We are always looking to talk to talented entrepreneurs, and, in our relentless pursuit of entrepreneurial insights, we recently had the chance to ask a few questions of eDimensional's founder and CEO Michael Epstein.
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If you don't know eDimensional, they are a leading manufacturer of PC and video gaming accessories.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
eDimensional is a manufacturer and distributor of unique video gaming accessories including our 3D glasses, pro gaming headsets with rumble, motion sensing game controllers, voice control software for gaming and our new Access Controller for disabled individuals. We sell these products directly and through retail partners worldwide.
More recently we opened FSPilotShop.com, a 1-stop shop for flight simulation related software and products. It offers over 1,000 items to the millions of aviation and flight simulation enthusiasts who use Microsoft Flight Simulator on their home PC. Users can fly numerous different types of highly detailed aircraft using realistic controls.
Where is your business located?
Our headquarters is in Jupiter, Florida. We have a distribution center in the UK and staff located in various places around the world.
When did you start the business?
In 2000 while still in college.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was a student and also IT director of a retail consulting firm in the Washington, D.C. area. I had always started businesses in high school instead of taking normal summer jobs, such as a car detailing business.
Where did you get the startup money?
I started with $500, never raised any capital or took out a loan and generated over $1M in sales in our first year. We have been able to grow using our own cash flow ever since.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
Our main competitors for eDimensional are generally larger companies such as Logitech who numerous accessories geared towards gamers. We try and differentiate our products based on unique features and function so that hard core gamers can increase the realism and performance of their gaming at the same cost as other, more generic products.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
It's a competitive environment and often having a good or even great product is not enough to interest certain retailers or members of the media. It takes a lot of effort to get noticed, so you can't get discouraged.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I have made plenty of mistakes, but by learning from each of them I can prevent them from happening again (and possibly with even worse results.) Therefore, I don't regret any of the decisions I've made.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
We've focused on generating a lot of word of mouth through good PR, user community involvement and our affiliate program that earns webmasters and users commissions for helping spread the word about our products. These enabled us to grow on such a tiny budget.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Never stop learning and follow your instinct. The industry is constantly evolving, so stay on top of new developments, always provide your customers with the latest and greatest products and service, focus on your uniqueness and you will find success.
That's sound advice, Michael. The gaming industry never stands still, so that's a constant challenge and a constant opportunity for entrepreneurs. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial story with us, and good luck in growing your business.