SBI! Reviews: Selling Your Own Products
Update #3

Hi Ken,

Another big year of advancements on numerous fronts for the company and the website! My company is really evolving and becoming so much more than a post anchor enterprise. As a result, we became Titan Building Products to more accurately reflect what it is I/we do.

boxes in basement

Our website had its biggest year yet with close to 2.5 million visitors.

The forums on the site (created via SBI!'s Content 2.0 forms) have been really popular. They were the best source of new content over the past year because I was so busy with product development that I couldn't write as much as I used to.

I have several brand new patent-pending products coming out this year that I hope will do very well. They are based on problems that my visitors tell me they are experiencing and so I develop unique solutions for them and bring them to market for the first time through my site.

Our site is a great tool in so many ways. I locate professionals to test new products for free during the development phase and get their testimonials. That way, from the very first day I sell it, I already have good commentary to share, which really helps. This approach also exposes any potential problems before going to market.

Distribution Network Growing

We made a lot of progress building our distribution network. We are now in over 600 stores in the US and about 200 in Ontario. You'll also find us in the Lee Valley Tools stores across Canada.

Our distributors will move westward to the coast and south towards Texas this year. There is a lot of work to do and I will be attending trade shows throughout North America to really push this side of the business.

We are in the early stages of trying to set up our first Australian distributor so I am hoping that works out well but you never know. The UK is also showing great promise and I will be exploring opportunities on that side of the Atlantic as well. This is really tough work and hard to say how it will shape up but I am giving it a good shot.

The company ships containers to some of our biggest distributors, while still shipping pallets to smaller retailers and servicing the rest of the market online until the distribution channels are fully developed.

Website Developments and News From This Past Year

Here are some of the highlights...

  • Our annual deck building contest has proven to be very popular and something people really look forward to so there will be more contests in the future.
  • Our Shopsite shopping cart has made life so much easier also and it works seamlessly with the SBI! domain.
  • To date, I have not taken full advantage of my site's millions of visitors. But this coming year, the plan is to set up a newsletter published 3X a year with very focused content. I hope to build a great following and deepen relationships by keeping in touch. I have been working with some very talented people in the area of newsletters, email, etc. and want to do this right. The website is ready for this and so am I.
  • I was asked to author a book by a large tool company and their publishing arm. This is a big commitment but I am very excited about doing a super job. Once again, the site will get exposure.
  • We developed a bunch of really cool building calculators this year that visitors are really loving.

And that brings me to now...

Planning For The Future

There is a ton more work to do on building even better content so I have my work cut out for me. However, the team of employees I have now are super. They understand the SBI! process and do so much of the leg work for me.

An awesome theme-based website that is so perfectly aligned with my passion of product development is a very powerful 1-2 combination.

It's not hard for me to see the future and plot where I want everything to go. But it is hard to ensure I get everything done. This is where I am finding that delegating is essential so that I can be free to let my creative juices flow unhindered. I then can marry my new products with all of the growing and evolving content on the site.

Overall, I still follow literally everything that Ken mentions in his SBI! plan as outlined in the 10 day Action Guide. I am trying to take everything to its highest level and create a spectacular value center on the Net for all deck building related things.

The SBI! plan is so solid that I just focus on bringing my own ideas to the world and let the techie stuff happen behind the scenes.

Best regards,

Richard Bergman, LLB
President, Titan Building Products