If you have an idea, do something with it. Don’t let it sit there.
Blake Myers is the Chief Executive Officer for Universal Manufacturing Corp. He has created an organization with a synergistic platform for all who do business with this company. He has made it possible for independent inventors to be able to bring their concepts to fruition, and eventually to market. Unlike most manufacturing companies, this company allows a smaller run to be produced for the initial order, making it financially feasible to new inventors. In addition, he offers one of the highest royalties to his clients in the industry.
Blake started his career in new product development 15 years ago when he was hired in sales for a product development firm. Within a very short time, he managed to become one of the top 3 in sales out of a field of 60 well-seasoned competitors. With a unique sense of humor and many years of experience, Blake Myers was able to instill a trust with his clients. He enjoyed the interaction and recognition he had from working on the sales side of the business. But, his passion was in creating the tangible, so, he became savvy about the manufacturing side of the business. He identified the aspects of the business that he would incorporate into his own business and those that he would not. He was introduced to a manufacturing owner who put him in contact with manufacturing companies in China. That was the missing link for Blake which enabled him to launch Universal Manufacturing Corp.
Blake Myers is a graduate of Illinois State University. He majored in economics with a minor in art. He combined his intellect for business and economics and his creative artistic talents and built Universal Manufacturing Corp.
Universal Manufacturing has three partners in the company. They launched the company five years ago. They operate offices in New York, Florida, and Illinois.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I learned a lot over the first ten years when I was working in this industry. I truly enjoy the entire process that we go through when developing a new product. There are many layers in getting new products to market. When I first started manufacturing, I found my niche within the industry. We have made it possible for someone just starting out to be able to order a smaller run of product. We made it viable for smaller businesses to get started. We also offer to produce the product to sell on Amazon and drop ship.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every single day is different in this business. You kind of take one day at a time. One day you can be traveling to customers or meeting with customers. Another day you can be doing trade shows. At another time you might have to meet with agents. There are days when you’re sitting on the phone with retailers all day long. We have offices in New York and Florida, so we do a lot of traveling.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Our clients have the concepts when they come to us. Our job is to bring their ideas to life. We create a pattern drawing which kind of resembles a blueprint. From there we take the original pattern and turn it into a marketing piece and present it to buyers. If we generate enough interest we will be able to produce a sample. If that goes well and we generate even more interest we can bring it to the market and get it on the shelves.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that most excites me is that there are millions and millions of products out there that we can create. We have a choice of so many new products that we can bring to market. I am amazed sometimes at some of the products we end up producing. Not all are good but it is exciting to see all of our new products. We get to choose what we can make marketable.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
It is my competitive drive. I want to succeed, but I want everyone around me to succeed as well. I like to be around other people who believe in helping and making sure everyone succeeds. We are money motivated. We’d like our clients to be compensated well, so, we offer one of the highest base royalties back to them. We are above standard in royalty compensation. Our employees here at Universal Manufacturing Corp are well compensated just as well.
What advice would you give your younger self?
First, be a doctor!! No, just kidding. I love what I am doing. I wouldn’t say to slow down in business. I would tell my younger self to slow down. I would tell myself that time goes to fast, slow down and enjoy the trip. If you live your life always looking ahead when you stop to take a breath you end up asking yourself; Where did the time go?
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The earth is flat? No, just kidding. I am a firm believer in reincarnation. I know it in my heart to be true.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Think. My mind is always working. Even after meetings are done I go home and rehash everything that when on. I want to make sure that I make the right decision. I am not afraid to change my way of thinking if I see a better way to accomplish whatever it is we are addressing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy of how we get our clients and bring them through the whole process. We are working with people who have a legally protected idea. It is very important to have that legal protection. We work well with the patent office. The most important strategy that makes us strong is in how and where we get our clients.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My failure was jumping into a partnership a little too fast. It ended up that we had entirely different philosophies. It just didn’t work. I overcame it by buying him out. We just went our own ways.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Invent a computer application that is useful to someone. In other words, find a problem and create an app that will become a good solution.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
That’s a good question. I had a nice steak the other night, that seems like the best $100 I have spent in a long time. Sometimes something as simple as a meal can be a good outlet to help you relax and get away from business for a minute.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
We use a dialer system. It is a CRM that organizes all of our clients. With the help of this software, we have been very efficient at managing as well as monitoring our day to day activities at Universal Manufacturing Corp. I couldn’t picture our work environment without this CRM.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I only read books about my hobbies. I’d say read whatever it is you are passionate about, read about it.
What is your favorite quote?
“Quality means doing it right when nobody is looking”
● If you have an idea, do something with it. Don’t let it sit there.
● Don’t let anyone talk you out of your idea but have patience.
● Keep a great sense of humor, life is too short.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.