Nehemiah Manufacturing Company Cincinnati, Ohio
Nehemiah Manufacturing Company
“Online advertising is the great equalizer.”Richard Palmer, PresidentNehemiah Manufacturing Company has 110 employees.link www.nehemiahmfg.comWhen they founded Nehemiah Manufacturing in 2009, Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer planned a different kind of enterprise. “We wanted to bring manufacturing into our inner city and create jobs that help people get back on their feet," Richard says. Nehemiah specializes in manufacturing consumer packaged goods, including their own products as well as brands licensed from other companies. When hiring they particularly focus on hard-to-hire candidates that most companies wouldn’t consider. They may have no work history, or a blemished record due to a criminal record, but part of the Nehemiah mission is to give a second chance to people who just need the opportunity to prove themselves.
To compete successfully with their much larger competitors, Nehemiah does most of their marketing online. AdWords, Google’s advertising program, allows them to share their message with consumers nationwide. TrueView video ads have been instrumental in reaching and educating their target audience. Running TrueView ads to support their “Boogie Wipes” product resulted in 10% sales growth, while many competitors saw a 10-20% decrease in sales during that same period due to a mild cold and flu season. Google Analytics helps them fine-tune their strategy. “Analytics has helped us be a lot smarter with our broader marketing plans, because it's helped us better understand our target demographic,” Richard says. The Google Apps for Work suite of tools, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs, keeps Nehemiah’s staff in touch and productive. “We can collaborate even if we aren't sitting in the same office or the same city.”
From five employees at the start, Nehemiah has grown to a staff of 110. “We have an incredibly loyal, unbelievably productive workforce,” he says. “When folks come here, they're ready to work. They give it their all. They love being part of a team.” Employee turnover in some manufacturing plants averages 80%, but Nehemiah’s is less than a fifth of that. “Everybody struggles with finding talent,” Richard says. “This is a workforce that in our country typically has been shunned or ignored. But it's one that people should seriously consider." Dan and Richard hope to double the company’s growth in the next few years. And they will continue to use Google as a partner to achieve that goal. “We can compete with much larger, multi-billion dollar companies by using these tools. Google enables a company our size to seem, and actually be, a lot bigger than we are.”Nehemiah Manufacturing Company has 110 employees.link www.nehemiahmfg.com
Print Syndicate Columbus, Ohio
“It isn’t possible these days to build any type of business without considering the impact of the Internet and the way people engage with brands and products.”Tanisha Robinson, Co-founder & CEO$4.25M in VC funding, 2014link www.printsyndicate.comTanisha Robinson and Mike Limes launched Print Syndicate, a print-on-demand e-commerce company in November 2012 after working together at a t-shirt printing company. “We realized there is this untapped territory in the market for well-designed content that allows people to express themselves,” Tanisha says. Hiring graduates and interns from nearby Columbus College of Art and Design, they make and sell apparel, phone cases, housewares, and more. Their in-house artists leverage social media trends to craft socially-relevant, quirky designs that resonate with the customers who love the Internet’s many gifts, a good laugh, and speaking their minds. These unconventional products have grabbed the attention of everyone from shy consumers (“Introverts Unite – We’re Here We’re Uncomfortable And We Want to Go Home”) to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (their “Notorious R.B.G.” shirt is a huge seller) to venture capitalists eager to invest in the company.
Running separate websites for their various brands, like LookHuman.com, ActivateApparel.com, and MericaMade.com, Print Syndicate relies on AdWords, Google’s advertising program. They often create products in immediate response to trending social media, and make everything on demand. A shirt inspired by the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show, for example, was designed just hours after the game ended. “Because of AdWords and Google Shopping,” says Tanisha, “it was also findable within a few hours. People search memes and really specific things, and often we have the only product in that category.” Employees use Google Analytics and Google Trends for timely marketing insights, and Google Drive, Sheets, and Gmail to collaborate.
Print Syndicate now has a staff of 125 and a steep growth curve. Sales tripled in 2014 from just a year earlier. “A lot of business leaders in the community have stepped up to help us as mentors and advisors,” Tanisha says. “I think it matters to Columbus for a high-growth startup to build our business here. We have a lot of entrepreneurial energy here right now. I hope our story encourages people to swing for the fences when they try to build a business.”$4.25M in VC funding, 2014link www.printsyndicate.com