Five Questions with Wes Grudzien of Marketplace Ninjas

Marketplace Ninjas develops strategies for sellers on Amazon to outperform all competition. Founder Wes Grudzien would like to increase his staff and joined the Northwest Ohio Impact Program to gain as much knowledge as possible and solidify his business model.

What inspired you to create your business?

Marketplace Ninjas actually sprang off from a local baby boutique called Lullaby Lane. We were an incredibly successful Amazon third-party seller. We were doing millions of dollars of business a year. I realized the real intrinsic value of Amazon was not with sellers like us, but with brands, because of the idea that Amazon is a place where consumers first interact with brands.

What separates Marketplace Ninjas from the competition?

There is an industry for Amazon consultancies, or partners. It’s small and very niche, but it’s incredibly important. I think what sets us apart is our process and how effective it is, and the long track record of success we have with our clients. Multiple clients with multi-million dollar annual growth on the channel, very successful outcomes based on whatever their end strategies or end goals are.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the Northwest Ohio Impact Program?

My biggest takeaway, at this point, has been the additional perspectives on the business model and how to simplify it. I’m very much in the weeds on what I do. To be able to properly communicate what our business is and who we are, I needed to zoom out. I’ve had great help with that perspective.

What is the most important thing the program offers entrepreneurs?

For me personally, I think there are two areas I wanted to focus on. One is the general entrepreneurial business acumen—putting some of those foundations and structures and tracking mechanisms in place. And also, the scalability of my business.

I’ve been in partnerships in other large businesses before, but this is the first venture where I’m leading it. Also, in the past, I’ve sold products. We’re really selling knowledge and education, which comes from people. So scaling a people-based business is definitely not something I’ve done before.

What are your future plans for your business?

We’re moving into our new office, probably around September or October. We’re having a building renovated downtown and I would like to hire three more people in the first half of 2020.

I think there’s a nice opportunity to have significant growth, significant hiring, making an impact. These are all high-paying jobs that we have as part of our company. I would like to be a part of the revitalization of Toledo.

Learn more about Marketplace Ninjas at Then, come watch Wes pitch his business live on September 17 for a chance to win up to $10,000 at the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneur Showcase.