We caught up with the brilliant and insightful David Dahl a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
David, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Being a business owner can be really hard sometimes. It’s rewarding, but most business owners we’ve spoken sometimes think about what it would have been like to have had a regular job instead. Have you ever wondered that yourself? Maybe you can talk to us about a time when you felt this way?
Yes, very much so…HaHa all the time. I cannot pinpoint an exact moment, but there are those times that the stress and problems you can encounter makes me pine for a simpler life. With owning your own business there are certain risks you do not have as an employee. You cannot easily walk away without severe consequences: IRS, lawsuits, etc. For me in those moments instead of taking a break I dig in and work on the problem; that has worked best for the business. One frustrating issue we had with the radio station was problems with Google on our app and then later with Apple. That one really hurt and almost wiped us out. We eventually got it sorted out and live to tell the story.
Since then, I founded a company in the Philippines, DTL Chemicals, and own with a private equity company, NEMB LLC. At my age I should not be doing this, but I do not seem to be able to stop myself.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I enjoy writing music and because I was not having financial success at it, I looked for other alternatives. With the advent of the internet, it opened many doors. The one I was most intrigued with was radio. I quickly noticed some formats that were bought out and left out in the cold soldiered on with setting up on the internet streaming around the world as opposed to locally on FM. Years later as costs went down, and technology went up I went for it. That was the birth of Yargmetal. My brother, Brad, came up with the name and he does many of the interviews and runs many of the day-to-day operations. We are entertainment so we do not solve problems, but I like to believe we give a space for enjoyment.
With DTL in the Philippines, we solve problems with waste and on our distribution side of the business and provide many different services to technology companies who build there.
NEMB LLC is a precision ball manufacturer that services medical, aviation, automotive and industrial customers.
Have you ever had to pivot?
When we first started DTL Chemicals in the Philippines we did so as a chemical manufacturer. I was at a trade show, and I was approached by an electronics assembly company to have a water-based cleaner I had developed one year back, and so we started the company and pushed the cleaner. The problem was it evaporated much slower than alcohol-based cleaners and was not a big hit, but I never really gave quitting much thought. We pivoted to recycling and distribution because of contacts we had made, and we are doing good now. Had we not quickly switched gears we would have failed.
Any thoughts, advice, or strategies you can share for fostering brand loyalty?
With Yargmetal we use social media and word of mouth. Brad is a frequent guest on the podcast, “Mars Attacks” and other podcasts such as “Rock and Rowe” which helps to get the word out globally. In the beginning and to some extent today I will go and hand out flyers and cards to people at concerts and anywhere I can. I try not to be annoying about it but at times I had to push hard.
It is not that we are too cheap to advertise (maybe I am), it’s that I feel if it’s worth doing I will get up and promote it myself.
Brad is very active on social media and without him I don’t know if it would be possible to have the audience we have.
- Website: yargmetal.com
- Instagram: yargmetal
- Facebook: yargmetal
- Linkedin: none
- Twitter: yargmetal
- Youtube: yargmetal
- Other: dtlchemicals.com dtlsino.com dtlintl.com nemb.com
We are not a big company, but we have loyal fans (great tattoo). Machines at NEMB we use to make balls. Brad at yargmetal rocking the red pants. Couple of marketing guys when I can afford them. DTL Christmas party.