Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Failure Isn’t An Option: A Name Badge Story

Failure Isn't An Option:  A Name Badge StoryName of your company and URL?

My company name is Best Name Badges. You can find us on the wzeb at

What products and services do you offer?

Best Name Badges is one of North America’s leading supplier of recognition and identification products.

We have five main products we manufacture and sell which includes:

Digitally Printed Name Badges
We are one of the only companies currently using UV and high definition digital printing processes. So we are able to make richly detailed, full color badges that will last virtually forever.

Engraved Name Badges
Our engraved name badges are made using our high resolution laser engraving system. We engrave in a variety of colors and using our UV process, we can make custom colored solutions at an affordable price. We also use our laser systems to cut a variety of custom shapes in the finest detail.

Reusable Name Badges-
Our reusable name badges are simply the highest quality on the market. Have you been to Macy’s? You have seen our badges. Easy to make at home or in the office, they feature a permanent badge look, but with the convenience of on-site printing and assembly.

Photo ID Badges –
Our high definition photo ID system makes far better photo ID’s than you typically receive from on-site ID machines. Many companies save a ton of money by outsourcing their ID printing to us.

Wall and Desk Name Plates -
Full color or engraved, our wall and desk name plates come in a variety of styles and colors. We even offer reusable plates if you like to change names often!

Other products include small indoor or outdoor signage, pin buttons, promotional magnets, apparel and a variety of other promotional products.

We also offer fully customized ordering systems that are loved by our corporate clients. These sites have their own web address and are programmed to integrate with our customers existing systems. We also custom tailor pricing and fulfillment options based on client needs.

Failure Isn't An Option:  A Name Badge Story

Ryan Vroman

What is the story of your company? How did it start and get to where it is today?

You may wonder how someone gets into the name badge business. In my case, I was working for a large marketing company as a web designer and internet marketing specialist. The company had a small name badge printer and was servicing a few clients but nothing very serious. I liked the idea of growing revenues with that business and saw some opportunity to do so. I put some time into expanding the website, doing some online marketing, and putting sales processes into place and slowly the sales increased.

A few months later, the boss/owner came up to me and told me I was wasting time doing the name badge business as there was no money in it. A couple days later, my “poor decisions to focus on name badges” were used as an example in front of a customer about what not to do. I felt insulted, after all, the business was making money and was slowly growing.

Still believing in the business and not wanting to give up, the next day I purchased my own machine and started working on my own name badge company using my spare time in the evenings. Within a few months, sales started coming in slowly. I would make the orders in the evenings and drop them off on my way to work in the morning.

Eventually it became too much to handle and I couldn’t juggle both jobs. I quit my full time job and was now working from home solely on my new business. A couple months later I needed help, and hired my good friend to assist during the daytime. Brian eventually became the manager and runs most of the day to day business operations. We continued to grow and expand and now have 11 full time employees who enjoy competitive pay and full health insurance benefits. We expect to add 2 – 4 additional employees within the next couple months and are excited about the future.

We are moving into new fields and bringing new and unique products to the name badge business. Yes, there really is room for innovation in a business like this.

Needless to say, I guess maybe there is money to be made in name badges.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In?

Some businesses just don’t do well in social media. And our standard name badge business is no exception. But that’s where innovation comes into play. We are releasing new products in mid-June that are actually social media friendly.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Followed through on my belief that this business would work. Even when I was essentially shut down when trying to move forward at the beginning, I never gave up. This isn’t the first business I’ve tried, but it’s the 2nd to do well. The other was a short-lived music career, but that’s another story. I’ve failed many times and learned each time.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

Time. We are often limited by the amount of time we have in the day to accomplish tasks. We are also in the business of building relationships with our clients, and that takes time.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?

Absolutely. It’s likely you will fail a few times, so try not to over-extend yourself on bad decisions. Test the waters and see what works for you. When you find something that is working, go full tilt!

Owning a business isn’t for everyone. Do you have any regrets? What have you found most rewarding?

With success comes a lot of stress. Especially when you have employees livelihoods that you are responsible for. However, one of the most rewarding aspects of Best Name Badges has been the opportunity to provide jobs and better lives for those who share their time every day with me. And for that reason I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

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