Merchandise Print Manufacturer Expands into U.S. with 9Gauge
From Leeds, U.K., to Austin, Texas, this international print shop takes your custom brands and turns them into tangible merchandise. Founded by Luke Hodson back in 2005, Awesome Merchandise began as a means to get Hodson through school. Turned out that he found his calling. Since then, Hodson has expanded his merchandise line with deliveries across the European continent.
In 2018, Hodson took his growing success overseas. He turned to the U.S. as a new market to capture by opening his first location west of the Atlantic in Austin, Texas. Last week, we met with the creative founder to discuss his company’s scaling manufacturing business and his newfound challenges starting in a new country.
Coming to America Means Business
9G: Being from the U.K., how did you hear about 9Gauge?
LH: I learned about 9Gauge after searching on Google for a partner located in Austin, Texas because we were moving from the U.K. This was our initial launch in the U.S., and 9Gauge looked as an ideal fit for us.
I liked how you all were local to Austin because it would give us a more face-to-face relationship. I could either meet at your office or vice versa. It was important that my preferred choice was someone who understood the area rather than being 2,000 or 3,000 miles away.”
Building the Foundation to an Open Market
9G: What problem or challenge did you need 9Gauge to help solve?
LH: We have a number of subsidiaries around the world. As we were launching our U.S. subsidiary in Texas, I wanted us to be ready from the get-go. Our team needed help configuring our business setup in our systems. We have something in our technology stack for e-commerce, accounting and manufacturing. They all needed to fit within tax regulations here in the States.
This was the first big challenge that 9Gauge helped us solve. That soon evolved into 9Gauge becoming our primary partner for recurring system configurations, customizations and back end newly-built reporting features. My 9Gauge team also helped clean up a lot of our general accounting and manufacturing processes as well. Both are currently ongoing.
The 9Gauge Advantage
9G: How has 9Gauge helped Awesome Merchandise in its goal to enter the U.S. market?
LH: 9Gauge really freed us up from the guesswork needed for us to be more established here. It was great having someone knowledgeable handle that for us. We now are ready for this U.S. market launch. [Our systems and processes] can scale up where necessary while operating with taxation regulations.
In addition, 9Gauge was able to help Awesome Merchandise:
- Optimize their systems: Our consultants finalized Awesome Merchandise’s integrations, customized dashboards and established U.S. accounting best practices
- Develop better financial visibility: 9Gauge built saved searches and reports for the leadership team to access real-time metrics
- Maintain frequent (and local) communication: Whether it was in person or by email, 9Gauge team members were readily available to support Hodson’s organizational needs
Finding the Right Fit As a Partner
LH: Working with 9Gauge was great. We took a set amount of hours upfront to get everything done within that timeframe.
The team carried out a lot of the work efficiently, in comparison to other [consulting firms] in the past. I was quite impressed, as it was refreshing to deal with such as pleasant partner.
You all helped move us forward with these key changes. Our business is now better prepared to enter the U.S. market, and I thank the 9Gauge team for that.
Evolving Business in a Changing World
The world is constantly changing, the finance and accounting industries along with it. In our digital world, those who don’t adapt can get left behind. Not sure where to start? Our team’s expertise allows us to guide you through the process with financial advisory, finance & business intelligence, transaction advisory and systems integration services. Let 9Gauge help you navigate these changes to ensure a seamless transition into growing your business and accelerating your vision.
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