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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all.

Depressed Wes here. In preparing for my and Chris Graffin’s upcoming US website (launch date: February), I’ve been doing a lot of research into what products I should carry and what products I can carry—you know, because I’m broke AF. Lol. At the top of my list are (1) Chris’ Titanhunters, (2) latex by the box, (3) pre-made band sets, (4) pouches, (5) pouch material, (6) targets, (7) amber belt and crystal string, and (8) some unnamed but totally existent big-ticket item. This item is for all intents and purposes imaginary at this point, because I can’t make up my mind with my current budget! Ugh. It’s sucks to be poor.

I guess I’m depressed mostly because my bubble has been burst. That is, I kept holding out, telling myself that a big-ticket item would somehow manifest and save the day. I thought that I would discover the unfindable, and that it would pay off (profits >> investment). But that’s not the case. As it turns out, there’s no magical item that’s cheap for me to purchase and expensive for you to buy; that wouldn’t be good business anyway. Still, it would be nice to make nice money—to invest a modest amount and gain disproportionately. But it just doesn’t work like that. Ugh.

I can already see that in order to make good money, I’ll have to invest good money. But that’s not in the cards for me yet. I guess I’m just an idiot trying to make a buck in a poor man’s shooting sport. But hey—Jack Koehler knew slingshots were a poor man’s game (hence his book title), but he still did it. I guess I’m in good company. So, what do ya say: let’s all be broke and happy! We might even kill a squirrel or two! Haha.

Over and out,
Wes Mitchell
 

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It's hard, I'm a small business owner and every time you think you have it figured out and money coming in the goal post gets moved on you, be it covid, or inflation, or whatever is next. I used to have a decent job working for a company with Healthcare etc... I made 60-70k a year, I was able to buy a house, wife didn't have to work, etc. Traded it all in to do my own thing, sold the house, invested in a business, 10 years later I can "sell" $300,000 + a year but my profit margin is 20% and everyone keeps taking bigger bites out if it. Same 60k in the end except now 60k won't get you a van down by the river! Just keep fighting, we'll figure it out eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's hard, I'm a small business owner and every time you think you have it figured out and money coming in the goal post gets moved on you, be it covid, or inflation, or whatever is next. I used to have a decent job working for a company with Healthcare etc... I made 60-70k a year, I was able to buy a house, wife didn't have to work, etc. Traded it all in to do my own thing, sold the house, invested in a business, 10 years later I can "sell" $300,000 + a year but my profit margin is 20% and everyone keeps taking bigger bites out if it. Same 60k in the end except now 60k won't get you a van down by the river! Just keep fighting, we'll figure it out eventually.
It's hard, I'm a small business owner and every time you think you have it figured out and money coming in the goal post gets moved on you, be it covid, or inflation, or whatever is next. I used to have a decent job working for a company with Healthcare etc... I made 60-70k a year, I was able to buy a house, wife didn't have to work, etc. Traded it all in to do my own thing, sold the house, invested in a business, 10 years later I can "sell" $300,000 + a year but my profit margin is 20% and everyone keeps taking bigger bites out if it. Same 60k in the end except now 60k won't get you a van down by the river! Just keep fighting, we'll figure it out eventually.
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement, Karl. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling with aspects of running a small business. I’ve seen Chris gross £6,000+ in a 30-day period only to turn right back around and reinvest that capital in inventory and repairs. But he enjoys Catapult Carnage and making slingshots. I guess that’s what it’s all about. Chris and I are currently talking to the owner of Falcon latex about getting Chris his own latex brand, which would be cool. I thought that would be a money-maker for sure, since we’d be purchasing the latex from the factory itself. But no, a 2m box of 0.5mm latex would still cost $6, and shipping is $11 per kg. So, with minimum order quantities (MOQs), the latex endeavor turns into a $9,000 investment with a 30% return. That’s better money than we could make on other slingshot accessories, but that’s a fairly sizable upfront investment. Who knows how long it would take to sell 2,000 meters of latex… Anyway, good chatting with you, man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Small business loans are easy to find...

True. But I’m trying to have a go at it ye olde fashioned way—without borrowing a shit ton of money lol. 😂🤣😂🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good luck with your venture.

I’ll support it if I can but from the other side of the pond that’s probably not practical.

For me small business ownership was more of a lifestyle choice than a means to make a fortune. As it turns out the riches aren’t just financial.
Thanks for the support and kind words, man! There will probably be a few things on the site you could benefit from—like pre-made, ready-to-ship Titanhunters for one. I’ll also be carrying some really good microfiber fabric and microfiber pouches made out of said fabric for those not interested in making their own. Really good microfiber is hard to track down, ya know? And just when you think you’ve found it—BAM! They hit you with a MOQ of 500 meters. Ugh. It’s been quite the journey tracking down that stupid fabric. Haha!
 

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Hi, good luck, I know how frustrating this can be! I used to have a website where I made and sold hand forged knives and bushcraft stuff, it was fun for a while, I sold for 5 years, even matched my income as a teacher! I was going to do it full time, but I realized that I had no medical insurance, sick time or pension. I was teaching about 15years then realized the trade off wasn't worth it. I still make knives and stuff, but to sell it has to be a special custom order, I don't advertise any more, but still get calls, I closed the website about 21 years ago. Take it slow, and try not to get frustrated, if you focus too much on money, you will lose your vision and your mind. Keep positive, take things in stride it will work out.😁😁😁😁😁😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi, good luck, I know how frustrating this can be! I used to have a website where I made and sold hand forged knives and bushcraft stuff, it was fun for a while, I sold for 5 years, even matched my income as a teacher! I was going to do it full time, but I realized that I had no medical insurance, sick time or pension. I was teaching about 15years then realized the trade off wasn't worth it. I still make knives and stuff, but to sell it has to be a special custom order, I don't advertise any more, but still get calls, I closed the website about 21 years ago. Take it slow, and try not to get frustrated, if you focus too much on money, you will lose your vision and your mind. Keep positive, take things in stride it will work out.😁😁😁😁😁😁
Thanks for the words of encouragement!!! 🙂😊
 

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as my wife pointed out, just make sure you're not only buying yourself a job.
Truly wise words.

Sometimes it feels like your working for everyone else's benefit.

But today, Its finally stoped raining, the wind has stoped blowing, the sun is shining and the surfs up.

Ive just got back from the beach having had a good surf. I don't think "The Man" would understand. Too bad....
 

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Here's my brief take on it.

It's not going to work. Too new to the hobby and no name recognition and you don't have the money to make it successful. What you are describing is a "Dunder Mifflin" business model and in the end, with it being a poor man's sport (as you described it), people will wait the extra week to save $3 on their dozen pouches or frame and order from overseas.

If you do pursue it, keep your posts professional (you know what I mean), don't keep emphasising you don't have money (it doesn't make people want to give you theirs), get a vendor badge, post your business discussions/research questions in the proper sub forum and don't hock your goods in every thread possible.

Good luck.
 

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Good Luck. I hope it works out for you. I will check it out once it's up and running. A few things though: Try and carry some slingshots that no one else has and not too expensive. Doing this could ruin slingshots as a hobby or sport for you
when it becomes a business. There is a lot of competition for you and you are coming late to the game. This might not be the best way to make a living. But, all the best and I hope it works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's my brief take on it.

It's not going to work. Too new to the hobby and no name recognition and you don't have the money to make it successful. What you are describing is a "Dunder Mifflin" business model and in the end, with it being a poor man's sport (as you described it), people will wait the extra week to save $3 on their dozen pouches or frame and order from overseas.

If you do pursue it, keep your posts professional (you know what I mean), don't keep emphasising you don't have money (it doesn't make people want to give you theirs), get a vendor badge, post your business discussions/research questions in the proper sub forum and don't hock your goods in every thread possible.

Good luck.
Harsh, buddy. Honest, but harsh. Duly noted on professionally handling myself in Facebook posts. I have posted a few risqué memes recently, so I know what you mean, and you’re right about that. What I deem as funny may be off-putting or even offensive to some, and those are potential customers. You always run the risk of rubbing someone the wrong way with humor, so I’ll reel it in for the sake of business. But I don’t think I’ve overemphasized the fact that I don’t have as much startup capital as I’d like. I mean, there was this post and a penny-pinching meme on Facebook, but it didn’t relate to business in the slightest. Still, point taken. I won’t mention it again.

I’ve got to say, your lack of faith in me and my business model is motivating. If for no other reason, I have to succeed now just to watch you eat your words.
 

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NO

Slingshot shooting is able to be enjoyed by people of all economic status'... By Males and Females... By all different social status... by Carnivores and Vegans alike... Slingshots don't discriminate.

Our customers have ranged from Presidents, Generals, and CEOs to kids who are spending their allowance money, to people fresh out of prison to the people who put them there... Once introduced to slingshots in a way that shows how easy they are to shoot and maintain... and show how quiet and unobtrusive they can be... and at the same time can be as accurate as accuracy can be defined... slingshots are for EVERYBODY.
No need to pigeon-hole them.
 

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NO

Slingshot shooting is able to be enjoyed by people of all economic status'... By Males and Females... By all different social status... by Carnivores and Vegans alike... Slingshots don't discriminate.

Our customers have ranged from Presidents, Generals, and CEOs to kids who are spending their allowance money, to people fresh out of prison to the people who put them there... Once introduced to slingshots in a way that shows how easy they are to shoot and maintain... and show how quiet and unobtrusive they can be... and at the same time can be as accurate as accuracy can be defined... slingshots are for EVERYBODY.
No need to pigeon-hole them.
You tell 'em Bill.👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
NO

Slingshot shooting is able to be enjoyed by people of all economic status'... By Males and Females... By all different social status... by Carnivores and Vegans alike... Slingshots don't discriminate.

Our customers have ranged from Presidents, Generals, and CEOs to kids who are spending their allowance money, to people fresh out of prison to the people who put them there... Once introduced to slingshots in a way that shows how easy they are to shoot and maintain... and show how quiet and unobtrusive they can be... and at the same time can be as accurate as accuracy can be defined... slingshots are for EVERYBODY.
No need to pigeon-hole them.
I agree, Bill. I think what Jack Koehler meant by calling slingshot shooting “the poor man’s shooting sport” was that it’s financially accessible in a way that other forms of marksmanship aren’t. Good bow, rifle, and pistol set-ups cost a lot more, on the whole. I mean, you can spend $500 on a JJCC Mustang or RCC Shamshir, but those are more of an exception than the rule. You can carve yourself a natty and shoot for “free” (less the cost of the bands and ammo). I think most expenditures fall on the lower end (<$100) though.

But I am willing to venture that our community is less affluent than, say, members of the knife collector / EDC groups I follow. Their collections are typically worth thousands, with single pocket knives sometimes costing over a grand. Makers (artisans / craftsmen) in that field can make a decent living in a way that most can’t with slingshots. I’m just hoping to bring quality slingshot accessories to the States in a way that’s financially feasible to me and at a good deal to the customer. Nathan Masters is doing it, so I think—or at least hope—that Chris Graffin and I can do it too. A big part of my business strategy is going to be bringing Chinese- and UK-made products to the US for fast and easy shipping. It’s not the entire business model, but I think that’s something that’s currently lacking in the American market. And I think people want to be able to buy Chris’ slingshots without having to wait 6+ weeks for delivery. If I’m right about either of those things, I believe the business will work.
 
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