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Primos Hunting Calls.

Mississippi's Will Primos has succeeded in growing a childhood hobby -- whittling duck calls -- into one of the top game call manufacturing concerns in the world. Three years ago his sales increased 26 percent, followed by another 45-percent growth in 1999. His company's efforts during the first year of the new millennium were rewarded with another 37 percent increase. Currently this company enjoys a retail sales level of $25 to $30 million per year.

When asked the secrets to his success, Will Primos comments, "I feel that there are two business axioms that have vastly contributed to our growth. The first is to 'Work smarter, not harder.' Most companies are blessed with hard workers, but we have found that hard work and a plan, a sound business plan with realistic goals, greatly enhance your chances for success.

"Secondly, the fact that we 'don't hide our light under a basket' has led us not only to promote the uniqueness of Primos products but, at the same time, to expand and create the market for those products. Let me explain:

"Back when we started, most of our customers, big or small, thought one game call was basically the same as another. This mindset allowed the startup of hundreds of small call manufacturers. For the most part they were each supplying small regional markets with products for only one or two species.

"Going against the status quo, we developed a business plan that enabled us to become an international company offering all types of calls -- waterfowl, elk, deer, turkey, and predator. We found the key was to establish trademarked and patented products that were easier to use, easier to maintain, and sounded as accurate as possible. And, as we developed our product line, we started promoting them at the SHOT Show and other trade shows, as well as at various consumer shows around the country. Naturally, strong national advertising was a crucial component of our marketing plan.

"Next, we worked on building our franchise and customer base by introducing a series of audio tapes in 1983. These tapes served a dual purpose. They offered instructions on using calls, as well as capturing the actual sounds and excitement of the hunt. Then, in 1987, we launched our popular THE TRUTH video series. We have just introduced the 26th video in this series of entertaining and instructive, high quality, ethical hunts conducted under the rules of fair chase. Still not satisfied, this year we are launching the Primos Truth About Hunting television series on the Outdoor Channel. We're convinced that spreading the word with Primos people using Primos products is effective. Our message is simple. We talk about the expanded hunting opportunities, effectiveness, and just plain fun of using game calls."

Primos currently operates with 75 employees in a relatively new 3 6,000square-foot building. The company is totally self-sufficient and makes all of its products in-house. Everything it produces wears the Primos logo and/or trademark. The company has a customer base of about 6,000 dealers, distributors, and cataloguers throughout North America and Europe. Domestic sales are generated by a group of 42 independent sales representatives.

During 2001, Primos will launch 48 new items to bring the total line to about 250 products. Categories include a variety of calls, cassettes, videos, clothing (face masks, gloves, hats), and hunting accessories.
COPYRIGHT 2001 InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 2001
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