1     What is your name and business name?
James L. Zilch
TaylorMade Tools Co.

2     Tell us about your company: 
Manufacturer of skin or membrane removal tool. Also manufacture tools that assist trappers with their work in the woods.

3     How did you get started?
Restarted the manufacture of a tool that my Grandfather made and marketed until his passing. The tool was not made for about 30 years. I tested the water for current interest in the tool by contacting local Sporting Goods Stores and by reading blogs on the internet.
I have AutoCad experience and owned two tools of my Grandfather’s manufacture to use as patterns.
From that point I drew up some parts that failed, re-designed the parts, designed manufacturing fixtures and the rest is history. We now have 7 different handle styles to provide a match for individual hand size.

4     What would you do if you didn’t have your company?
Would probably have found something else to make or be a Independent Consultant as a Manufacturing Engineer.

5     What advice would you give others starting a business?
Believe in yourself, your product or service, & don’t be afraid to make mistakes. A mistake is a opportunity to learn.
Your product must be attractive. Fit and finish are your first priority. Anybody can make junk.
People are your customers but all people do not share positive comments, keep your chin up and be polite, they may be having a bad day and still be a potential customer.
Make sure you have the money required to get started, make mistakes, make no sales for a period of time. It is best to have a potential customer for your product when you begin. Someone who has used a product like you offer and not liked the quality or results. This is your opportunity to produce a better product.
Know exactly what your cost to produce is so that you can price your product correctly.

6     What do you attribute to your success?
Experience with dealing with people and the ability to look at a finished shape and visualize it when it was a raw material.
Believe in yourself, your product or service and do not confuse a failure with a learning opportunity.
Understand that everyone may be interested in asking questions about your product but may not have any interest in your product.

7     Tell us something that no one else knows about you?
Driven and self challenged. I am my own worst enemy.

8     Anything else you care to share?
Do what you love to do. Do it for a reason and if you have to force yourself to do what you do, you are doing the wrong thing. Everything worth doing is worth doing to the best of your ability. Someone else can do what you are doing, it is your job to stay out front with your product or service.

9     How can people contact you if they need your services?
309-360-0282
www.catfishskinner.com

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