Today’s guest is Adam Mendler. He is an entrepreneur, a public speaker, a coach, and a consultant. He is the CEO of the Veloz group.
When you started the Veloz group, what was the first product or service that you guys went into?
The first business that Adam was able to get off the ground is currently their biggest business– Beverly Hills Chairs.
When they first started, they had a lot of ideas for a lot of businesses and they started to push them. They spent their first year and a half trying to turn these ideas into companies. The time came when they couldn’t do it much longer because they’ve burned through their savings. That was when they started to focus on the two businesses that were closest to being monetizable.
What made your two winners stand out? What makes them special?
In the United States, the largest office furniture company is called Herman It’s a billion-dollar company that is famous for its signature chair, the Herman Miller Aeron Chair. These cost $1,200 a chair. It’s the most popular chair ever made. Even with such a high price, companies really want that chair.
What Adam did was, they came in and identified that they could build a business that caters to the customers who want that chair but don’t want to pay as much money. That led to them selling refurbished Herman Miller chairs and refurbished Steelcase chairs from other top brands.
Adam learned in business school that he should not create demand, rather he should address it. With his business ideas, he would be addressing this demand that already exists while also doing so in a differentiated way. That same $1,200 chair, he sells for just five to $600. That’s 50% of the original cost.
How did you port that idea to custom tobacco? You mentioned that they’re pretty much similar. Are you saying that there’s this demand for custom tobacco, too?
With Customized Tobacco, Adam got their market wrong. Their market for Beverly Hills Chairs was small to medium-sized businesses that don’t want to pay full retail. People that were looking for something that could help them save money.
Foor Briarmont&Co., they initially built the business thinking that their core customers were hardcore cigar smokers. Those that love nothing more than to hang out at the cigar shop or their porch, or with buddies and just having a smoke. They couldn’t be any more wrong.
The hardcore cigar smoker did not like what they were offering at all because they were very loyal to their brands. That’s not what Adam was providing. He was offering the experience of creating your brand and creating your custom cigar. Most cigar smokers don’t care about that. Instead, the business resonated strongly with gift-givers and event planners.
Adam’s old design for his tobacco website was catered to their initial target audience. It had a more old school feel to it. It would make users feel like they visited a cigar shop.