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8 min 28 sec

University Director Turns Draining Problem Into Profitable Power-Up

He panicked whenever he saw his phone battery running out, but he could never find the right power bank to fit his needs—so he decided to power-up and make his own.
Manufacturing Product Reselling Transition Story

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What It's About

A side hustle with real power-up potential!

Business Model
Reselling
Skills Required
Research & Experimentation
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

There are a lot of these little chargers out there, and there are millions and millions of phones. So I am not surprised that someone who takes an interesting approach to them is able to sell a lot. This is definitely a market with room for a lot of sellers.

Too bad about Amazon, but I’m glad he recovered in the true spirit of forging ahead in the face of obstacles!

Fun Fact

Chris has one of the best About pages I’ve ever read. Some of the highlights from his experience are:

1. He once piloted the TGV, the French bullet train, and got it up to 300 kph.
2. He’s trained Yemeni freedom fighters on the "proper" use of social media
3. In Moscow, he had a gun pointed straight at him. The guy didn't shoot him, but he did knee him in the balls. Someone also tried to sell him a wife, and he spent several hours in a Russian jail.

Notes from Chris

Episode 593
Chris Reimer’s job means he spends a lot of time on his phone. As the associate director of new media at Maryville University, Chris is constantly swapping between both his personal and professional iPhones. If you’ve ever used an iPhone yourself for more than, say, thirty seconds, you’ll be aware of the problem which drained much of his energy.

Just a few hours into his workday, Chris would find his phones were running out of power and in quick need of a recharge. Unwilling to tether himself to a plug socket two to three times a day, Chris began to invest in power banks so he could charge on the go. Simply connect your phone to the battery pack and you’re free to use it in the way it was intended—mobile.

At first, he was totally enamored with those little power banks. They removed the stress of his phone dying and missing important calls or updates which the University expected him to answer. But as time went on he grew more and more frustrated with them. Although there were some good power banks on the market, there were none he considered great and didn’t seem to have the right features he wanted, especially for the money he was paying for them.

Thus began the search for a truly great power bank. And this being Side Hustle School, it means it was a search for him to learn to sell them. That’s right, Chris realized it was up to him to create the power bank he wanted to see in the world. After years of fumbling around, it was time to charge-down this industry and power-up the options for power bank users like himself.

The first step was to develop his idea of what the perfect power bank would be. So, he created a list with all of the features he wanted to see. He wanted a product that was lightweight, could connect with up-to-date cables and would start charging phones instantly, without the annoying little power button he almost always forgot to press.

When he finally released his first Boosa Tech product to the world, Chris ended up generating $5,000 in his first month, mostly to people in his network, and their extended networks. Many of these people were local, so Chris decided to jump in his car and hand deliver the power banks himself. When he arrived at the door, he took a picture with the happy customer and posted it on his Instagram feed. This created social proof and began to spread some word-of-mouth marketing to people on the platform.

Chris’s biggest achievement, he said, is getting his first “stranger sale.” This is a sale from someone who you don’t know and doesn’t know anyone in your network. There’s no favor or reciprocity, just a clear sign your marketing and outreach is working.

Looking to the future, Chris is looking to capture more of these stranger sales, by using the income he’s generated to venture into paid marketing strategies. Chris also loves his job and has no intentions of quitting, but he’s open to whatever opportunities come powering through in the future.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Boosa Tech: Need a power up? Head on over to Chris' website and snag a power bank!


SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"To receive, you must give. Over the years, I've made free speeches, guest lectures at colleges, mentored job seekers, let other marketers and up-and-comers pick my brain over coffee, and connected people to jobs. I like teaching and helping, and many of those people ended up buying power banks."
—Chris Reimer #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau