cellhelmet - Company of the Year
Company: cellhelmet, Wexford, PA
Company Description: cellhelmet, as seen on ABC's Shark Tank, is a manufacturer and distributor of premium wireless accessories. Separating itself from its competitors, cellhelmet focuses on a proprietary "program," designed to help dealers increase accessory profits, sell through rates, bundling initiative success and employee training. That said, cellhelmet has coined itself the "Anti-Distributor, Distributor."
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Telecommunications - Small
Nomination Title: cellhelmet
Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.
Rolling into 2016, cellhelmet had one employee who sold new business, managed the new business that he closed and then worked late hours everyday to fulfill shipments (only one product category). We were coming off of a directional change, after getting destroyed in front of 7 million viewers on Shark Tank, losing 2 partners because they couldn't survive without a paycheck and with very limited funding to grow the business.
That said, Dave and I (my 50/50 partner) went all in in January of 2016, making the decision to roll the dice and build out a true sales organization with a wide breadth of product. Fast forward to 2017, we are now manufacturing and distributing 8 fully developed product categories, representing over 150 SKU's, and we have 12 employees (1 vice president, 5 national sales reps, 2 account managers, 1 office manager, 1 marketing manager, 2 warehouse employees + Dave and I). To make this all happen in such a short period of time, we put every ounce of profit back into the business, spent 1/4th of the year in China, finding the manufacturers who produce for the biggest brands in the industry, hired a VP with accelerated instruction to hire his team, built out a proprietary sales "program" for our dealers and hit the phones / ground running...hard. So, what has been the result in terms of sales and growth?
Well, we closed out 2016 with just over 2.3 million in sales, grew our distribution to over 1,000 stores and we're in the process of expanding our team and product categories, once again. Our 2016 Q1 monthly revenue average was right around $90,000.00. Our 2016 Q4 monthly revenue average was just about $300,000.00. However, our biggest accomplishment in 2016 has nothing to do with revenue, employees or distribution.
Our biggest accomplishment from 2016 is the "program" that we have built, truly separating ourselves apart from the competition. Without going into extreme detail, the cellhelmet "program" is a proprietary blend of training (virtual and in-person), sales strategies, product bundling initiatives, non-traditional merchandising suggestions, employee seeding programs and various other elements, all wrapped up as a series of deliverables, which can help a dealer to improve their accessory profits, sell through and employee confidence in the brand / products. Fortunately, my partner Dave also owns and operates 18 Verizon locations in the Pittsburgh area, so we've been able to use his stores as a "test kitchen," proving products and the program in our own organization.
Nothing has been more exciting than watching what used to be a failing business thrive. Seeing our products on the shelves in national retail organizations is exciting. Hearing the owners and buyers of these organizations rave about our product and program, recommending them to their friends is all the more humbling.
When it comes to employees and the perks of working at cellhelmet, we carved out a name for ourselves in 2016. We got the #5 spot in the Best Places To Work in Western Pennsylvania contest (small business class - Pittsburgh Business Times), thanks to employ morale and perks. These include health benefits, "Fresh Cut Fridays (monthly in-house haircuts for the entire staff)," cigar nights and a sweet ping pong table in the conference room. Not to mention the fact that we just strive constantly to make sure that employees love coming to work for cellhelmet. Also, we inked a partnership with Uber at the end of 2016, where all Pennsylvania drivers have access to discounted cellhelmet products, which compliment their "Safe Driver Initiative (mounts, chargers, etc)." I could go on for days. Here we go 2017!
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).
-Started the year with 1 employee...ended the year with 12 -Q1 monthly revenue average was $90,000.00...
-Q4 monthly revenue average was $300,000.00 -Started the year with 1 product category...
-Ended the year with 8 fully developed product categories representing over 150+ SKU's
-Got #5 on the Best Places To Work in Western PA list (via Pittsburgh Business Times)
-Spent 1/4th of the year in Asia and tracked down all of the manufacturers for the biggest brands...now manufacturing with all of them
-Built a proprietary and industry-first "program" in 2016 to differentiate us as the "Anti-Distributor, Distributor"
-Inked a partnership with Uber for their "Safe Driver Initiative"
-Began offering health benefits in early 2016, as well as implemented "Fresh Cut Fridays," where employees get monthly in-house haircuts.
Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2016?