1303
9 min 2 sec

Power Plant Specialist Tugs On Archery Business String

A power plant worker hits the bullseye with a tool to create bow strings for archers.
Archery Niche Product

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What It's About

An archery tool kit that hits the bullseye with 6-figure income.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Archery & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Butch has some great advice about pricing: “Don't be afraid to price your products high enough to make money. We are lucky to not have any market competition (and we keep wondering when that's gonna happen), but people still have sticker shock when they see our prices. Rather than apologize for how expensive our products are, we make sure that the value is obvious, both in quality and features.”

Fun Fact

There are millions of archers active in the USA. Even that is a big enough market to go hyper-niche in. By tackling one problem for this market segment it’s possible to build a lucrative side hustle.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1303

Butch Baker has been an archer for most of his life. In parts of Idaho where he lives, it’s a way of life. There’s a huge community built up around the sport. And, when it comes to archery, those in the know, know that if you’re serious about bows and hunting you’d always be working on and optimizing your equipment.

So while Butch spent his days working as a power plant generation specialist, he’d dabble in his passion for archery and bows during his downtime, mostly at night and on weekends.

Something that Butch spent a large amount of time on was making new bowstrings. You see, when it comes to archery the string doesn’t get much credit. However, that same string does most of the propulsion to hurl the arrow forward. The right handmade string can aid in shooting faster and more reliably.

But… twisting bowstrings in the appropriate way is harder than you might think. There are problems that only special equipment can help with. Enter Butch! As a top-notch member of the archery community he knew these problems better than anyone.

He decided to take aim at creating a product that would solve the bowstring building conundrum. Using the tools and machinery he already had, Butch assembled a toolkit of trays, struts, jigs, and pulleys that when combined made the ultimate string building system.

In his excitement, he posted a picture of the kit on a popular archery forum. Instantly, someone offered to buy it. Since Butch already had some ideas on how the design could be improved, he sold version one and took aim at version two. It too, promptly sold when he posted a photo of it.

Butch felt like he was shooting with his eyes closed, yet somehow hitting the bullseye.

He’d tried side hustles before and failed but this time it looked like he found success almost by accident. Because of the interest he’d already received, he decided this was something worth pursuing.

To get the cash he’d need to setup a workshop, Butch sold an old nineteen fifties trailer his family had received for free a year earlier. The money went toward buying equipment to transform their garage. Butch set himself a rule: after this expense, there could be no more money spent on the business. Any future costs would need to be covered by selling the bow string making jigs.

With that, the deal was done and soon, Baker Archery Products—BAP for short—was quivered and ready for the range.

Word spreads in small communities, particularly if you do a good job. Which Butch does. Second only to his design and fabrication skills are his customer service skills. It’s essential each and every customer has a great experience—because if positive word of mouth travels fast in niche communities, the only thing faster is negative word of mouth.

That customer-centric attitude goes into crafting the products themselves. Butch, and now his family, still make every piece by hand in their home workshop in Idaho. Customers like that attention to detail but it’s also one of the roadblocks to BAP’s growth.

Still, fast growth is a good problem to have, especially for a profitable side business. This one generated over two hundred thousand dollars last year, forty thousand of which was profit.

While that’s enough to make a difference in his family's life, it’s not quite enough to drop the tools at the power plant. For now, he’s continuing to put in the hours for both jobs.

 
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Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Don't be afraid to price your products high enough to make money."
—Butch Baker #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau