In 10 years, Josh Willard went from having three aquariums in his living room to being the largest producer of captive bred poison dart frogs in the U.S. Today, his company, Josh’s Frogs, has over 2,200 SKUs, operates out of a large warehouse, and employs 20 people. Josh recently shared with us how he has built the brand and why shipping is important to his business.
We’re intrigued! How did you get started selling frogs?
“I grew up near a swamp in Michigan and always looked for animals. I had pythons in high school, but when I got married my wife said no snakes. That’s when I started raising frogs. I started the business out of my apartment in 2004, and I had three tanks in my living room.”
What was your shipping process like before and after ShipWorks?
“We used to use Click-N-Ship, and that worked OK until our business started growing. Then, we moved to Endicia and UPS. We finally moved to ShipWorks, and that’s when we saw that it was loads faster than everything we had done in the past. We picked ShipWorks because we liked how well it integrated with the platforms we sell on.”
What’s your favorite ShipWorks feature?
“We do lots of reporting and we use the reporting capability all the time. An example is we’ll run a report that tells us how many of a certain item we shipped in the past six weeks, and then that helps us know where we are on inventory. We also do reports on the number of packages shipped, how much we spent with a carrier, and the results after running a sale. The reports are great. You should really promote your reporting capabilities more!”
You ship everything from live animals to plants. How do you ship?
“We are very committed to giving the best customer service and responding to customers quickly. Part of the way we do that is with shipping, and any order placed by 4:00 pm Eastern will ship the same day. All of our frogs are shipped next day with FedEx, and bugs like crickets and fruit flies are sent 2 days. We also use USPS for some products like plants.”
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a new entrepreneur that is just starting out?
“Focus on your customer, not your competition. If you do, the rest will fall into place for you.”