To make their business vision a reality, Travis and Josh knew their business plan needed to be presentable for a seven-figure investment raise. They worked with Written Success to revise their business pitch so it would be ready to secure the funding needed to launch their business. The founders are now featured in How to Write an Exceptional Business Plan: A Step by Step Guide to Winning Investors, Lenders, & Success.
Travis Rypkema And Josh Brazier, Founders of TNB Naturals
Travis built a business from a simple need in his home garden in British Columbia, Canada. He wanted his plants to grow and knew that the right amounts of CO2 would help. He bought products that claimed to increase CO2 exposure, but they didn’t seem to create the results he really wanted. With unassuming intentions, he created what has now become a revolutionary product in the industry. By developing a way to add extra CO2 to plants easily and affordably, Travis developed a method that could literally be bottled and sold to growers around the world.
This global phenomenon started in his garage, where he filled and sold his first bottle for $25. He was more excited about having his own healthy garden and offering others a quality product than he was excited to manage a sales process. This was where Josh came in.
Once he saw the lush, vibrant fullness of Travis’ plants, saw the growing numbers of happy customers, and realized the potential was massive if a little marketing effort was made, Josh was onboard. Travis had already fallen out with a previous partner but was excited to partner with Josh, who seemed to be a perfect balance and counterpart to Travis. Josh is an experienced entrepreneur running multiple businesses. Despite his busy schedule, he was motivated by the early success Travis had experienced; Josh knew he could get the product sold in other cities and other stores.
Between the two, Josh is the face and salesman for the product. He travels the world, arranges meetings with distributors and connects with people at expos. Meanwhile, Travis is more behind the scenes. Together, they share a hugely powerful commonality: they believe in positive thinking and creating their own destiny.
Choosing Entrepreneurship Together
Travis and Josh bring very different skills to the table. This allows them to do more than either could do alone. Travis shares, “Unless you’re really dialed in with all aspects, things can get really out of control when you’re running things by yourself.”
Josh admits he’s always been risk-oriented. He has more tolerance for high calculated risk, high reward.
Travis is big on the product development and making sure the plants grow. “We complement each other pretty well. I create, and Josh delivers that creation to the world. We couldn’t have done this without one another.”
They’ve been friends since 8th grade, and know when to push each other into a positive direction. Josh admits, “as positive as we try to be, we can get negative. Wondering, ‘what are we gonna’ do?’ whenever issues come up. But it’s nice having someone other than yourself, a second perspective, to hold each other accountable to staying positive.”
Deciding to Thrive
Since the beginning, Travis and Josh knew they were fighting an uphill battle. They were filling orders from their garage, saving on costs by using recycled bottles and handling all aspects of order fulfillment manually. During these days, they focused on celebrating the small victories. If they sold a couple of bottles, they celebrated big time. When they sold a case of product, they acted as if they hit the lottery. And through sheer grit and determination, they held onto the driving notion that they had something that worked. Their world between them was a haven that helped to block out the disbelievers around them.
Josh recalls, “Most naysayers were simply not familiar with the concept. After all, Travis invented a new way to deliver supplemental CO2 for faster, better plant growth. And this new concept was hard for some people to grasp.” The team dreamed of expansion, knowing they wanted to create more than just this one product. They researched and paid attention to what the industry giants were doing, and began realizing that TNB Naturals could not only compete, but it could dominate.
In order to make their dream a reality, they began planning. Big picture goals and short term goals were developed and put up on a board where they shared workspace. Daily they focused on their goals and vision, working together to progress their strategy. They knew right away they wanted to bring this business idea to the global market, and the day they broke beyond Canada and began exporting to the United States, they knew that a lot of the world was watching. If the product would succeed in the US, it would have a ripple effect and would let them generate interest outside of the US.
Sure enough, they ended up catching the attention of distributors in the United Kingdom. And even though this was not an overnight story, they finally found the best path for success. After lots of creativity and social media presence and tenacity and sleepless nights, they learned how to put themselves in the right places at the right time in order to create the opportunities they would need. Clearly, they learned how to thrive.
Focusing Through the Noise
Every dime they made they put right back into the business. They poured their every spare moment back into TNB Naturals, and quit their jobs to focus on the company. They flew to countries to visit decisionmakers, invested in the product line, and obsessed over growth.
There was a lot of negative noise as they continued to grow in this well-established industry. Josh felt like he was the young guy on the scene. Every trade show and event and meeting, they felt like they had an uphill battle in proving themselves when they started their business in their 20’s. Even now, they are aware they are younger than other professionals in the industry, but they approach the business with confidence. They know they have something that works, which gives them the confidence they need to persevere.
Together, they list the new countries they want to enter and have them written on a wall. Travis and Josh talk about these target countries, discuss increasing their product line, and growing their brand awareness. Josh shares his confidence: “We know it will happen because it’s something we focus on constantly. We keep a vision board and stay focused on it.”
Their focused approach paid off more than 20 times over, literally, as they have accomplished distribution deals in 25 different countries and counting. After sealing a deal with North America’s largest distributor, they realized what they had and they dove right in with the launch and expansion. One store, one distribution deal at a time, they scaled and grew. They learned that in order to get their product into big markets, they needed to broaden their product line and fulfillment solutions. This led them to realize they would need to begin their investor search.
The whole situation is a bit ironic to Travis, who gives much credit to his partner for being a visionary. “Honestly, I would still likely be in British Columbia if it weren’t for Josh’s sales visions and willingness to grow.” Their mutual ideas and their ability to collaborate on the right “big picture” to pursue was something that evolved. They tie it back to a road trip to Vancouver where they realized they had to get past selling a case or two at a time – and soon after, they found a buyer who would buy pallets at a time. They thought that moment was when they officially “made it”.
Growing TNB Naturals
Even though their success story has happened relatively quickly, only spanning a few years, both partners thought things would happen much quicker. They built bridges and lasting relationships, and today all of those efforts are paying off. Josh recalls, “We would meet people at the right time, and would travel all the time, which let us meet people face to face. We created long term relationships thanks to those trips. The trips seemed expensive at the time, but they allowed for creation of valuable connections that moved the company forward.”
Today, they try to set yearly goals and short-term goals. They try to stay focused on their jointly-agreed priorities and make an effort to track their own goals and progress. Aside from securing a new facility and expanding their product line, they are looking forward to the new opportunity to give back to their community. They plan to reward their strong social network of supporters with product giveaways and special events to thank them for believing in the business.
The team has created a very special place in the industry, and they credit their end users for being the reason for their successes. Travis states, “We respond to every social media comment and try to stay connected to every distributor and store and end user of our product. And they are everything to us.”
Learn More About TNB Naturals
TNB Naturals is a CO2 enhancer that bottles the potential to double plant growth and production. Using an all-natural formula and user-friendly application, the practical product is taking the world by storm. For more information about their products, visit www.tnbnaturals.com