- Avg. revenue /month$3,871
- Avg. sessions /month3,492
- Avg. profit /month$1,129
- Inventory value$10,500
Why this business was started
When you read our store’s About page you get half of the story of why we started this business- we are dog lovers and runners, and we couldn’t find the “perfect” leash for running with our crazy dog Zola. As a result we ended up designing the Runner's Choice Hands-free Dog Leash, and over the past eight years we sold more than 6,000 of these leashes worldwide.
The other half of the story of why we started Iron Doggy is that we wanted to create a life-style business that would bring in extra income, a business that could essentially run itself. Designing a dog leash was only part of the equation. We also hired an accomplished visual designer to create our logo / brand identity, and we did the work necessary to launch our e-commerce platform. We started selling leashes in the Fall of 2012 (on a different eCommerce platform), and since then we've had a lot of amazing press coverage (including Fitness, Women's Running, Tri-Athlete Magazines).
The reason of selling this business
What it takes to market a business has changed radically over the past 8 years, we were much more successful with it in the beginning. After a few years of declining success with our marketing efforts we’ve reached the conclusion that making Iron Doggy more profitable is beyond our capabilities and knowledge. We aren’t interested in putting in the time or money to master social media, search engine optimization, Google AdWords, etc.
What's involved in running this business
We are currently in the process of selling out our inventory, and we stopped running all advertising at the end of 2018. What it currently takes to run this business is the following:
- Three times a week we process orders. This task has been made incredibly easy by our ShipStation integration with the Shopify Store. We can process 10 orders in about 15 minutes. We use the USPS for all of our shipping (both domestic and international). All of our packages are picked up by the postal carrier right from our front porch.
- Once a month we do the Iron Doggy books. We use the Quick Books app within Shopify to automatically feed our sales records to Quick Books. We run a payroll system since we are filing taxes as an S-Corp, and we run 100% of our pay into a 401-K. When we do the books, we are taking care of our 401-K payments, credit card charges, etc.
- Once a quarter we pay state and local taxes. This is part of our bookkeeping process.
- On an as-needed basis, we answer customer questions. We use Zendesk for customer support, and spend no more than a half-hour per month on this tasks.
- When the mood strikes us, we post something on social media.
- We have a booth at the Furry Scurry, a huge run/walk event in support of the Denver Dumb Friend’s League. It’s amazingly fun, and we typically sell over 50 orders in 3 hours.
If we weren’t selling Iron Doggy, we would place orders to build more leashes. This effort involves the following:
- Placing orders for any needed raw materials before new leashes are built. We can recommend the suppliers from which we buy our raw materials.
- Placing orders with our manufacturer for building leashes. We pick up the leashes directly from the manufacturer in Denver once the job is finished. Our manufacturer is amazing. More on them later (see “How to grow this business”).
If we weren’t selling Iron Doggy, we would also spend time marketing our products. Before we stopped advertising we would do the following:
- Run Google Adwords campaigns
- Run Facebook ad campaigns
- Send out promotions via Mailchimp
- Write blog posts
- Curate customer product reviews
- Consistently engage in social media
Traffic and Performance
- Avg. revenue /month$3,871Verified
- Avg. sessions /month3,492Verified
- Avg. profit /month$1,129
- Inventory value$10,500
- Profit Margin30%
- Avg. sales /month35
- Shopify plan
- Inventory warehouse
- judge.me, Shipstation, Zendesk, QuickBooks
- Business Insurance, Accountant
Logo and branding assetsArtwork and specifications for screen and print logos. Iron Doggy has a trademark on the name and marks used on our products / website. The trademark will be transferred as part of this sale. All digital assets will be available for download from Dropbox.
Personal support after saleAt the time of the sale, we are happy to tell you everything we know and answer as many questions as possible. We are also happy to document in writing answers to any questions you have about creating our products, running the store, etc. We will also make ourselves available for 90-days after the sale to provide support for (3) 60 minute phone calls.
Product photosOur product photos were taken by professional photographers. The photo library also includes a set of photos taken for social media and ad purposes. All digital assets will be available for download from Dropbox.
How to grow this business
The new owner of Iron Doggy will largely acquire three things: 1) the design, manufacturing and material support to create our unique dog leash; 2) the very strong Iron Doggy brand; and 3) a turn-key Shopify store. If we were not selling the business, over the next five years we would do the following things to make Iron Doggy grow:
- We would hire someone to do the work necessary for the store to perform better in organic and paid search, and we would hire someone to take over running our social media campaigns.
- We would explore options to lower the cost of producing our leashes. There are a handful of companies selling products that look similar to our SideKick leash. We’ve ordered some of these products, and the quality is incredibly poor compared to ours. We don’t think we need to bring down our prices in order to be more competitive. Plenty of people are happy to pay what we charge for a leash. Instead we’d explore lowering the cost of production in order to increase profit margins. This is most likely solved by moving the manufacturing overseas. Our current manufacturer has an overseas partner who can build the leashes for substantially less; alternatively, it’s not too difficult to connect with overseas manufacturers directly.
- Finally, we would take more advantage of Iron Doggy’s brand by expanding our product offering. The original idea when forming Iron Doggy was to target athletes who spend time with their athletic dogs. We’re convinced that this is a super strong market, who would certainly buy targeted products beyond a running leash.
Skills to have
Most of Iron Doggy runs itself. We have a very loyal customer following (see our 700+ customer reviews), great products, and a well respected brand. The skills that we lack, and a new owner would need in order to grow this business, are specific to online advertising, search engine optimization, e-commerce analytics and running social media campaigns. We are confident that Iron Doggy will flourish under an owner who can bring these skills to bear
Our features for a secure experience
- Verified revenue and traffic
- Secure messaging platform
- Escrow payment system
- Dedicated migration team
Why use Exchange?
Exchange is the largest and fastest-growing marketplace for Shopify e-commerce stores
Verified listing data
The revenue and traffic data that you see on each listing is pulled directly from its Shopify account. This means that the data has been verified. Exchange reviews and monitors listings for thorough and accurate information.
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You will be able to communicate with sellers via a secure messaging platform. After you log in and request information from a listing, sellers are notified and have the ability to respond. When you are ready, you can make an offer.
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Take time to inspect the business
Once you submit payment to Escrow.com and the payment has been secured, the funds are held until you confirm that all assets received are as negotiated. You can use the inspection period to ask the seller any extra questions about the business.
Safe store transfer
When the transaction is finalized, the dedicated migration team at Exchange will begin the process of making you the new owner of the store. Buyers and sellers will be notified via an email from the Exchange team once store transfers have been completed.
Post-purchase 24/7 Shopify support
Once you log into your Shopify account for the first time and choose a subscription plan, Shopify Support Gurus are available 24/7 to help you with the settings of the store.