Although Professional Hair Labs is based in Florida, you live in Ireland. How did you end up there?
In 2009, after living in Ireland by myself, I moved to Florida with my wife and our daughter. My dad had approached me saying, “We are having a few problems with the business. It’s not really going the way I want it to go. We need some fresh eyes and direction.” He said there was an opportunity at the company if I was interested. Initially, I turned down the offer. But it was 2009, the economy was going down the drain and it was an optimal time to transition into something else. I spent about six months learning the intricacies of the business and in early 2010, we made some marketing and strategic changes. We stripped the brand and built all new marketing material. We built a new team. We made some company changes internally, and within 18 months after that, we tripled revenue the company. We realized we had some good foundations here and it validated the products we had launched. We looked at Ireland as a potential European portal into the marketplace, which is how I ended up moving back over here. From there, through a lot of strategic planning, we’ve been able to grow both locations quite substantially over the last five or six years.
Is it difficult when both halves of the business are operating in different countries?
There’s a five-hour time difference for most of the year, and it really comes down to planning. We have our weekly and monthly meetings, and everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and what they need to do. Communication is key. One benefit of operating like this is it allows us to have a much wider scope of customer service reach as we’re operating in different time zones. There’s only about a five-hour window during the day where there isn’t an instant Customer Service Representative available.
Tell us more about Professional Hair Labs. What value to you provide your customers?
The hair replacement industry has been almost unregulated since his existence. Because of that, a lot of manufacturers have had the ability to do what they wanted to do without any repercussions. For instance, formulating products with chemicals in them and different ingredients that are not suitable for use on the skin, but they make them anyway. The value we bring to the industry and to our customers is not only that we manufacture our own products, but we understand the ingredients. We understand the physics behind the ingredients, and more importantly, how they interact with the body.
When we have those isolated incidents where a customer can’t figure out why our product is not working the way it should, we have the knowledge and experience to dig a little deeper. We dig into their lifestyle to try and figure out what they may be able to change to get the product performance they desire. I think that’s a huge piece of value we bring to our customers in the industry.
The other side is that we manufacture solely water-based solutions with safety as our priority. If people come to us to inquire about our products, we can be transparent with the information that will tell you our products are fully compliant. All our products are registered with the FDA. We openly provide our documentation to anyone who asks. We’re not hiding anything, like most companies do in our industry,
What would you say is your company’s competitive edge?
A decade ago, we aspired to be the industry leader. We knew what we wanted, and we knew very, very clearly the plan we were going to put in place to get there. Today, I would arguably consider us the industry leader with our GHOSTBOND™ product range.
How we differentiate from our competition is having a creative space that allows our team to focus on what they believe the marketing or processes should be. When we bring all that together, we’re able to very quickly and concisely put together systems that always keep us one step ahead. We often see our competitors copying what we’re doing. If it’s not copying a new launch, or our professional portals where our customers purchase, they’re replicating our social media content.
You can look at it two ways. You can take it as a compliment, or you can take it as a threat. For us, especially over the last five years, we’ve realized there’s no point in focusing on what they’re doing. They can copy us all day long. We keep pushing the boundaries of innovation on multiple fronts and we will continue to focus on that.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in growing your business?
Different challenges come at different phases of your growth. When you’re when a company doing low six figures and you move into mid to high six figures, that becomes a strain because you’re having to do essentially everything yourself. When you move into the low seven figures, it becomes more about the systems and the relationships you build. When you move into the high seven figures and eight-figure mark, that’s when your systems become the focus and the team that you build around the company. We try to nurture our team members and help them to improve because everyone has a goal for where they want to be in life. I believe there’s always room to help people get to where they want to go. Then for the company itself to benefit, that’s a win-win situation.