Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Young Michigan entrepreneur starts smart phone case business

A lot of people plan a business with the intention of making that business a long-term effort. But other people plan one business for the short-term, all the while keeping their eyes on other possible ventures down the road.

Consider the remarkable story of a young man from Michigan who used a vending machine business to fund a much more lucrative endeavor: creating a smart phone case that users can repeatedly customize themselves.

The 15-year-old is a high school junior in Delta Township, and the money he earned from a vending machine business helped him find a manufacturer and create a Web site for his product, the Erase Case. A video he made to present the item to distributors says that young people, especially girls, are his target market.

The Erase Case fits around a smart phone, and buyers can mark on the white case however they want, using permanent markers. A solvent is then used to wipe away the customized design and allow users to create new designs.

At first the young man worked out of his parents' garage, and eventually he sold 200 units. Now he has an office, a couple of employees, two attorneys and weekly gross sales in the thousands. His manufacturers are in China and California. One week, he said, the Erase Case company brought in $9,000 -- quite a lot for an ambitious 15-year-old.

The Erase Case line has since expanded and now includes cases for a number of other types of phones, and the young entrepreneur intends to have his product on Walmart shelves.

A main aspect of any kind of business planning, whether in the short- or long-term, is protecting against risk. To learn more about business and commercial law, please visit our Michigan business planning site.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer, "Michigan teen's smartphone invention grows into thriving business," Alan Miller, Aug. 14, 2013

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