SOTM – Complete Every Day: From the Back of a Car to Successful Apparel Business
Incfile’s October “Business Of The Month” is Compete Every Day, a health and lifestyle apparel company motivating people to achieve life’s victories. Here, Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer Jake Thompson shares some of his business success and tips for other business owners.
“I had a desire to remind people of what they are truly capable of and ignite an inner Competitor in them who wouldn’t settle for ‘limits’ like we too often do,” Thompson said. Initially, he was in the middle of building a successful marketing consulting business but was failing to really create a business that positively impacted others. So he went back to the drawing board, brainstormed ideas and brand names, and Compete Every Day stuck. It was a natural fit since it meshed with his personality as well as his customers. In May 2011, Compete Every Day launched by selling t-shirts out of the back of Thompson’s car.
Now, Compete Every Day has evolved beyond being just a motivational t-shirt brand. Their services include keynote speaking and corporate workshops centered on having a Competitor Mindset to create more leaders within an organization who can make a greater impact.
With the growth, evolution, and success of his business, Thompson notes that the hardest challenge continues to be scaling.
How do you best grow without over-leveraging the company?
“With a business like ours that’s driven on a large inventory backbone, you want to be able to stock items for consistent orders, while not having a bunch of apparel just sitting in the warehouse. We’re constantly reviewing our reports and analytics (what’s selling, what’s slowing), reviewing seasonal purchases and when to release, and working with our retail partners to make sure they’re moving products too and what is most popular,” Thompson said.
The apparel industry is a crowded and tough space to be in, but Thompson notes that what separates his company from the competition is the quality, design, and his brand’s unique message.
“Our message is about more than just what you do in the gym or on a sports field — we believe competing against your previous best is applicable to life. By providing my work as a keynote speaker, we’re able to share that message in a way that goes beyond just a t-shirt, while still increasing the popularity of the apparel,” Thompson said.
For business owners just starting out or struggling, Thompson offers these three key pieces of advice:
- Start lean and stay lean as long as you can.
- Find your perfect customer avatar and build a platform that adds a ton of value where they hang out.
- Be uniquely you — don’t look at what everyone else is doing and believe you have to do the same. Stay true to yourself, your brand message, and your customers.
Inspired by Jake Thompson’s story and how he built Compete Every Day? Learn more about how you can start your own business with Incfile today. You can quickly and easily form your business for $0 + state fees, get a free Registered Agent for the first year and get help with all the details you’ll need to manage your company.