Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Elliott, Owner of Comic Realm, located in Indianapolis, IN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Mangas, trade paperbacks (TPB), Funko pops, dorbz, and comics (variants, signed, remarked). We are working on adding more down the road. Our customers range from novices just getting started to collectors alike. We also get many gift orders.

Tell us about yourself

I have a multimedia degree which I have been using to design my subscription boxes, box mailing tape, and other promotional materials for my business. What got me started was being in debt from college and wanting to get out of debt, all while using my degree in the process. I have always been drawn to comics and movies, making this a perfect fit for me. What motivates me each day is when a box gets delivered, and I get positive or sometimes negative feedback. This helps to keep me going when I have had a busy or rough week. When I get negative feedback, it helps to better my boxes and product by improving on them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Running a successful mystery subscription box business from the ground up without any launch party or other funding and seeing growth year after year.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being able to please every single customer and finding inventory during certain parts of the year. COVID changed the way I had to buy my inventory from books, pop, and even branded and non-branded boxes.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Build a following before you launch unless you know your target audience and how much they are willing to pay for your product or service.
  2. Build a small inventory, so you don't have to turn away customers with a sold-out sign. Also, it will help out in times when you cannot source products or parts for your services.
  3. Create a referral network or reward system, so your customers can get rewarded for referring others, and it helps to keep them coming back for more.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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