Michael Collins, co-founder of Flame Boss, endured several false starts at launching a startup after selling his previous startup, a domain name exchange, in 2006. However, Collins' brother's hobby led to an idea that the two build into a business with real traction.
"Flame Boss builds temperature control units for charcoal smokers that are wifi enabled so you can control them from your smartphone, tablet or computer," he said. "My brother invented this product as a hobby. He had a friend who shared his interest in cooking smoked meat so Rodger built one for him and his friend. They started sharing it with their friends and demand grew. After a year or two, Rodger came to me and asked for help building a business around the product."
After growing the business in the UCF Business Incubator for two years, the co-founders sought additional assistance from GrowFL.
"Though we've only been active with GrowFL for six months now, we are committed to staying because of the benefit I've seen other people receive and because of the early success in improving our business," Collins explained. "I've been in it long enough to know the Entrepreneur Operating System training they are providing will be extremely valuable to us as we grow bigger."
Collins' advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to conduct thorough competitive analysis and identify a true value proposition.
"Look really hard at the businesses and products that are already in the market," he said. "You want to be sure you have a value proposition and that you're not just another 'me too.' I've learned that I'm good at selling stuff when I find something that is easy to sell. Really look critically at what you bring to market and be honest about how compelling it is."