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Master Head Shaver & Founder of HeadBlade, Todd Greene, Give Us Small Business Pearls

April 2nd, 2010 | Interviews,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Small Business Tips | 1 Comment »

Do you like a clean shave?  No, I am not talking about on your face or your legs.  How about your head? I came across HeadBlade on Twitter late last year.  For those of you who do not know who or what HeadBlade is it is only the global leader in head shaving razors and headcare products for head shavers. HeadBlade  offers its head razors and related headcare products on its website and in more than 25,000 retailers, including Walgreens and Rite Aid. Company President Todd Greene founded HeadBlade for head shavers who adopted the look as their chosen lifestyle. Some well-known Headbladers include Deal or No Deal host and former doctor from St. Elsewhere, Howie Mandel, American Idol star Chris Daughtry and 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink.  Todd not only is the founder and President of Headblade but is also a blogger for The Huffington Post.  Swing by the HeadBlade website to see the Picture, User and Letter of the month from happy Headbladers.

Todd took some time out to answer questions and give us his take on HeadBlade and growing a business.

1. Tell us about HeadBlade and who you focus on serving?

The original HeadBlade was designed in 1999 and was the first razor designed for the scalp.  Ten years later we’re still the only company that makes and sells razor and headcare items for people who shave their heads.

2. How did you get your started selling online?

I came up with the concept in 1997 and it wasn’t until 99 that I brought it to market.  Since I had little start-up funding (think family and friends) I had to do everything myself.  I didn’t have any experience with wholesale and since my first production run was 1,000 units, I was not producing on a large enough scale to consider major box retailers.  And the costs to go into them are very high when you consider the margin is fairly low, you have to pay for sales and rep group, you’re responsible for shipping/returns/damages, plus slotting fees.  Really the internet was my only option at the time.  Since I had worked as an artist for software companies in Seattle, and had experience working for both GeoCities and ESPN.com, I realized the value of creating and website and selling direct.

3. What inspires you to grow the HeadBlade business?

HeadBlade is a my passion.  Essentially I created the better mousetrap.  I had been shaving my head since 1992 and there was no company that spoke (or sold) to the demographic.  Eventually I designed and made prototypes.  Once I went through the patent process, and realized none of the large companies were interested in my idea, I decided to go it alone.

4. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

The first is that everything takes longer and costs more than you originally plan.  I’m not talking Murphy’s Law necessarily, but pad your calendar for unforeseen disruptions. The other is that the customer is always right.  If someone sends you an email complaining about shipping costs, or items out of stock, etc; take a deep breath and realize you can empower them and give them a very positive opinion of your company.  Word of mouth is huge, especially with all the networking sites, and nothing is better than great word of mouth.  Just ask anyone who has written or read a restaurant review on Yelp!

5. Where will HeadBlade focus most of its energy in 2010?

We are focusing on social networking sites, our affiliate system, and new product development.

6. As we start 2010 what do you see as 2 new trends in your business?

The large razor companies, Gillette and Schick, are rolling out new versions and the emphasis is now on a comfortable shave, not the number of blades.  This is huge for HeadBlade because we were never part of the razor wars; we’ve been making ergonomic shavers and headcare for guys that shave their heads.  Now that the cold war is over everyone can focus on what makes a great shave; and our design and headcare products are both performance and price competitive.

7. If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

We have a great company and very cool culture, especially since we make head shaving products.  Think Die Hardmeets Office Space.

8. If HeadBlade could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

Michael Jordan.  He broke down so many barriers and even dropped an endorsement deal with a haircare company to shave.  I’d like to say Gandhi would have been great but not sure if he wanted to be so commercial.

9. What is the biggest challenge that HeadBlade faces as a small business and how do you work to overcome that challenge?

Our biggest challenge is getting to the Tipping Point as Malcom Gladwell would put it.  People still don’t know about us.

10. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

Read “Dream” by Paulo Coelho.  Then go for it.  Oh, yeah, everyone should shave their head at least once in their life.  Use HeadBlade when you do.

We at KikScore would like to thank Todd and HeadBlade for giving the community his thoughts on the small business experience.  If you have questions for Todd, please leave them in the comments below.

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One Response

  1. Kay Simmons says:

    Hello Mr. Todd Greene,

    I enjoyed your segment on “How I Made My Millions”. You are like my invention hero! You so inspired me! Even though your letters to Schick and Gillette were to no avail, you showed your talent and genius to the them and the world by following your dream while also solving your shaving frustrations by creating your own brand to great success! I thought of doing the same thing by writing to BabysR-Us and CVS and other baby companies, probably getting no results either. I have an awesome baby invention which my peers and several frustrated new Moms agree will fly off the shelves once I can get it completed. It is an enhancement of an existing baby product – but new age. It is so terribly needed in this germ-filled, chemically saturated atmosphere we live in. Especially for all infants, babies worldwide like environmentally ruined places of trauma like Japan,Haiti,Africa,New Orleans and any areas where the air is dirt and disease ridden. I feel due to the horrid ozone layer issues we face in the future, at least we can shield the young ones as they enter this world as they begin life. This can make a difference for babies and humanity.

    Todd I’m a single Mom and really like a deer in headlights in this invention business, but I wondered since you’ve been where I am, if you could help me or give me recommendations on how to streamline my process of seeing this idea through to fruition before it fizzles! I wish that the same way entertainers and musicians sign new talent to their labels and mold them to fame, that famous inventors could do something similar and sign on new inventors they find and mold them under their wing also. Today is my first day on twitter and only to write to you by the way. Well if this note ever really gets to you, not sure how this all works, but if you ever read it maybe you could email me your advice. I’ve been keeping this secret baby invention for five years, and now I could burst with excitement after seeing your show. Please help if you can. If not, thanks again anyway for inspiring me. U rock!

    ~ Bermy Butterfly (Twitter)

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