Roger Huckfeldt and Dave Hayford of Springfield, Missouri met as their daughters participated in horseback riding activities in early 2013. The dads looked for ways to offset the cost of the hobby and began exploring business opportunities together. “We started off with wellness products for animals, but when Roger approached me with a dog toy idea, I told him we could not sell a dog toy,” says Dave Hayford, co-founder of Tether Tug. “Roger insisted we worked together or he’d find someone who would.”
Their process started with learning about the online marketplace and how it applied to their business. After partnering with Matt Price, a marketing director and consultant, they pursued sellers, distributors, and marketers. “It was either too big or too goofy for their consideration, but we found that dog lovers loved it, so we continued anyway.” Tether Tug was officially launched January 2014.
Their second obstacle was to build awareness through online and offline activities. The Tether Tug team had full-time jobs so growing the know-like-trust process was a slow course that required lots of trial and error. One lesson learned came from a competitor’s video demonstrating a similar product. Through that experience, they learned video and social media was a marketing priority.
A year later, Dave chose to dedicate himself full time to Tether Tug. “I’ve never been driven to own a business, but this feeds my soul.” He adds, “Having a great job that pays well and offers security is great, but you miss out on the joy and satisfaction that owning and growing a business brings.”
He jokes and says indigestion and high blood pressure is a part of the process, but suggests to anyone else considering an idea, “Get on the happy train; if it has a story and you love it, pursue it.”
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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.