed this was such a easy concept that somebody certainly had considered it earlier than me. I knew the significance of getting a patent so my subsequent step was to discover a patent legal professional who understood building practices.

Making use of for and receiving a patent was an extended journey. My first patent evaluate was denied as a result of the examiner was complicated my concept with one thing unrelated. Getting a patent authorized may be an intimidating course of for a layperson. Solely a small proportion of attorneys do patent work and if you do discover an legal professional that does patents you need to discover one that makes a speciality of the sector that you’re attempting to get your patent in.

There are two kinds of patents, design, and utility. Whereas a utility patent is often dearer and may take two to a few years to be authorized, it supplies broad safety making it tough for a competing product to keep away from patent infringement. My greatest recommendation, if you’re making use of for a patent, be affected person and do not hand over. The time and money spent are effectively definitely worth the effort.

It now took one other yr to seek out an extrusion manufacturing facility that would and was keen to do small runs of an unknown and unproven product.

After three years our first run of countertop varieties was lastly delivered to us. I couldn’t wait to construct our first countertop with our new forming system. After forming and pouring our first counter tops we waited till the subsequent day to provide the countertop varieties the actual take a look at. Would they carry out as designed and snap off as we hoped? They did! Precisely as designed.

Right here is a photograph that exhibits the unique hand sketch of a Poolform half to ultimate CAD prototyping which will likely be 3D printed to verify all components work earlier than tooling will get made.

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Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

Now I knew I had a fantastic new product however didn’t know something about bringing it to market. I knew that I wanted an internet site and needed to have an eCommerce presence. On the time I used to be nonetheless a house builder and this was nothing greater than a aspect hustle that I used to be financing myself.

Within the early days, I’d get a couple of orders every week. Lots of my prospects would ask issues like “what concrete ought to I take advantage of?” or “the place can I purchase concrete stains?” I rapidly realized the potential of getting a “one-stop store”. Via a couple of strategic partnerships with some nice producers who let me white label their already profitable merchandise, I used to be in a position to quickly develop our product providing.

One factor I can contribute a lot of our early success to was our tutorial movies.There weren’t many good assets on-line the place you possibly can learn to set up concrete counter tops. So we began placing out tutorial movies exhibiting use our merchandise and doing full tutorials of begin to end countertop installations.

It’s necessary to determine the place your prospects are doing their product analysis and attempt to get your first interplay with them there.

In addition to vastly serving to our website positioning, these YouTube movies began getting lots of visitors from a passionate DIY neighborhood. What I initially envisioned as a product for professionals like myself, was rapidly changing into a fantastic instrument for DIYers to save cash by putting in their counter tops. As soon as I spotted the potential this market might supply, we began producing extra academic content material and focusing a lot of our website positioning key phrases and promoting on attracting the DIYer. That is actually what made the enterprise take off.

Once I first launched our web site we solely had a couple of merchandise to promote so the design was fairly easy. I had a neighborhood firm construct the unique web site and keep it for me. Nevertheless, as our eCommerce retailer started to get busier and busier I spotted the significance of an in-house IT particular person.

As luck would have it my son Dario had simply graduated with a level in laptop science. He revamped the unique web site and commenced doing lots of work on website positioning and PPC advertising equivalent to Google Adwords and Fb which allowed the enterprise to develop quickly in a brief period of time.

There are many firms you’ll be able to rent to do this type of work however my frustration was all the time paying somebody and never actually realizing how a lot their work was paying off. Having an inner one who was strongly incentivized to see the enterprise develop and who understood our prospects/ merchandise gave me confidence we had been making the correct strikes and allowed me to concentrate on creating new merchandise.

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Screenshot of our most up-to-date web site redesign

The subsequent chapter in Concrete Countertop Options merchandise was to enterprise into the swimming pool business. Our aim was to create a reusable forming system for cantilevered concrete coping.

After our design was accomplished we went again to our patent attorneys to ensure we had a patentable product. As soon as our patent was granted we had our CAD drawings and 3D fashions made and despatched to our extrusion manufacturing facility for manufacturing runs.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?

Within the early days, we centered a lot of our effort and time on website positioning in addition to PPC advertising. I all the time felt we had one of the best merchandise accessible, we simply wanted to get them in entrance of the correct prospects.

Probably the greatest website positioning and advertising instruments for us has all the time been YouTube. It serves as a fantastic top-of-the-funnel instrument to assist new prospects (nonetheless within the researching section) discover us, but it surely additionally serves as our foremost academic instrument as effectively. For a challenge as concerned as putting in a concrete countertop, having the ability to supply step by steps tutorials is one factor that has all the time put us forward of our competitors. Our YouTube channel presently has virtually 20K subscribers and over 6M video views.

Pinterest has been a fantastic instrument for our top-of-the-funnel buyer acquisition since it’s the place lots of people will do analysis and get concepts earlier than starting their house enchancment initiatives. I feel you will need to determine the place your prospects are doing their product analysis and attempt to get your first interplay with them there.

One other platform that shouldn’t be neglected is social media. Once we first began, social media was a lot smaller than it’s now and was not a significant a part of our advertising technique. Initially we used it primarily to speak with our prospects. Nevertheless, it’s now an enormous a part of our advertising technique.

Immediately we use it for communication, to share our buyer’s images, and we do lots of focused promoting on Fb and Instagram. We additionally do loads of sponsored posts with DIY and Residence Enchancment bloggers/ influencers.

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Retargeting Fb Advert

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Retargeting Fb Marketing campaign final 30-day outcomes

Within the final 2-3 years, this has in all probability contributed to probably the most development with the biggest ROI. Additionally it is one thing that only a few of our rivals are doing but so it permits us to remain a leg up.

How are you doing right this moment and what does the longer term appear like?

We’ve continued to develop yearly we have now been in enterprise. Prior to now two years, we have now gone from $7M in income to a projected $13M this yr. I feel there are a couple of large elements which have allowed us to maintain up this development.

One is the addition of latest merchandise. We’re all the time striving to develop new progressive merchandise to make our prospects’ lives simpler. This helps us retain prospects but in addition permits new prospects to seek out us. A main instance of this was the event of the Z Poolform System in 2014. This allowed us to develop into the swimming pool market which is far bigger than the concrete countertop market. 2022 would be the first yr that we might even see our gross sales of pool coping merchandise overtake the concrete countertop merchandise and there’s no decelerate in web site. We think about this market comparatively untapped with large development potential.

One other issue is that we proceed to reinvest in promoting. We’re all the time increasing our advertising technique and in search of new methods to draw prospects. As our income will increase, so does our advertising funds in order that we will proceed to succeed in a wider viewers in additional locations. That is the primary yr we have now begun experimenting with nationwide TV commercials.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for your enterprise?

For our eCommerce platform, we’re presently on Shopify Plus. We lately switched to ShipHawk as our in cart ranking and achievement software program which has been a giant change however will permit us to develop sooner with fewer individuals.

We use Entrance App for electronic mail communications which I like. It is a superb instrument for electronic mail when you’ve lots of inner communication occurring. It permits our groups to collaborate on electronic mail messages within the background so we will all the time ensure a buyer or a contact is receiving one of the best data from the correct particular person.

We use YotPo for opinions due to their highly effective advertising instrument. YotPo Visible suite is what runs all the galleries on our web site. There are lots of different instruments and integrations we use however these are those that come to thoughts that make the largest impression.

What have been probably the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?

I like the Podcast How I Constructed This which is similar to Begin Story! As an entrepreneur, it’s all the time fascinating to me to find out about different entrepreneurs’ tales and to attempt to be taught from one of the best.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who need to get began or are simply beginning out?

Be affected person, success just isn’t going to occur in a single day. It took me 3 years to go from concept to product that could possibly be offered and one other 4 years till I used to be in a position to give up my outdated job and concentrate on this full time.

The place can we go to be taught extra?

When you have any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!


 

Ed Baldoni
 
Founding father of Concrete Countertop Options

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