Craig Martyn ’10 (advertising) had discovered the possibilities of chemical etching – applying CAD artwork to a thin sheet of metal and etching artwork with acid – when he founded and grew a model-train manufacturing business in the 2000s. This early experience would inspire Martyn’s current business.
“One day, after seeing a business owner receive a lot of attention at a business mixer over his plastic business card, I knew I had to give metal business cards a shot,” says Martyn, who launched MyMetalBusinessCard.com in March 2011.
Today, Martyn’s business is thriving, and he is also a mentor at Cal State Fullerton’s Startup Incubator, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs in Orange County turn their dreams into reality through connections with mentors and workshops for entrepreneurs.
The Metal Business Card Value Add
In addition to a diverse range of small, midsize and large firms, including Tesla, Nike and Postmates, Martyn has produced cards for such big names as Mike Tyson and Steve Wozniak.
“It’s always fun to walk to our shipping department and see orders for people or organizations I know,” says Martyn. “We’ve worked hard to become the world leader in metal business cards, and it’s amazing to see those clients come to us time and again for quality products that make them shine.”
In today’s competitive business environment, Martyn believes metal business cards help his clients stand apart.
“The point of metal business cards is very simple: They give our client the means to instantly standout and leave a memorable impression,” says Martyn. “That’s our mission. Regardless of what product we sell, we want all of our products to make our clients shine among their customers, peers and competitors. For about $2 per card, I can’t think of any other product that gives you an instant impression and perception of quality like our metal business cards.”
And Martyn’s product line is expanding and brings the metallic touch to other items, such as personalized tumblers.
What Every Entrepreneur Should Know
In helping Cal State Fullerton students and others launch their businesses, Martyn regularly advises business concepts of all kinds in getting off the ground.
He says the first step is truly understanding the market, and motivation and enthusiasm are essential for staying committed through the hard work of entrepreneurship.
“I would tell anyone starting a business that they need to really understand their market, including their customers’ wants and fears, and why their product fills a void,” he says. “From there, you must be extremely passionate about what you’re doing, because frankly, business is hard. I would say the hardest part of business is the first stages – just getting it going until it has cashflow to support itself and future growth. During the hard times, having passion and focus will keep your head down and in the game.
“As the business grows, you 100% need to build a team of self-starters. There’s an old saying that if you want to go quickly, go it alone; if you want to go far, you’ll need company. Surround yourself with amazing team members, vendors, and develop a core client base that raves about your products.”
For More Information
Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship supports undergraduate and graduate education programs for students seeking to start their own businesses, as well as support for Southern California entrepreneurs, with or without a Titan connection, through the CSUF Startup Incubator.
Read more of our articles about entrepreneurship.