Jeff Morin started Coins For Anything in 2002 at age nineteen while serving in the Marine Corps. The original model was reselling challenge coins to the military through eBay.
Since first starting out, Jeff has diversified his product offering to include—lapel pins, lanyards, shirts, signs, promos, and websites—thus, the brand For Anything, Inc. was created. Coins For Anything continues to remain the most successful and predominant of the For Anything companies.
ForAnything.com is a one-stop-shop for all things customizable. The For Anything network is comprised of several sister companies – Coins For Anything, Awards For Anything, Lanyards For Anything, Pins For Anything, Signs For Anything, Shirts For Anything, Website For Anything, Signs For Anything and Promos For Anything. They will deliver any customized product their customers need—even if it’s not a part of our standard offering—and it will be finished quickly, accurately, and with the best quality and service possible.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your “Mother of Marine” coin and how that served as the turning point for your business?
Jeff: While serving active duty in the Marine Corps, I became interested in the military challenge coin culture and began reselling challenge coins on eBay. One day, I received a request for a “Mother of Marine” coin, which did not exist in the market at that time. I began to research the custom coin market and learn the process of creating and manufacturing custom coins. Through much diligence, I was able to create a “Mother of Marine” coin and offer it to my customers. The response to the coin was an overwhelming success, and soon after with the help of a five hundred dollar contribution, the business—with a new focus on creating custom coins—was born. Creating this coin gave me a sneak peek of the industry, and that’s when Coins For Anything took off! From there, I began researching how I could become competitively involved in other custom industries. Since then, we have established several sister companies that deliver customizable products—creating the For Anything brand. The network of For Anything companies now resides together in a 9,000 square foot building in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share some tips for scaling a business during critical times of growth?
Jeff: Once a business starts growing and becomes successful, don’t forget your roots. It’s important to always remember where you came from and how you got there. Since the beginning of our business, we have always sent personalized handwritten thank you notes to clients. Even though now we are a multi-million dollar company, writing thank you notes reminds us to operate as a small family owned business and to continue to value each and every customer. Adding personal touches can go a long way and differentiate your company from competitors.
It’s also important to understand and recognize that your business is growing. Do not spread yourself too thin as it can be difficult to meet the growing demands of a successful business. Put your trust into others and hire quality employees. I have an operations managers as well as managers for each section of the For Anything network. Creating this solid infrastructure with different management tiers helps us run a smooth and productive business, as well as help me stay focused and able to continue brainstorming new ideas to develop the business.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the art of building a network that is to be able to respond to any need for customized products?
Jeff: A key ingredient in building an effective network for customizable products is keeping an open mind. Many businesses in the custom industry will exclusively focus on the niche that they provide. Our company is different. We are always thinking outside the box of how to meet our customers’ customization needs and demands, and we enjoy being able to provide them a one-stop-shop for all things customizable.
Another fundamental component to creating a strong network for customization products is research. If you don’t know how to do something, figure it out. Research the market and the industry. Research the most cost-effective method to produce the highest quality products. Research on how you can provide the best service and products for your customers. It is important to do it well. Do not pursue creating a network if you are only going to offer poor quality or mediocre merchandise. Strive to be the best and your business’s reputation will grow, creating better rates of customer retention and acquisition.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s been the most challenging or unusual request that you’re receive from a customer?
Jeff: The most unusual request that I have received from a customer was to create a plaque of pink bras. The customer expressed that she had a vision for creating a plaque of bras for a Breast Cancer Awareness award. So we worked with the customer to turn her vision into a reality, and came up with our first bra plaque.
BusinessInterviews.com: How important is social media to your overall marketing strategy?
Jeff: I would say social media is fairly important. If I were to break it down on a pie chart, social media would account for 15% of our overall marketing strategy for our Coins For Anything brand. Social media has helped us reach over 100,000 people between our company pages and is extremely valuable to us for introducing our new products to the public. Reaching a massive audience through social media has definitely helped us better communicate with our customers.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest lesson that you learned about building a company from scratch? If you could start over again is there anything that you’d do differently?
Jeff: The biggest lesson that I have learned is not to skimp on research. I cannot stress the importance of researching your markets, industry, and competition. Questions to ask yourself are: “is this market poorly served? Can I develop a way to make this market more efficient? What’s lacking in this industry? What would make this industry better?” Deepen your knowledge and understanding of your industry, and you will figure out how you can contribute to the success and development of your business. Use creative ways to stay ahead of the competition and to distinguish yourself in the market.
If I could start over, I would have taken a more serious attitude towards the importance of recording business transactions. As a young entrepreneur, I had lackadaisical attitude towards accounting matters. Early on, we spent many nights fixing our bookkeeping mistakes, which is not fun and created quite the headache. Get into good habits from the beginning. It’s easier to remedy mistakes in the beginning when your business is small, and more costly to do so when you are in the big leagues.
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