Sadberry hunted for an online community where collectors like himself could share information and spare parts but came up empty-handed. He was tired of traveling and wanted to spend more time at home with his growing family, so he took a gamble. He left his corporate job and went to work at home, establishing a Web portal to serve radio-control enthusiasts around the globe. He bought $50,000 worth of salvage parts from his new online buddies and stockpiled them in his garage. He rebuilt and restored the components and marketed them through his Web site.
Soon the venture was earning thousands of dollars a month. “I decided to make a step, to not just have an appearance on the Web, but create something I could do for the rest of my life and not have to go back to the corporate world,” Sadberry says. He launched a Plano store and purchased additional online hobby sites to fold into his Web portfolio. Now, five years after leaving his job, he’s got two employees and a growing “click and mortar” business that grosses half a million dollars a year.
As with any business, branding helps. Sadberry learned his lesson early. Originally, the store was named Boss Models International. When the Yellow Pages put their listing under modeling agencies, Sadberry found himself fielding glossy photos of wannabe talent. But ever since he changed the name to BMI Hobbies International, customers ages 8 to 88 have had no trouble racing to his door.