We’re shining this week’s small business spotlight on Massage Track, an Endicia customer and successful online business that develops and offers deep tissue massage therapy tools. And can you believe it all started with a Kickstarter campaign?
After suffering a years-long battle with tendinitis and eventually pulling a muscle in his back, Eric Jeffrey, inventor and owner of Massage Track, came to the conclusion he needed something that would give him immediate relief from muscle pain. So, he created a deep tissue massage tool for himself and found that after only a few weeks, the aches and pains had disappeared.
Eric saw this as an opportunity to build a business around something he was incredibly passionate about. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in June 2014, Eric launched his online business, Massage Track. Now, he’s here to tell us how he did it.
Endicia: This is a pretty unique business that clearly came from personal experience. How did it all start?
Eric: To make a long story short, I have always had tightness in my muscles and connective tissues, and the time finally came that I needed a regular, ongoing solution, not just a weekly (and expensive!) trip to the massage therapist.
I spent two years researching and developing deep tissue massage tools and decided to launch a Kickstarter project. After a few manufacturing obstacles, I shipped off the first batch of products about a year later. I’m happy to say my manufacturing process is now in tip-top shape. It’s been rewarding to see my product providing relief to people around the globe who have suffered from chronic aches and pains as I have.
Endicia: Wow … so it all started with a Kickstarter campaign! Would you recommend Kickstarter for new business ventures?
Eric: Absolutely. But one thing I would caution people about is the timing of their Kickstarter launch. I launched my project early out of fear that someone would launch a competing product or “better” idea if I didn’t move fast enough.
I ended up starting my campaign before nailing down the manufacturing side of things, which led to a few delays. Ultimately, it all worked out, but a bit more time planning might have saved me a few headaches in the long run.
Endicia: That completely makes sense. So once you got your Kickstarter campaign up and running, how did you know where to go next?
Eric: Funny you ask. My good friends at Xero Shoes were actually my guiding light through all of this. Everything they do, they do right. Steven at Xero Shoes was the first person I asked about ecommerce platforms, shipping tools etc. I pretty much followed his advice blindly and he was always spot on!
When it comes to other up-and-coming businesses, I would say it’s important to have a few trusted resources that you can go to with all of your questions. Also, make use of the customer service lines. Any issues I came across were generally resolved within a five minute phone call.
Endicia: You’re clearly a shining example of starting a business from the ground up. What advice would you give to budding small business owners with big dreams?
Eric: This is a magical time to be an entrepreneur. Compared to just 10 years ago, there are countless technologies available at the click of a button. Take advantage of them! With all the technology and tools surrounding us, one or two people can create a unique business that reaches people all over the world. All you have to do is try it and do something. If you have a dream or idea, just take that first little step.
For more inspiring small business success stories, check out our Online Business Success Stories page.