USA Iron

Published on
May 25, 2023
USA Iron - Joe Franklin

Started 7 figure e-commerce business in a foreign country at beginning of COVID.

At the start of 2020 during COVID lockdowns, people needed to work out at home. However, as everyone scrambled for equipment and international shipping dried up, there was quickly no home gym equipment available to buy. This is because almost 100% of home gym equipment was imported (mainly from China) and there was almost no domestic supply western countries. This led to what was known in New York Times and GC magazine as the Great Kettlebell Shortage

Design a line of kettlebells for manufacture in the US to serve the US market.

In May 2020 as there was still no supply, I decided to attack the problem myself – starting first of all with the largest market, the USA. I designed a line of kettlebells and dumbbells, contacted manufacturers around the US and found people to works with, after that did everything you need to do to get an e-commerce business going: designed boxes, found powder coated, new logistics partners and built the e-commerce store on Shopify, set up social media and search market campaigns.
Within 1 month of starting, we had the first kettlebells delivered to customers, USA-Iron was the first to market with a new US brand of kettlebells. We did US$200k in the first month and hit US$1M in 4 months selling over 10,000 kettlebells.
After the initial rush, I worked through the other parts of the business to built longevity such as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to become top ranked in the USA for kettlebell searches, now we still compete on price with foreign imported goods as we run a lean operation, we have moved away from paid advertising and now operate 100% on SEO and earned media, taking around 1-2 hours a week of my time managing 2 part time freelancers.

Shopify, Analytics, Facebook/Instagram marketing, Google Search and Google Shopping Ads, SEO tools, costing exercises (Excel, Excel and more Excel).

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