After spending 25+years in the retail industry, Timothy Bush- host of “On the Shelf”, has quite a bit of insider knowledge that he’s eager to share. His early days of retail were consumed with constant interaction with big box retailers, like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Toys R Us, and Office Depot. Soon after the markets began collapsing, Bush found himself transitioning into wholesale, a world where, in 2009, there was a lot of gray area.
Letting the Path Unfold
During a 2009 conversation with a Costco executive, Bush realized there was a huge, underserved area, that he could serve. Vendors coming into big box retailers really had no idea how to bridge the gap between being a product designer, and getting their products on the shelf. At the time, nobody was really teaching entrepreneurs how to get into retail, there was no real strategy out there that was working for everyone, and a lightbulb went on for Bush. Consulting for these vendors and product designers allowed Bush to utilize the knowledge and experience he had gained in his previous years of retail.
Bringing the Dream Present
From 2009 to now, Bush has been diligently working on putting his experiences and knowledge to work to help entrepreneurs who dream of seeing their product on the shelf at big box retailers like Costco, Walmart, or Target. In fact, the need for this type of consulting and information is so widespread, that Bush knew he needed to step up his game, not to do more business, but to reach more people. His purpose-driven mission was to help entrepreneurs everywhere in a retail niche he is very passionate about.
Tackling the Big Box Topics
If you have a product or a product idea and have ever wondered how to get it placed in a Major Big Box Retailer, “On The Shelf” is the show for you. Every week they tackle important subjects crucial to mounting a successful sales campaign into big box retail. From time frames to packaging to pricing, they really cover it all. It’s really a DIY show, that uses simple steps, information broken down, and easy-to-follow instructions- because the last thing an entrepreneur needs is one more thing to feel overwhelmed about.
Behind the Scenes
“On The Shelf” just sent it’s 139th episode live through the Podetize service, a wonderful achievement in the world of podcasting. Bush has been with Podetize since the beginning, and his efforts from then until now, are obvious and admirable. With Podetize, Bush gets to focus on the pieces and parts he really loves, while his Podetize team works behind the scenes to make sure the details, transcripts, descriptions, recordings, and interface are shelf-ready.
“I’ve really enjoyed my move over to Podetize from my past platform. Podetize really does everything for me. I just submit the episode and they edit it, transcribe it, insert tweetable quotes, and I love all that.”
Dedicated to Success
Bush’s wildly popular podcast gives listeners a once-weekly opportunity to grow their retail knowledge, and what makes that even better is Bush’s dedication to only original content. “I’m not out there reading content to create content. I cover what I know and that’s the real value I can bring to my listeners. Everything I’ve talked about, I’ve experienced. Sometimes it all works, it’s a brilliant success, and sometimes it’s a disaster, but it’s important for my listeners to know what works.”
What’s Working in Podcasting
Speaking of what works and what doesn’t, let’s look at what Bush has learned in his years of podcasting.
- Simplicity works. When it comes to titles, descriptions, even a podcast name, calling things what they are works best, because the terms people are searching for, are going to be what brings them to you.
- Originality sells. Imitators can’t survive podcasting long because hosts are in the hot seat. You have to know your stuff, you have to be yourself, and your content has to be yours.
- Get personal. Welcome your listeners to interact, give feedback, and connect with you as a host. In order to remain relevant and on track, feedback and interactions are very important, and encouraging that and welcoming that will help your podcast grow into the best version of what you have to offer.
- Give it all away. You should give away even more than you think you should give. In business, entrepreneurs (and even podcasters) tend to think they need to protect their secret sauce, but you should plan to give away as much content as you’re comfortable with, and then a little more.
“People are listening to a podcast to gain that knowledge, and they really need to walk away after each episode with a new tool in their toolkit, or newfound knowledge they can apply.”
- Podcasting lends credibility. If you are looking to build your credibility, podcasting is a great tool to do that. Listeners, in real time, get to hear all about how well you know your stuff, and it feels much more connective and personal than reading a blog post. Podcasting, for Bush, has lent a great deal of credibility to what he can offer clients looking to break into big box retail.
Bush has big plans to get inside the minds of buyers, as a response to what his listeners are asking him for this year. Going deeper into buyer insights and sales will just add one more element of expertise to the already stacked list of what Bush puts out there for listeners who hope to see their product on the shelf.