Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Meny Hoffman – CEO of Ptex Group, talks about educating Amazon sellers on how to reach their maximum potential and also more information about his life’s journey. #menyhoffman #ecombroker

About Meny Hoffman of Ptex Group – 

Ptex Group offers strategic marketing, design, printing, web development, and call center services.

Find the Full Episode Below

Yoni Mazor 0:05
Everybody, welcome to another episode of prime talk today have a really special guest. Today I’m having Meny Hoffman is a few things is, first of all, the CEO of Pete X group, which is a leading branding and marketing agency focused on product branding. That’s the first thing but also the second thing. He’s also the founder of Let’s Talk exit, which is a platform that is helping Amazon sellers strategically develop an exit strategy. There’s a website, there’s, there’s a show, there’s a podcast, he’s going to tell us more about it. But in the meantime, Meny Welcome to the show.

Meny Hoffman 0:36
Thank you so much. I’m so excited for this episode.

Yoni Mazor 0:39
So So are we thanks so much for your time. Yeah, so today’s episode is going to be the story of you the story of Meny Hoffman, you’re going to share with us everything. You know, who are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where’d you grow up? How’d you begin your professional career, station to station until we reach where you are today, especially with the world of E-commerce? So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Meny Hoffman 1:00
Sure. So, as you mentioned in the intro, my name is Manny Hoffman I grew up in and was raised and born in Williamsburg. Born in New York, and raised in Williamsburg, to be exact. And, in my early stages, I always want I’m the kid with a lemonade stand. You know, it was when it came to two different occasions, I was creating booklets and so sold the door by door. And at one point I think I was 16 years old when I had my first business card. I still have it over here in the office as a memory.

Meny Hoffman 1:38
And I wanted to create stuff. When kids were playing with computers and card games, I was creating fake brochures, fake business cards, and everything like that. And as I was looking for a career path, I was looking to enter a space where the time that I spend is not spent dollar for dollar, I want to make an impact. So I started creating some stuff for non-profits in Malaysia and when you’re still

Yoni Mazor 2:03
A teenager, no, no, no, no.

Meny Hoffman 2:05
So when I was

Yoni Mazor 2:07
Positive, jump into. So as you can kind of examine it in the demonstrator. So you were very entrepreneurial, at a very young age, but I want to come and sit in the household environment like your parents were going to industries where they’re involved with when you were growing up. Yeah.

Meny Hoffman 2:22
So my parents were in the knitting industry. At that time, it was 100 employees opening up Saturday, you know, Saturday night matzah Shabbat, where they would just go in and open up and be night shift and day shifts.

Yoni Mazor 2:37
And they own the business or just working on the business. They own the business. Yep. A typical client for this sort

Meny Hoffman 2:43
Of typical clients where the some them don’t exist anymore. The JC Penney and Jenney exist for the Sears and I don’t even remember the, you know, the big box stores and the power wars and all the Walmarts of the world and you know, companies like that. And they were they would go through the process. You know, I remember now well, because we were going to get to the E-commerce with the supply chain. But at those times is one winter and ahead of so today we saw snow. They knew Okay, next season will be a good buying power because those buyers will run out of stuff. They’ll start buying early. So yeah, they were in the knitting, always looking at what’s out there as far as trends, but they

Yoni Mazor 3:23
Sounds a little bit unique if I can show it here. So there were in the manufacturing industry and the factory was located in New York City. Yep. Yeah. Before the age, Asia became a big manufacturing hub.

Meny Hoffman 3:36
Yeah, Brooklyn that there was sitting like 100 employees, knitting with sewing machines, and knitting and knitting, knitting and knitting. And these were the certain fads that came in certain styles came in and they or remember the hot heat they were blacks, blacks were called those blocking those different hats styles that needed to be blocked in a machine. Very hot environment.

Meny Hoffman 3:57
But yeah, that’s when New York and the USA were the hubs of creation and manufacturing. And I grew up in those in when seeing that single styles and in development, I remember the salespeople would go out with new lines and so forth. And I knew from the very early age, as I mentioned to you or having the entrepreneurial spirit to me, that I want to create something on my own, you know, a lot of people wake up and say, you know, I want to join my parents business. I want to join my father’s business because I could come in in a leadership position I wanted to build something from

Yoni Mazor 4:31
It. That’s a good question. So you that’s your parents, but what about the house or any of the siblings who worked in the business grew up in the business or the old one dispersed separate ways? Are they

Meny Hoffman 4:40
Mainly most of them? I had my oldest brother that joined the business for quite some time, but by the time I went into business, most of my siblings were on their own.

Yoni Mazor 4:52
Got it? Okay. Very good. So you finish I guess High School slash Shiva and in Williamsburg and then right after you just walk into you know, you want to go into the professional world or what do

Meny Hoffman 5:03
You do so that was a very interesting story. So obviously I learned in Borough Park in Brooklyn then I learned in Israel for a couple of years and then obviously got married. And then a couple of years in, I wanted to start doing something. I found a friend of mine from yeshiva.

Meny Hoffman 5:19
And I asked him what he was up to. And he told me, he’s actually, he’s working for his father-in-law in the printing business. He’s looking to do something and spin off something and do it on his own and asked him if he has any ideas. It says, you know, how about we create a website where people could order printing goods, and that time was pretty, pretty new, just dating ourselves. Our businesses are a little bit more than 20 years old.

Yoni Mazor 5:45
So what was the year that your friend came up with that idea? What was the year?

Meny Hoffman 5:49

Yoni Mazor 5:50
I’m sorry, 2001 2001, about 21 years ago, he came in says, let’s open you know, the website that is focused on selling products related to printing cars. Yeah, posters.

Meny Hoffman 6:01
Yeah. And he asked me for an investment, you want to know if I want to be, you didn’t know he needs a working partner, he wants to just investment. And actually, I remember that I went up in the evening to my parents. And I asked my parents, like, I want to start doing something and somebody came up with this idea. My father says, who would want to print through a website as I know, my print shop is locally a couple of blocks down. Anytime I need envelopes, printing stuff, I go there, I can’t see anybody wanted to print something to like, send off a file to somebody online.

Meny Hoffman 6:34
And I said I hear let me make some more research. And then I remember a couple of months later, I came back to my parents and said, This is the domain name, if you want to check it out, I’ve just gone ahead and built it. Of course, my parents weren’t against it, they just didn’t. At that point, we didn’t see the web in the stage that we would see it now. And we ended up doing that we started doing full-color printing. And we became like a broker shop. Because now that we have this website, we have leads coming through our website, and we can start getting any type of printing and then find our relationships with different vendors. And this is how we started. And at one point, we said, you know, we want to add services, that’s when we started doing the creative services. And that’s where I entered the business full time where I started being involved in, you know, getting clients understanding what it is what they need, and then adding people and then obviously, we grew from there.

Yoni Mazor 7:24
Right? So 2001, when you opened the business, it seems like it was kind of a side-track you had, and what was the main track you were on in terms of, you know, having a job or an income,

Meny Hoffman 7:33
I was still learning. So my partner, which is still my partner, wants to do this full time. And he needed just an investment. He didn’t need two people running this, it wasn’t a lot of activity. As we were adding more services the business could have started you needing another pair of hands. That’s where I entered the business. And that was my first job.

Yoni Mazor 7:53
Career move. So 2001, when you launch a business, and what was you went in full time,

Meny Hoffman 7:57
I think, if I remember correctly was like 2003. Beginning? Yeah, yeah. But

Yoni Mazor 8:03
Two years, just set it off the ground and the tours, you know, in let’s say, there’s already for you ready for him? And I guess lit on ready for more team members to come in and make it grow. But so yeah, take us through these journeys. What was the next, I guess, Milestone One of growth for them? Oh, yeah.

Meny Hoffman 8:17
So we had a bunch of them throughout the 20, as you could imagine, like every company, so we started to say, you know, we figured that a huge stepping stone for somebody they want to print with us is who’s designing it? So he said, you know what, why should we let somebody else design a file, and then ultimately, then they have a decision to be made, where to print if we could bring the client journey earlier in the process when they’re still looking for design. So we hired the first designer, we started doing that, of course, they didn’t have to print with us. But naturally, if we were able to give them service, and we created a tagline from the get-go, it was considered done.

Meny Hoffman 8:52
And we saw a pain point. And this isn’t just a good lesson for listeners of the show in general. We saw a pain point, let’s say and we dealt in the earlier years, we dealt with a lot with non-profits. And the pain point was if somebody is doing a dinner, an event, they have so many moving parts. The last thing they want to do is did I send the invitation to print will it arrive on time? Oh, I forgot it’s a holiday and now we need to share we need to mail it and I’ve missed the mail date because now they’re closed, the post office is closed. And we said you know what, consider it done. You give it to us. We’ll work backward we’ll figure out the timeline we’ll do the design and then we’ll get it approved. And people loved it in our clients love their service. And a lot of credit goes to my partner who was very on top of the game when it came to the actual operations. You know, a lot of people are great salespeople, but they’re lacking in the operations

Yoni Mazor 9:41
And bringing the business but he may he takes care of business and that brings more business and you got the virtuous cycle of growth.

Meny Hoffman 9:46
Correct and we developed that partnership with my partner loves the operation side. I love the sales side and being out there. And it’s still till today my partner is in the operation so a lot of people don’t even know they have a partner. And a shout out to wolf plasma, which is my partner, and I do a lot of the outreach and the sales. So at that point, that’s where we started. And then as we started doing design, we started building more and more and more and more at one point, I had a very interesting story. And if time allows, I’ll just share it quickly, which is we had a person that came to us he wants to design a brochure, I asked him, Why do you want to design a story, he told me, he’s in the manufacturing business. He designed and does custom furniture. And he’s losing market share because everybody’s going to China, big-box retailers, they’re all selling furniture.

Meny Hoffman 10:33
And then he told me that he wants to do it, he went to a consultant, the consultant told him you should design a short mailed out to interior designers build relationships, in theory, design, they do want, they want to do custom, and they want to have that relationship. So we worked with him. It was a couple of months a consultant was involved we’re going back and forth, back and forth. Finally, it’s arrived. I remember I still remember the time it arrived. I look at the back of the brochure, it was an 800 Number, I call the 800 number, and I want to let him know that his brochures arrived. And his wife picks up after a few seconds to get caught out. He says she says hello, hello, and hello, but gets caught off. And then booms busy signal.

Meny Hoffman 11:08
And I was thinking to myself, and when I reached them on my cell phone. And I told them by the way, I tried to reach the 800 number your wife picked up what you know, what is this all about? And he says she’s in the train station, she picked up the phone. But what do you want to do? I should, I should hire a sailor somebody sitting there only for those few phone calls. I said, Wait a minute, if nobody will be there to pick up the phone, you’re sending brochures to busy people. If they’re trying to want you nobody’s picking up the phone, nobody is calling you back again. And then at that light bulb moment went on and said you know what happened I and add the service, which is a call center. So not only we’ll do the marketing, and we’ll do the brochures and printing. But let’s have a person in our office that we could offer you the service, pick up the phones, and this was a light bulb moment. And then I went on like the next day, I was sitting in my office,

Meny Hoffman 11:57
I had a computer technician fix my computer. And he was literally underneath my desk fixing my computer. And then his phone rings. And he’s literally on the phone underneath my desk. And I tell him when he picks it says, Why did you pick up the phone, he says, Wait a minute, if this is an emergency, it’s an existing client, I got to pick up the phone. And if it’s a new client, if I don’t pick up, they’re calling the next person in the yellow pages at that time, it was still yellow pages, the marketing. And they said, By the way, I’m thinking about this idea of having girls picking up phones for other companies, he says, brilliant idea. I’m your next client and the first client, whatever he says he says, If you do that, make sure she also does bookkeeping services because I’m not going to build my clients in six weeks. I’m running crazy. So that’s when we spin-off when we open up another service called Call Centre Services only to support some of the marketing initiatives that we do.

Meny Hoffman 12:49
And then we had another pivotal moment as we were building that we wanted to do a website because we were something coming in very strongly. And then we went obviously, we already had a taste for design. We were designing stuff. And we couldn’t get a web developer to design a website to our liking. And then that’s where my brother Yasi Hoffman, Joseph Hoffman, wanted to do something I said, Look, I see a vision where the web will be the neck, the future, do the same thing. We’re doing marketing and branding beautiful Web. At that point, he joined us, he’s still affiliated with us, his company, and I was called forward slash. But we added that component so we could share with clients and give them that experience. Last but not least, another pivotal moment in this in this journey was when branding and marketing were coming in stronger and stronger, especially within the smaller business community. We saw this in the larger companies that are spending on branding and marketing, smaller companies were just using designers. They’re not using the branding, the understanding, understanding the positioning, and everything else. And at that point spun off a separate division called branding and marketing, which was focused more on strategic positioning, branding, and understanding of how we bring out the best of a brand long term. And that’s where we had his full, we call it the four divisions within a company where we have those different services helping companies get to the next level. So

Yoni Mazor 14:12
I forgot this correctly. You got to print, you got to design, you got calls, and you got a website.

Meny Hoffman 14:17
Right. So we call it a little different. We have branding and marketing with strategic branding and marketing, printing, and design. Our everyday design work and printing services are in US Call Centre and our web development team, as I mentioned. And what we like to say is we help growing businesses flourish. And I would say by now, about 60 to 70% of our clients will use at least two of our services, because they’ll do branding, and they’ll do a web they’ll do branding, marketing,

Meny Hoffman 14:43
And they’ll do a call center or marketing and printing. And we play this we play you know the different pieces of the puzzle come together and it’s very important because we live in a world where people need things fast and he thinks they don’t want to it the process should break down by an hour. Need to look for a web developer now I need to look for somebody to print my stuff, they want to know they have the company. They know what they’re doing, they have, one person running their account the account manager, and then all the other people plug in when they need it.

Yoni Mazor 15:13
Right. So it’s a turnkey solution touching, go Consider it done. And then you know, they really can focus on running their business and operating their business. It sounds like you’re able to take your and your partner’s abilities and kind of both throw it out. So you know why one department helps these sellers start these businesses get business and operate, while another component of your business helps them get business in, which is marketing, which is your genius. So the genius of your, your partner yourself kind of reflected into these other businesses, you’re supporting them. Yeah,

Meny Hoffman 15:44
And now we tweaked our slogan to consider it done. This means if you have that idea, that vision for your business ring come to us, and then we’ll make sure that it gets done, we bring it to fruition.

Yoni Mazor 15:58
So consider it done. Let’s say it is the vision, the dream, the spark that travels as a business small or big, or medium.

Meny Hoffman 16:06
And I’ll just add a very important point. And this is the passion that comes into play. I think it’s important for our listeners because we are in you’ve probably had this conversation with so many business owners that you meet. And I have this on an ongoing basis where people are asked me, what if I don’t have a passion for what I do? I just want to do it because I want money. And the answer is you might be able to be successful, but you for sure will not reach your fullest potential if you don’t have a passion for your industry. And I think in our industry, I love what I do every single day I love even the people that work here because it’s so diverse, we meet with different entrepreneurs, different backgrounds, different skill sets, and different ideas, and we could be part of that puzzle for them in their growth. It’s just very fulfilling.

Yoni Mazor 16:49
Nice. I love that. Okay, so let’s take us to the next station of your entrepreneurial journey. So you guys are, you know, a sales and marketing agency. And, and, you know, you got also the operation with the print and everything but the call centers, what was the next station for you in terms of, I guess, growth or entrepreneurship or business development?

Meny Hoffman 17:08
Sure. So the agency just has their organic growth. We’re just constantly, you know, up in your ladder doing work, we’re doing work for larger corporations, larger brands, to date, we have within our agency, we have different clientele, we have the service brands, which we will be b2b non-profits, PB, which will be product branding, this is developed with built to date over 100 brands, a lot of them are big-box retailers, or now e-commerce and Amazon we’ll get to a little bit more details about it.

Meny Hoffman 17:40
I guess what I’ve what I found my calling in this process outside of just helping growing businesses flourish is two things. One is developing the most phenomenal culture out there, be able to attract good talent, and be able to give create an environment where people will love being here. And I always say that when somebody comes working here, there is going to come and say that they’re going to outgrow the company or the company will outgrow them. The goal is while they’re here, they have a phenomenal time. And that’s my goal. My goal is regardless of how long people stay with us, while they’re here, they could say I learned a lot, I grew a lot I had made great friends, and so forth. And we helped a lot of companies in between. And then when the journey transpires to you leaving the company or you or the company outgrowing you, whatever it is, there are no hard feelings, it just another stepping stone in your

Yoni Mazor 18:29
Enhancing environment you started doing or one place and you ended another you’re very happy in between. So the experience is valuable,

Meny Hoffman 18:37
Very valuable. So that’s one something that I love. And that’s what I started doing. And the other thing is I’ve made it my mission. No, my mission statement is I believe every person should be allowed to succeed in life. And if you have what it takes to help another person, you got to you know, you owe it to that person to give them that next stepping stone. And that led me to initiate my let’s talk business platform. It started with live events, some of our larger events had over 1000 people. We were

Yoni Mazor 19:04
Overwhelmed. I want to take a moment just to list I remember early on he said, you know where you were doing an entrepreneur stuff when you’re younger you said I want to make sure I have an impact. So the impact is what you just described with P Tex. The whole experience for this is for the businesses to impact their business and make sure they have a good business but also your employees. That’s kind of the Starkey touch earlier than Yes.

Meny Hoffman 19:24
And then I took it and then I found myself in a way where P Tex outgrew being able to be a platform for everybody. Because there are companies that could grow without us. There are other options available to be able to get the stuff done. But on the educational side, we could still play a role. And that’s where we initiated left to business where at least they could plug into the content. They could plug into Pathways, they could plug into our live events, and even if they’re not a client of Peter x as far as the marketing services, any of the other services. They could still we could still have an impact. So our reach is larger than just our client pool. And we’re able to do that with we were almost on the phone or that initiated live events within the community.

Meny Hoffman 20:03
When I’m saying live events, not trade shows more as seminars and summits and educational events. Our first one was in 2007. And then we regrouped and started on a higher on a larger scale in 2013, where we did our let’s talk business live events, which grew to close to 1000 people at our live events. And then ultimately, we did smaller events Leaders Forum. And then before COVID, you know, we thought we’ll add just another piece to it, which is a podcast. Now we have, you know, the list of the business podcast has over 100 episodes to date, we have impacted I don’t care about the number of people who always ask me about my numbers.

Meny Hoffman 20:42
Although we have 1000s of people listening, it’s about every single episode, somebody will reach out to me and say, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. And for that alone, it’s worth my time. And just in. So that’s where we started doing it. And then as more events came into play, I started just speaking on other stages. So not all events, I need to create myself and run them. But I’m able to impact people that way as well.

Yoni Mazor 21:05
Let me capture that moment. I’m always around 2007, you say when you let’s talk business when you realize, you know, some business can grow with arrows, and they will never become clients. Nevertheless, we can create engaging valuable content for businesses out there. Just to help them to help is almost like a service to the business community. Yeah, that happened around 2007.

Meny Hoffman 21:25
Then we started in 2007, our first event then we took a pause, not knowing where the market goes, we brought it back in 2013 in a very consistent way, which like we rebranded to let’s do business, and 2017 was more called a what’s called steady innovation very, very long time ago. But let’s talk business now. Yep. And when we brought it back, I, I had, you know, you know, I had a certain blessing, I was able because I love education, I go to a lot of events, live events I’m talking about not only in not only trade shows, but educational events, like a two-day event, three-day event, should it be entre leadership, which is the Dave Ramsey Show, and others in the past, I always felt there’s some information out there that the average business owner just doesn’t get, which is the process of going from running a company to growing a company and scaling the company.

Meny Hoffman 22:16
And it’s different. It’s different metrics. The comment is Dave just mentioned, Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey has a quote, a business will never outgrow its leader, which means is if you as a person don’t grow yourself, it comes to a point that you don’t see the vision for the company as well. So, therefore, I felt that it was because I have that knowledge. And I’ve seen it in the worldwide, the larger business community, I could bring those people and that’s where I started bringing the Michael Gerber’s of the world. Even at one point, Gary Vee, I brought in the CEO of one 800 got junk, which built an empire, different thought leaders from out there. And I did that same with the podcast because I have no access to so many business owners, and successful, you know, leaders within companies, that I’m able to bring that every week, and I wouldn’t been able to bring phenomenal guests throughout these, these two years, over two years of the podcast.

Yoni Mazor 23:09
Yeah, the podcast medium is amazing, because it gets a global audience immediately, which is a great progression for you. Because, you know, let’s talk business has its physical presence with the business community, probably mostly here in the United States. But now you can, you know, you can share the experiences on a global level with, you know, having a podcast platform, but let’s talk business, was it around the country? Or was the new mostly New York, what was the physical geography of

Meny Hoffman 23:35
the live events were off, you know, most of them happened to New Jersey, but obviously, it was, you know, it was attracted to New York and New Jersey community, in particular, the Jewish community, because I felt that that’s where I could bring the value. And those are the people that, you know, a larger event allows the companies just don’t have the bandwidth. And I could say, I’m very proud to say that I had a tiny, at least a tiny part in seeing the certain transformation of companies. I’m talking about companies 2030 years old, that never did, you know, any type of collaborative, let’s call it cultural events in their own company for their employees, or recognition for employees or reap transformation about the responsibilities within a company night.

Meny Hoffman 24:17
I believe that culture is a serious thing. You know, sometimes we speak about culture, and I name it to name a company with great culture, and they’ll say Google, why because they have ping pong services and babysitting services, or whatever it is. That’s my culture. Yeah, that’s, that’s perks. And there is a time and a place for it. But culture means serious a person should know. I have clarity, what does the company how does the How could I be valuable to the company? What’s my growth plan in the company?

Meny Hoffman 24:40
And having that clarity from leadership down to every single employee gives so much fulfillment to every person? Because now there is no disconnect saying I thought I’m the most valuable person to the company. Now I’m getting a pink slip because people think I’m not even worth anything to the company. How could it be this so disconnected? And the reason is big As the lack of clarity, so a lot of that information that we do on leadership training is, is not only on vision and focus, but it’s also on how to bring together everybody, it’s working for the company with clarity, understanding their responsibility, how they play a role in the success of the company, so on and so forth.

Yoni Mazor 25:16
So let’s talk business, the conferences, you know, they and the content in the focus on all these, these necessities for the business in terms of cultural events. But this is not something you offer P Tex outside with consulting or anything like that. This is just, you know, the educational activity, you’re, you’re involved with yourself, right?

Meny Hoffman 25:35
So people always ask me if, you know, here’s

Yoni Mazor 25:39
My question, before you answer my question, I guess you help with that yourself is something like that, is there a curriculum or consulting that’s available out there for businesses to dive deep into their culture and try to figure it out?

Meny Hoffman 25:49
So there are two things, First of all, I do a lot of speaking in companies so that people will call me down for one session last week, I was sitting there, actually eight employees, I’ve been in companies with 40 5060 employees, but eight employees, they needed a little bit better collaboration, working together, helping each other out, and they just wanted, I should come in for a one-off session. I don’t do a lot of consultation. And I’ll tell you why. Although I do a limited amount, and usually one or two clients a month, because I like to create value. And if I could use my time, like being on this podcast, and speaking to you, and I know this is going to, this is going to impact way more people. It’s just better. It’s just a better use of my time than just sitting with one person one-off because I’m not a consultant by trade. I’m a business owner,

Meny Hoffman 26:33
I have a company, we have over 30 people in the office now we have remote people. So I just run our own company as well. So I would rather do the education in a larger format. But I did I do have you asked about the curriculum, we do have something called the Leaders Forum, which we’ve done 18 times to date, which is 10 business loans at a time they would come into our offices for one day, we will give them just a crash course on leadership. That will be vision mission core values, hiring, firing, and delegation, like just a crash course. And the reason I’ve developed that is that these are the q

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *