When you think of country Qld, it’s easy to assume that most of OBT’s clients are local or farming businesses.
Not so. The level of entrepreneurship that has emerged from our region is mind-blowing and especially so for OBT clients Nathan and Tess Hartnett from Mens Rings Online.
Last time OBT sat down with Nathan to find out what their business was up to, it was 2011.
Nathan and Tess have since relocated back to Australia and, in Nathan’s terms, have ‘tamed Google’ – no mean feat when you’re running eight websites for six brands across Australia and New Zealand!
“Basically so much has happened,” says Nathan. “Our primary was focus to change to men’s rings and men’s wedding ring buying in Australia.”
Nathan now has 7-10% marketshare in Australia. A key part of their strategy was figuring out how to improve using Google with rigorous testing across 35 e-commerce sites and using six search engine optimisation (SEO) firms to find out what worked best.
But a key driver of their success today, Nathan says, is taking responsibility.
Once he and Tess did that, they regrouped and, in October 2013, relaunched their business in Brendale just north of Brisbane. Their numbers are staggering.
“Our websites get over 20,000 hits per month which translates into e-commerce sales of 400-500 rings per month,” says Nathan. “50 per cent of visitors are women trying to get their fiancés to buy.”
Their volume of business is so great now that they are in the driving seat when having jewellers or designers accept commissions to create new rings. Even Mr Minit is happy to oblige with engraving discounts for MRO customers.
When we asked about working with OBT, the topic of driving came up there too.
“Mostly Brett (Garmeister) and I talk about cars, as we have always loved cars,” says Nathan. “Seriously, we’ve never had to worry about our business. With Brett we say this is the outcome we want and OBT provides it, even when we were based overseas and had all our meetings on Skype.”
“As things grew, we held quarterly meetings whenever we were in the country and could catch up.”
“Before OBT, other accountants found us a challenge with PayPal and multiple currencies to consider, so we got the impression they didn’t want us as clients as we were too out of the box.”
“In 2008 we were referred to OBT by my brother who went to school with Brett. At the time we could’ve been viewed as an ‘extreme client’ given our international activity, but Brett didn’t mind at all – he and Pauline would just figure it out and laid out the red carpet for us.”
Working with OBT is a very different dynamic.
“Brett and OBT have always been there for us despite how much has changed in our business,” says Nathan. “We consider him to be one of the very few business mentors we have. Brett is constantly learning; he is an amazing mentor and support.”
“Brett always said we were going to make it and we were going to do that unequivocally.”
2017 looks like it’s shaping up to be another exciting year for Mens Rings Online with Nathan being shortlisted as a Finalist in The Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards. We wish Nathan all the best – winners will be announced later this month.