Biz tip of the week: Building a business by accident
Biz tip of the week

Biz tip of the week: Building a business by accident

Sometimes the best business ideas happen almost by accident. Consider the case of Toms Shoes.

While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Toms founder Blake Mycoskie saw the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes, according to the Toms website.

Wanting to help, he created Toms Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need, the company’s website says.

The idea resonated with million of Americans. Since 2006, Toms Shoes has provided over 80 million pairs of shoes to children, the company’s website says.

In 2014, Mycoskie sold 50% of the company for approximately $300 million.

Toms ventured into other areas like eyewear, coffee and ladies bags. With declining sales, Toms is now searching for something to relaunch the consumer interest.

Personally, I think Mycoskie should stick with what worked before. Why not start Toms shorts and Toms T-shirts? After all, the children will need shorts and shirts tomorrow, too.

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to, send an email to or call 505-3636.

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