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Last Update: Sunday February 25, 2018

Key Idea: Serve The Low Profile Segment

Victoria is like millions of little girls. She has a horse in her backyard.  Country Supply reaches these customers with a catalog that offers low prices.     More...

Key Question:

A: 

Try Scott Mooney's idea and that is to go after a market segment that is over looked or under served.

The low profile part of an industry may be the best part. Horses. Not only beautiful, sometimes temperamental and even magical. We see thoroughbreds racing at places like the Kentucky Derby or Belmont. In this episode of the show we open at the Del Mar Fairgrounds where you saw Funny Cide, Seabiscuit and even Bing Crosby, the singer, for fleeting seconds. It is a glamorous world just made for television. But the bigger part of this industry is the horse next door.

Q:  Why do we find Scott focused on this "homely" segment of the industry?

A:  The segment is huge! Scott's core customers are horse lovers. They own 1-4 horses and keep them in their yards. They ride western for pleasure. There are millions more horse lovers than people involved in racing. We have noticed that "sexy businesses" do not make as much money as the dull, boring ones. We're not saying that horse lovers are boring, but we are saying they are not the high profile owners of million-dollar thoroughbreds.

The other reason Scott went after horse owners who keep their horse in their back yard is that he is part of this segment.  He didn't want to leave his home town to grow his business so he developed his mailing list to reach customers by mail.

Q: What are the advantages of staying in one town all of your life?

A: Relationships, relationships, relationships. Success is never about physical location; it is always about people and ideas.

Continuity is the other huge advantage. Some achieve continuity by staying in one industry for decades but move around physically. This is another type called "bloom where you are planted."

Since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Americans have been migrating to what they thought might be more fertile soil. But for Scott Mooney, there was never greener grass than what he found in his home town of Ottumwa, Iowa.

Think about it

Are you spending too much time and money chasing the "sexy" part of your industry when you could do better by targeting the under-served who might appear on the surface to be less glamorous? What would happen to you if you stuck with an idea or a place for 30 years with the continuous goal being to find your talent and develop it?

Clip from: Country Supply

Ottumwa, Iowa: Meet Scott Mooney, the founder of Country Supply.  Scott has over 450,000 customers throughout the USA and in several countries generating over $17 million in annual sales.  Since the taping of this episode of the show, Scott sold his company to a global business.  He got that unexpected knock on the door and an offer he simply could not refuse. 

Country Supply

Scott Mooney, founder

PO Box 369
Louisiana, Missouri 63353

Visit our web site: http://www.countrysupply.com

Toll Free: 800-637-6721

Business Classification:
Distribution

Year Founded: 1984

Serve The Low Profile Segment

HATTIE: The horse business is large and diverse. Famous horses like Seabiscuit captured the imagination of Americans in the '30s. And when Funny Cide came close to winning the Triple Crown in 2003, even those of us who don't normally pay attention to horse racing were on the edge of our seats.

HATTIE: But professionals only make up a part of the equestrian industry.

HATTIE: Victoria Wojan and Rob Hutchins are horse lovers and horse owners.

There are over 11 million horses in the US, 30 million horse lovers and four million horse-owning households who buy over $25 billion worth of goods and services for their horses every year. Roxanne Wojan is Victoria's mother.

HATTIE: Roxanne, why did you want a horse in your front yard?

ROXANNE: Relaxation, enjoyment. Horses are something else to love and they give love back unconditionally.

HATTIE: Really. Better than a dog?

ROXANNE: Better than a dog. They're bigger, they're fun to ride, they're exercise, they're something to sink money into.

HATTIE: Those words are music to Scott Mooney's ears. Roxanne is a customer of Scott's creation, Country Supply.

Operator #1: Thank you for calling Country Supply.

HATTIE: The Ottumwa, Iowa-based mail order catalog he launched in 1984.

SCOTT MOONEY: 'Cause you know there's going to be people out there that can buy it.

Employee: But they will run out as fast as we're selling them.

HATTIE: In 2003, he had 450,000 customers who receive his catalog at least six times a year -- while best customers receive catalogs 10 times a year. This effort generates over $17 million in annual sales.

ROXANNE: Scott, one suggestion.

SCOTT: Yeah.

ROXANNE: We need to shorten the reins a little bit for kids.

SCOTT: Shorten the ... well, do you have a knife? (reaching into his pocket) And in fact, I have a ... (laughter)

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