We had the good fortune of connecting with Cameron & Nadene McIntyre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cameron & Nadene, what’s one piece of conventional wisdom that you disagree with?
You need a business plan. No, you don’t need a business plan. In full disclosure, I say that with a caveat. If at some point you find yourself and your business in the venture capital or acquisition universe, you will need documents that could resemble a “business plan”. Not having a “business plan” does not mean not having a plan for your business. One is a very specific document the other is absolutely necessary. We never created a “business plan” for Punch Gunk. We did however spend months researching our competition, the marketplace, the customer, vendor relations, logistics, financing… We created lists, databases, spreadsheets, and graphs. All of our research was approached with one question in mind, will our idea work? The take away I want to emphasize is the practical vs. theoretical. Traditional business thought will have you layout a detailed plan to profitability and then follow that prescribed plan. The holdup is, most of your data in that plan is hypothetical. You truly don’t know what your costs will be. You truly don’t know how many sales outlets you will have, how many units you will sell… As an example, a practical experimental approach to business viability is the “Concept Test” developed by entrepreneur Cat LeBlanc. The Concept Test has four points: • The idea • The value proposition • An offer • A minimal amount of marketing to test the concept The idea is to create just enough to put an idea to market and see if it works. Similar startup strategies such as this are viable now thanks to ecommerce, inexpensive online advertising and yes social media. Small companies can reach thousands of potential customers in the first few days of business and get valuable feedback in real time. This experimental platform allows for flexibility to try a number of different approaches without having to reinvent the wheel or completely revamp a business plan. Again I have to emphasize there is still work to be done even when jumping right in. By all means know your sh*t. The other realization, one that took me while to embrace is, it will take time, lots of time, hours, days, months, years. A sapling does not become a tree overnight. As for Punch Gunk, here we are years later. We’ve weathered rough waters and basked in sunlight. We still have oceans to cross before our business goals are met, but our business plan is working just fine without one. Last thoughts…my entrepreneurial advice is never stop doing your homework, be confident and be smart.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
What sets Cameron and Nadene aside from others? We think we are younger than we are. It’s never too late start. Our entrepreneurial adventure starting a little later than others. We were both in our forties when we launched Punch Gunk and don’t have any plans to stop. I think we are most proud of the athletes we work with. As a young company we started sponsoring young MMA athletes competing in local promotions. Many of these athletes have since found success in the UFC, the world’s largest MMA promotion. Their commitment and success is a great motivator and knowing Punch Gunk has helped along the way is amazing.
Is starting your own business easy? What? No it’s not easy, it’s not always fun, it’s plenty stressful and so rewarding. Currently we are dealing with one of the hardest things about running your own company, accepting your mistakes or bad decisions. As a business owner you are the shot caller and when you call a bad shot, you have to own it, get over it and move on, not so easy. We make Punch Gunk Naturally Advanced Pain Relief and Punch Gunk Recovery Bath Bomb because we found the common workout recovery products weren’t all that good and people deserve better. At Punch Gunk we believe life should not be limited by life’s aches and pains. Punch Gunk is just the two of us and when we tell you we made it for your sore muscles, your sprained ankle, your stiff back, we did. Get the Gunk and go out and do your thing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We are SoCal natives and there is so much about our hometown that we love. What to do, where to go for a whole week? #1 PCH A drive up to Pt. Magu is a must. This is what LA is about. Famous beaches: Malibu, Leo Carillo, Zuma, restaurants from the fancy Geoffrey’s, the classic Moonshadows to the landmark Neptune’s Net, something for everyone. #2 Catalina Island. So often completely left out of the LA itinerary. A short ferry ride or helicopter from San Pedro, Catalina is like no place on earth. You’ll have no idea you are only 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Hike, zip line, play golf, see buffalo, get a great burger and a beer at Eric’s on The Pier followed up by ice cream at Scoops. #3 The local mountains, Big Bear Lake or Lake Arrowhead take your pick. Only a couple hours away from the city and so much fun. Skiing in the winter, mountain biking in the summer, boating, fishing or do nothing just listen to the breeze in the trees. #4 Downtown LA for the longest time downtown was a drag, no longer. Catch a Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers or Kings game. A play at the Mark Taper Forum, the LA Phil at Disney Hall. See art at the Broad and MOCA Where to eat? The Pantry, Cliftons, Philippe’s, Coles, Central Market. #5 Griffith Observatory, the view is crazy, the Hollywood sign is right there, go for a hike. #6 Hollywood Bowl (summer only) catch a concert under the stars.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Punch Gunk would like to shoutout Genesis Keefer. Genesis is currently working on our new website. She specializes in web and print design with clean modern elegance. genesiskeefer.myportfolio.com/