147: What a Basement Golf Game Can Teach You about Supply Chain with Jesse Darley and Randy Koplin

What do golf, beer caps, and face masks have in common? It turns out this week’s guests on Manufacturing Happy Hour! 

Tether Golf Co-Founders Jesse Darley and Randy Koplin join the show to talk about their innovative new golf-inspired game and what it takes to get a product like that to market.  

Both Jesse and Randy are no strangers to product businesses, having launched products from beer cap maps to COVID-19 face mask accessories. This time, they turned their attention to design Tether Golf – a head-to-head putting game that brings a fun twist to golf. 

We talk about supply chains – how to pick one that allows you to scale and iterate quickly, and what Jesse and Randy have learned from their previous product businesses. Randy and Jesse also explain why business relationships with suppliers and manufacturers are the heart of any successful product venture.   

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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Finding a supply chain that lets you go to market quickly can help you test out prototypes and make iterations without falling behind.  
  2. In business, relationships are key, and that’s why Randy and Jesse recommend working with a localized supply chain and finding partners you can trust to get your product to market. 
  3. Small businesses often don’t offload their fulfilment responsibilities soon enough. Operating from your home is a cheap way to get started, but if you want to scale, you have to find people who are better at getting your product to market than you are.    

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “People wait too long in small businesses to offload the things that really someone else can do better.” – Jesse
  • “Make them, prototype them, and don’t worry if it’s a silly idea. Just get it out there.” – Randy
  • “Keeping [supply chains] local helps foster relationships.” – Randy

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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EPLAN provides software and service solutions in the fields of electrical engineering, automation, and mechatronics engineering. They’ve developed one of the world’s leading design software solutions for machine, plant, and panel builders, providing data-driven panel design capabilities to manufacturers. Click here to listen to our full interview with EPLAN’s International Solutions Architect Sean Mulherrin. 

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media. 

What We Discuss with Randy and Jesse

  • How Tether Golf works 
  • What they learned from previous ventures  
  • Why finding local vendors is best for your supply chain 
  • What you need to look for in a localized supply chain 
  • Why business relationships are so important 
  • Lessons learned from previous businesses 
  • Why YouTube is such a helpful business resource 
  • What the future holds for Tether Golf 
  • Advice for aspiring product entrepreneurs 

Recommended Resources

  • Tether Golf, a head-to-head putting game co-founded by Jesse and Randy 
  • Beer Cap Maps, the original laser-cut plywood and steel maps of your state or country that let you create unique wall art using bottle caps from your favorite beverages 
  • Jonco Industries, Milwaukee-based product manufacturers 
  • Pubcast Worldwide, our first interview with Jesse (on a different podcast) from 2017 

Connect with Tether Golf, Randy, and Jesse

Instagram | Facebook |TikTok | Jesse Darley | Randy Koplin