Startup Stories: Shane Wieters from Manager Mint

  1.  What does Manager Mint do?

Manager Mint is a three-part company. We specialize in media creation and sharing across our online presence. This includes interviews with business professionals, video and article creation as well as exclusive content and offers in our Business E-Magazine. Secondly, Manager Mint is a consultative service that specializes in helping entrepreneurs to refine their concept or vision into something that is tangible and helping guide them along the creation process from concept to market. We also teach leadership development courses to help startups or established businesses create a powerhouse team that has a solid foundation of accountability to help drive a successful business. Lastly we are a business resource hub. We know we are not the experts in everything, but we can help connect you with businesses that are. Our goal is to become The Most Valuable Business Resource. 

  1. Why did you create Manager Mint?

I created Manager Mint to be something different than what is currently out there in the world. I wanted something that worked socially but that was not stereotypical social media. I love business. It’s my sport. Ever since I was 18 and started a business for the first time, I have been hooked. Since I was obsessed with business I wanted a place to collect that information, create it myself and spread it back out to the world or share it. But like I said I wanted to create something different. Something that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and the others could not do. Something Socially Unsocial. Have the links, the content, the articles, videos, start up help, leadership development and business to business connectivity, but nothing else other than that. A Mega Hub of Business info without all the information that gets posted that has nothing to do with business, or where people connect just to have “the most connections” but don’t actually use those connections to network. Get rid of the fake and deliver pure good business.

  1. Do you have funding? If so how did you get it?

Manager Mint is funded by my pocket. I wanted to see if I could do it the old fashion way by increasing revenue and reinvesting to grow. It is rather inexpensive to run an almost purely digital business, which allows you to use your capital in areas that will grow the reach of the business. Now that’s not to say I wouldn’t listen to an offer.

  1. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge has been to grow a following, but that should be most challenging thing for all new businesses. You have to learn how to gain trust from your customer base before they will spend any money with you. Once you have gained the trust the door is open to a business relationship. The way Manager Mint was able to overcome these challenges was to deliver content our subscribers wanted to read or watch. Content that they wanted to share with others. Secondly we had to opened up the channels of how we delivered this content and realized that not everyone is on the same social platform or in the subgroups within those platforms and invest time into platforms that deliver results versus those that deliver none.

  1. What’s the best way to get the word out about a new startup?

Develop a marketing strategy by analyzing the industry you want your startup to enter. Understand who your clientele is and what your company’s niche is, develop a marketing budget to implement your strategy. The type of business will dictate which channels you should use. Most people are on social media. Some businesses will and should run TV ads. Others will find radio is the best. People usually forget TV and radio ads, but they remember what they see on social media. Always build an email subscriber list, so you gain followers that you can market to.

  1. Which traits do you most commonly see in successful startup CEOs?

Ambition, Perseverance, Resilience, Obsession, Positivity, Openness to Change and Optimism…the good kind. Someone with a great attitude who is positive and optimistic however very level headed and realistic. You need a strong leader to motivate as well as gain trust from a team so they will follow you into the unknown future of the business and help you fight for success.

  1. How can CEOs build a strong team to help them launch?

Firstly, everyone always says this, but hire the right people. Secondly, create a strong foundation for the company by creating a culture of accountability. When hiring the right people it must be a perfect blend of skill and personality. Positive personality to be exact. Someone that is open to new ideas and change, can take constructive criticism and act upon it, works well with others and alone and has great organization and time management skills. The CEO must lead by example and take ownership for their actions and teach the team to do so amongst themselves.

  1. What are the most common mistakes you see startup CEOs make?

Rushing or being impatient. Not understanding their market well enough to make a strong a reliable business strategy to gain market share. Developing a product that consumers do not need or have no use for. Not taking the time to hire the right people or train their employees enough to make a good first impression when they hit market. And lastly not learning from their mistakes and/or not adjusting the strategy to keep course before it is too late.

  1. What are some of the mistakes you have made launching and running your companies?

I have made several mistakes. When I was 18 I had a clothing company based in Costa Mesa with all American products made in Los Angeles, CA. I had just got to the shop to look at some final samples before making a production run. There was leather pieces on them and on the samples they leather pieces where “treated” or in other words would not shrink or warp when the jeans where distressed or worn. When the production was about to begin I got a call from the leather supplier who said he ran out of that particular leather and I needed to choose another. So I did. However, I forgot to ask if they were “treated.” They turned out to not be and I lost a lot of money on the batch. This was two-part mistake because the order for the run was premature, since I didn’t have a single order yet. My lack of patience lost my business a lot of money. At the height of my business however, I had an investor in for $5 million and orders from Nordstroms for $2.7 million and American Rag for $1.5 million. Ultimately my final mistake was starting my company a year before the great recession and like many clothing businesses had to close up shop. People just don’t by $250 jeans anymore ha!

  1. Do you have any other advice for startup entrepreneurs?

Be brave. Being an entrepreneur means having the courage to step into the unknown with the confidence that you will succeed against the upmost adversity. Many times in startups, even the best plan cannot predict what will happen for your business or market. You need to use your gut instinct, build a reliable team that backs you and that knows that you are there for them as well. Make sure you have a clear vision and realize that the business you set out to start may change into something greater that you could have imagined. Always be open to change.

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