Sunday, July 11, 2021

Escanaba Polo Mallet Company: Advice on Getting Your Business Through the First Few Years

 Developing and growing a business is not easy! There is a big learning curve that can make or break your prospects. There are a few things you may want to consider during your first year. Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a start up making mallets as well as helping others figure out how to be successful in their business as well. 

We are somewhere near the end of year one. We have done a lot. We started creating a brand and we are selling on a regular basis. We are not yet a big production but we know where our price points are and what market we fit into. 

The first few years is all about learning how to start, run, and manage your particular business. As volume and need change there is now a pretty good idea on how to meet those things and the general direction of the small business. 

We also want to help other businesses succeed as well (In Delta County and Other places). Here are a few things I have learned. 

1.) Focus on Brand: Profit is wonderful but your brand and core service offering is what will keep your business open next year. 

2.) Find Balance but Work Hard: You will need to work hard and harder than you thought to keep your business floating. The first few years are about sweat equity. Find a balance but stay focused. 

3.) Secure Financing: You either have all the money you need or you don't. There are fluctuations and dry spells so have back up cash/finance.

4.) Collaborate: Work with other small businesses in the area. They also need help and you can hedge and share services. If nothing else you have a community of people. 

5.) Develop Your Operations: This is your time to develop your operations. Figure out where you are getting your resources, how you are preparing them, and what distribution channels you are using. 

6.) Marketing and Awareness: Connect with your customer base. Get involved and find those marketing channels that focus specifically on your core customer group. If you don't know what that is make sure you spend the time figuring it out. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Escanaba Polo Mallet Co Supports Local Firefighters

 Escanaba Polo Mallet Co supports local firefighters and will be sending the following article out to raise awareness of such issues for the local community. 

Delta County Firefighters are Motivated by a Sense of Community

Fires can have a devastating effect on families and communities that last longer than when it takes embers to cool. Property damage is one thing but losing loved ones puts the topic on a whole different level. Those who volunteer don't just show up to the parades looking bright and shiny; they also drop everything in their lives to respond to fires, car accidents, and other critical events. In the evenings, while most of us are engrossed in our favorite tv show, a firefighter will have their pagers within arm's length just in case they are called to duty. 

Why do they volunteer even though they may be yawning and rubbing their eyes in the morning? Racing to pummels of smoke in the midnight air to help their communities isn't something most are excited about. It is because these dedicated Americans choose to think beyond themselves to serve their communities in a meaningful way.

Despite the diligence of the firefighting crew, they are often asked to do more with smaller and smaller budgets. Rural fire departments have fewer resources than those in populated areas and must rely on the goodwill of the business community and individual charity to keep their operations functioning. In many cases, communities have no other alternative than to rely on highly trained volunteer firefighters that seek to step above self interest (See Values or Duty)

Volunteer Firefighter Contributions?

Firefighters in Delta County MI.

People believe that firefighting in the United States is conducted primarily by full-time firefighters with fully funded departments. According to the National Firefighters Association out of 1,115,000 firefighters of which 745,000 (67%) were volunteer and 370,000 (33%) were full-time (
NFPA, 2020). The training is the same in Michigan, and sometimes it can be difficult to attract volunteers to get through the courses and gain the experience needed when things get difficult. There is a significant time investment by firefighters.

It makes sense to use full-time firefighters in urban areas because of the demand and cost justifications. However, in rural communities where the geographic regions are large, firefighters must be prepared for all types of emergency contingencies. Volunteers need substantial training and commit significant time to training and staying up-to-date. For example, the volunteers in Delta County, Michigan train often work in environments like the national forest, a speeding highway, homes, urban businesses and/or snow-covered farm fields. 

Why Do They Volunteer?

Volunteer firefighting contribute with a smile on their face. As a dedicated crew, they do a lot with very limited resources. Despite the challenges and danger, they drop everything they are doing and rush headlong back to engulfing flames to save lives and protect property. Why?

The study assessed firefighter intentions and found that they were motivated by "leadership, attitudinal commitment, a strong sense of affiliation, altruism, and a sense of community" (Haski-Leventhal & McLeigh, 2009, pg. 1).

Volunteer firefighters care about their community and want to help out where they can. Certainly, firefighters gain a little recognition by their activities, but it is the inner satisfaction of helping others makes all the difference. They support their communities, and the communities should support and encourage this type of volunteering, among others. It's more than just setting an example for others, it is about walk the talk

The Fire Picture!

Resources are important for any organization, and when they are in scarce supply for first responders, it can create situations difficult situations. Any help from corporations, individuals, or other entities can go a long way in making a difference in the lives of people who rely on these institutions. Delta County Michigan is rural and relies heavily on volunteer help to protect vital infrastructure, property and people. 

When structure fires break out, it often takes all the resources in the area to respond, work as a team and overcome. For example, the picture shows a historic building erected 1881 swallowed in flames while a truck from Ensign Twp. feeds the larger pumper from Escanaba Twp with water! Responding departments include Nahma Township Fire DepartmentEnsign Twp. Fire DepartentEscanaba Township Fire Department, Thompson Township Fire DepartmentMasonville Twp Fire Dept. and Tri-Start EMS. There are many ways a person can engage in their community and volunteer firefighting is just one.

Author: Dr. Murad Abel

Haski-Leventhal, & McLeigh, . (2009) Firefighters Volunteering Beyond Their Duty: An Essential Asset in Rural Communities. Journal of Rural and Community Development, (4) 2, pg 1.

NFPA (February, 2020). U.S. fire department profile.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Developing the Limited Edition Polo Mallet

 Much of business is about branding. It can be hard to find something unique. Escanaba Polo Mallet Co is a good works start up designed to better understand how to start small manufacturing businesses and see what road blocks and skills are needed by entrepreneurs. In creating this brand there are a few options for the development of differentiation with 1.) limited edition mallets, 2.) play mallets, and 3.) development of the "club" mallet. 

The mallet below is a limited edition mallet. I'm playing with the overall design on the head to make the mallet unique when compared to other mallets. The goal is to create a niche market of those who enjoy polo, polo mallets, and polo gear (not yet in the strategic set up). My goal is to help others learn from the process. 

I think it turned out pretty well. Will retail $99 which is higher than the standard mallet. Ebay Listing

Friday, May 14, 2021

Prototype Heavy Duty "Club" Mallet-Will it Take a Beating? (Testing Method)

Club mallets go through some serious abuse! Smacks, pulls, and dragging take a toll on mallets used by polo students. One way to solve this is to develop a heavier club mallet that is thicker and able to last longer against the natural jousting of new students. As with all enhancements there will be natural detractors. In an effort to create a "club mallet" we have some ideas.

The idea came to head a few months ago when a police station, seeking to train mounted officers, reached out and asked for heavy duty mallets. I suspect they want to practice their balance and movements. Polo is one game that takes some time to learn and master. At the time I didn't have any so I thought a hardy "club mallet" would be beneficial for clubs and other heavy use activities. 

Advantages of a "Club mallet: Lasts longer, needs less replacement, and stands up to some pain. A little heavier but still very functionable.

Disadvantaged of  "Club Mallet": Because of the increased diameter of the shaft there is less bend and whip. The handle is a little thicker and is not as comfortable as I would like.

Suggestion: Because this is a new mallet that is untested in a natural setting its performance quality is relatively unknown. It will function for practice and perhaps for play. A fully functioning heavy duty mallet would cost more but it is being offered in exchange for a promise to provide feedback on what you like an don't like. 

If your interested you can contact me via email ( or you can go directly to Ebay and make a purchase. Just make sure that you send us your feedback so we know what to improve and what not to improve.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Helping Orphans and their Caregivers

The orphanages of Mexico face different kinds of struggles as they relate to keeping supplies flowing, children fed, and seek to brighten their minds. We don't often think about the staff. There isn't a great system for helping staff members who run into problems. In this case, one of the staff members doesn't have the resources for a leg prosthesis and the kids would like to raise money for her.

The children of the Morada orphanage are helping a past caregiver with a leg prosthesis , selling raffle tickets for $10 USD each chance to win $5000 pesos. If interested to buy, CLICK HERE to make a donation of $10 or more, indicate in the comment box "Morada raffle". 

Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a good works start up. We support causes in Escanaba Michigan as well as other worthwhile causes like orphans. It isn't enough in today's world to make money, without considering the wider needs of society and helping people live fulfilling lives. We are part of a global community. We have American handmade mallets and a budding accessory line.

Morada Ticket Raffle.jpeg

Attachments area

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Helping the Boarder Crisis by Helping Orphans in Mexico

Children are piling up on the boarder and we need to decide how to handle the crisis. We will want to be empathetic to these children and their plight in a way that maintains the natural boundaries between two countries. Finding a solution might be difficult because each option has hits own pitfalls. However, we might want to explore helping the children in Mexico through the use of orphanages and child centered foreign policy initiatives. 

Within 60 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border are numerous orphanages that would appreciate additional financial, academic and medical support (Even better if corporations sponsored some of the needs. Escanaba Polo Mallet Company donates some of its start up profits to help these orphans.). We may consider funding these orphanages and expanding their capacities to help children abandoned with the goal of reuniting with parents. Such children will have access to education and healthcare from caring staff instead of a chain link fence and border guard. 

Of course there would need to be some initiative in registering this children for tracking purposes and ensuring parents know where/who to contact to have someone to search the database for their children. Reuniting them with their families and supporting them through foreign policies that improve upon the U.S. brand and further our global initiatives is important (...not to mention developing business partnerships with Mexico that bring supply chains back from Asia and help these orphans with future jobs. I once thought of an idea to bring U.S. companies to help sponsor primary and online college education of orphanages to groom them to be managers for U.S. companies in Mexico.🤔)

I'm not saying it is the only solution, but that is is one option we can explore for its legal, ethic, and moral dynamics. As a nation we may want to focus our attention and efforts more on children then other non-essential desires of foreign aid recipients. The money goes a long way in helping these children and build good will initiatives that warm relationships in a way that is mutually beneficial for both countries.

Many of these orphanages are self-funded through private donations and are always looking for more help. While the ones I have visited do an excellent job with minimal resources they are almost always stretched thin. Funded through private donations, they are at the fluctuations of good will versus having a stable funding source. One U.S. Nonprofit that helps Mexican orphanages is.....

Corozon de Vida at

We can't say whether government will come up with a solution soon but we do know we will need to do something. It would make sense to invest in Mexico's orphanages for spill over benefits. Lots of children will be separated from their parents and helping Mexico handle this crisis is important. Just a sliver of our budget might make a big difference in the lives of these kids ($$ Stats by Country)

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Delta County Businesses Can "Get In" on Walmart's $350 Billion American Manufacturing Investments

Walmart craves to be part of the American manufacturing revolution and Delta County MI businesses might want to submit products for consideration. John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart plans to invest $350 billion in products made, grown and/or assembled in the United States. The initiative occurs over 10 year period, and projected to create approximately 750,000 jobs. That change might boast local manufacturing and in turn prompt other big box retailers to push their supply lines to manufacture nationally. If you are a U.S. based small manufacturer you will want to take note of emerging opportunities to create a stronger position.

What Will be Produced?

Investors seek to encourage production for things like textiles, plastics, small electrical appliances, food processing, and pharmaceutical and medical supplies. Much of the effort will be focused on products that were traditionally produced in China but will now be pushed to produce in the United States. 

While investing in the manufacturing base is important, they will also be open to new products. If you have a business in Delta County Michigan then you want to explore as many opportunities as possible to create demand. 

What To Do If Your a Supplier?

Walmart executives expect around 9,000 entrepreneurs to be part of the capacity building effort. If you have a "shelf ready" product then you can pitch for consideration to be included in Walmart's line up. Shelf-ready meaning you have the quality, consistency and packaging all in place (You may also want to explore becoming a seller in their online Walmart's Marketspace

For many small manufacturers having a large big box retailer like Walmart pick up your product is a boon. You will have to read more about it HERE (I wonder if they would be interested Escanaba Polo Mallet Co mallets and/or brand? 🤔).

What is the American Lighthouse?

Without coordinating across local and regional manufacturing stakeholders it will be difficult to overcome capacity building challenges. "The Lighthouses will bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, leaders from academia, government and local economic development groups.(Edelson, 2021, para. 9).

What is the Strategy?

The company expects major changes in the market as a result of increased competition with China. It also sees that investment in these supply chains would be helpful to managing them better. The focus of the investment money will be on market demand products that gives Walmart more control over its suppliers. 

How can This Help Businesses in Delta County MI (Escanaba/Gladstone)?

If you produce a product that has its own packaging and can be sold (i.e. knives, outdoor equipment, etc...) you may want to get involved. For local businesses, having a big box retail like Walmart sell your products makes a big difference in wealth, jobs and the local economy. It is also possible that as Delta County and local administrators of Escanaba and Gladstone might want to take a battery of locally produced products and help to prepare them to be sent Walmart's way! 

For More Information on Delta County Businesses see Delta County Chamber of Commerce

Escanaba Polo Mallet is a good works polo mallet start-up in micro-manufacturing and hopes to explore and share what it learns on its journey. Much of the profits are donated to charitable causes. When information is helpful to the business community it will share them.