Are you constantly struggling to find the opportunity to exercise while on vacation or a business trip? Founder of Portable Kettlebell, John Rarity, had this exact problem and found an opportunity to create a portable kettlebell to service those who weren’t able to access weights while traveling. Read on to learn what John’s biggest challenges were in terms of manufacturing and marketing.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Portable Kettlebell.
Coming from an endurance sports background, when I started sandbag training I found it very useful, but still preferred the size and versatility of my iron kettlebell. The only problem was: I traveled for work and couldn’t pack the “bell” with me. Out of necessity, I merged the two concepts together and developed the Portable Kettlebell – which can hold up to 40 pounds of sand, dirt or water! It can easily be emptied and packed for travel, so you can do weight exercises anywhere, anytime.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running your online store?
The biggest challenge by far was sourcing a reliable manufacturer. We finally found a company based in Texas that can also leverage lower costs with overseas production facilities. Our biggest challenge now is obtaining a reliable, large scale distributor to support the European market. Second to that, entering the health clubs and training centers space with our new 2.0 version of the PKB that features a dust-proof liner and solid handle.
How do you attract new customers?
We source through organic search and word of mouth. Online: we don’t currently have a digital marketing strategy that works. Finding a marketer that can grow with us based on performance has been a challenge. In the past, marketers charge their fee and seem to do very little in terms of sustainable online growth.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Portable Kettlebell?
If considering a business in the world of manufacturing and retailing a product, start with a year’s worth of working capital and do it full-time. In other words, don’t rely on it for income for a year. Manufacturing and selling a product, depending on what it is, takes money and time – especially if it’s your first rodeo!
Are you looking for a reliable and space-conscious method of bringing your kettlebells with you while traveling? Check out Portable Kettlebell.