Featured Store: GenTech Nutrition
In this interview, we feature David Duncan, CEO of GenTech Nutrition.
How did you get started with GenTech Nutrition?
So that’s an interesting story…
I was at NC State trying to play football. My goal was to eventually make it to the pros.
During that process, I was training a ton—at least six hours a day. I was constantly sore. And if you know much about working out, frequency in your workouts makes a big difference in how fast you can progress.
The more often you hit a muscle group, the more often you train any movement the more you can get out of exercising faster. I knew that if I could recover faster from workouts then I would be able to improve my game.
I started looking for a testosterone or HGH booster. My goal was to find a natural supplement, something that wouldn’t get me into trouble with NCAA. I wanted to naturally increase my testosterone to give me an edge in recovering faster.
I read through, probably, thousands of reviews, labs, and testimonials on different testosterone-boosting products. While researching, I think the most improvement I ever saw was like +60 NPG which isn’t that much in terms of creating an impact on performance.
And that was the best-case result that I saw after pouring over thousands of reviews…
For me, that wouldn’t work. I needed a product that made a real impact and I had a hunch that there had to be something natural that would really increase my testosterone.
I started just doing my own research on different foods different types of diets when it comes monounsaturated fats polyunsaturated fats things like that that could potentially appeasement testosterone.
After a few months of studying I came up with my own concoction that I believed was really working. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t have a good way to test the results at the time.
You were just trying to increase your testosterone naturally?
Yeah. I felt like my recovery time improved. I immediately noticed a little bit of a difference.
It was around this time, my dad actually had years of bloodwork done. It just before his doctor was about to put him on a testosterone replacement therapy.
He actually came to me and was like, “you’ve been working on something to increase your testosterone… Do you want to see if it actually works?” His testosterone was around 205 NPG and he was going back in a month to have it analyzed.
I figured that would be interesting so I gave him a month’s worth of the concoction I was taking. After a month of him taking this stuff his testosterone nearly tripled. It went from 205 NPG to just under 600 in a month.
Wow. That’s a huge jump.
It was crazy. His doctors thought that it was just a mistake with the blood work and made him get retested two more times. Each time kept coming back it was just around 600.
The doctor reached out and told me I should sell whatever I was doing immediately.
At the time, I was busy trying to play football and was in school. I thought, I don’t have time for this guy. I don’t have time to start a business. I was 19, I think.
That said, I was interested in the idea and it got me thinking. I had always wanted to own a business. I started getting my friends to take it and go get tested with before and after blood work done.
I knew that one person isn’t a good sample size when it comes to testing because it could just be that my dad was deficient in one of those. Maybe both of us were deficient.
So I started testing more people. After we had maybe 10 people test it I realized it was working on virtually everyone. The lowest I saw I think was a 10% increase in testosterone—which is still pretty good, but I knew I wanted better than that.
These results showed me that I needed to sell what I was doing. Right around that time I realized I wasn’t going to be eligible to play Division 1 football. I just got on the state team and a week later compliance told me I wasn’t eligible for academic reasons.
At the time it sucked not being able to play football, but it kind of opened up the opportunity to start my own business.
I was bussing tables at the time and saved up enough money to get the first product manufactured and building a website.
That’s awesome and you came from washing tables to building your little supplement ecommerce empire.
Yeah. I was bussing tables and it paid fairly well but it was still bussing tables which sucked.
You’ve been in the industry for three years?
Yeah. Three years now and it’s really taken off. The first year was brutal because of how big of a learning it was. There was so much that I didn’t know and that I even didn’t know I didn’t know. Ha!
So I’ve had to learn so much. Starting your own business, especially the early days, you sort of have to be a jack of all trades. You have to understand marketing, ordering, fulfillment, accounting, and even web development. Most importantly you have to know how to allocate the little bit of money you have.
You’ve been so successful from so early on despite having a background in working at a restaurant.
Yeah I mean I don’t like to think of that is so much my background because I always wanted to do more but I didn’t end up graduating from NC State just because I ended up dropping out to start this business.
I guess it didn’t have any real background. I didn’t have a background in the industry other than I played sports and worked out if that counts.
I see here you have a pretty big following YouTube following
It’s getting there it’s around 5000 subscribers right now.
YouTube has been a great platform for my business. I know that social is sort of the forefront of the market.
It’s a way to really connect with your customers and potential clients. You’re able to speak in a deeper, more genuine level and create a brand value. I think YouTube is the best platform to do that.
Instagram seems kind of shallow to me it’s harder to really connect and convey you and your product your business or a bow.
I think the longer form content on YouTube is just a really great opportunity for brands to build trust and connect with their customers.
What advice would you give someone who’s looking to start an ecommerce brand in the fitness industry?
You have a truly unique product or service. I would say this is not even just directly to people in this industry. This industry is very competitive. It may be a little bit truer here.
Too many people try to get in the fitness industry—which is supersaturated right now—just because they think that because they’re fit they know a good amount about fitness they can do well.
They can come out with their own commoditized product such as protein and just start seeing immediate success.
You’re never going to win it that game.
You can’t come into an industry compete on just price. You have to find out why you’re different. You have to figure out what value you’re bringing and you have to be unique.
First, I would say stay away until you’re able to answer the question of why you’re different. It takes real honesty and self-awareness to do this well.
Second, probably stay out of retail in the beginning. Focus on e-commerce. Amazon is a good way to get your foot in the door and get some fast sales that can help fuel your business. It gives you the capital. From there you’re able to start branching out and building brand value through your own website and reaching out to bloggers.
And just find a way to really bring value and establish yourself as different. If you can’t establish yourself as different and significantly better than the competition immediately then it’s not going to work.
You mentioned finding a niche… How have you gone about it?
I think GenTech Nutrition has the only two products in our market that actually works well. Very, very few that show any results.
I found my niche when I got frustrated shopping for a quality product that I could not find. I was trying to find people that had before and after blood work and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find many people.
When people did actually did do before and after blood work the results showed that their products didn’t work. We are able to show that we were different and that we believe in our products by having a 200% money back guarantee if they do not see a boost in testosterone.
A lot of people thought that was a big mistake in the beginning. As of now, we haven’t had anyone take advantage of that.
That’s because it works and most people are honest. Also, I think it’s a way for us to be transparent and let people know this isn’t a company it’s all about marketing.
This is a company that’s about good products first marketing second and it’s an easy way to kind of put your money where your mouth is as a company and publically state that we will literally give you double your money if you do not see result.
It gives the consumer some assurance that they know the results they’re getting and that it will work.
In a way that answers you question. You need to find a problem and create a quality product that solves it.
You mentioned Amazon as a good way to start. How has your experience on the platform been?
I have mixed feelings. It is very difficult if you’re in a strict category.
There’s a lot of little ways that you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. Their support is really bad. It’s just very high risk if it’s your sole source of exposure. There’s a lot of reward on Amazon they have so much attention.
If you do well, you can make a lot of money very quickly and you can really take off as a company.
At the same time. A competitor can sabotage you or Amazon could just mess up and then your support won’t get back to you. You can get your account suspended for so many reasons.
A lot of times when you didn’t necessarily do anything wrong.
There’s just not much safety there. It’s not a good way to establish your brand, but it can be an asset to leverage to take off.
People want to see your products for sale there. There’s a lot of people that flat out won’t buy from a company’s website. These same people might not shop retail either.
A lot of times if they’re going to buy products online it’s going to be from Amazon. I know a lot of people only shop online on Amazon. This is especially true for supplements. You definitely want to be on there, but it shouldn’t be your only sales platform.
That’s awesome. Really good advice. What is caught you off guard or surprised you the most since you got started?
How hard and how competitive that ecommerce is, haha. Also, how long it takes to see results.
A lot of people think that they can just throw up a good website, list your products and just start selling immediately.
In the world in the world of ecommerce things take time. I mean even if you create a great website and get backlinks it still takes months for Google to recognize you as valid and start sending traffic. Domain authority, it will get you established, but it’s a longer process than I went into it thinking it would be.
But it’s still well worth it. You have to know that you’re in it for the long run. You can’t just think that you’re going to just break into an industry and take off in month one or two or six or even the first couple of years most likely.
It just takes time and a lot of hard work.
Where can we find your product?
We sell directly from our website into contrition and then our products are also for sale on Amazon. If you’re. If you’re interested in buying internationally it’s a good idea to go through our website because shipping will be cheaper, faster and easier.
Are you an online store owner and interested in being featured on our blog? Contact me at email@example.com.