Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Dan Micic always had a knack for problem-solving. While studying finance & business management at Harper College, he discovered his skill for sales and operating a business. He noticed that the University’s Biology department was in need of medical supplies and decided to do something about it. The ambitious Micic made his first sale of medical supplies when he arranged for 80 cases of Medline medical gloves to be sold to the University’s Biology department. He saw the biggest opportunity for business in nursing and medical supplies so he expanded out in that market by increasing his inventory. That was the start of a company that has grown to be one of the largest providers of medical supplies to educational institutes across North America.
In 2007, Micic founded Medical Shipment, the premium supplier of simulation nursing supplies and equipment. As president Micic creates the strategic vision of the company, builds partnerships with suppliers and marketplace influencers, and recruits domestic and international sales and account management teams. Today the company is a million-dollar success and takes pride in its dedication to customer service and Micic’s drive to impact the industry for the better.
In addition to running a business, Dan is a dedicated student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is also a competitive poker player, travel enthusiast and socialite. Grateful for an amazing group of friends and family, Dan makes sure to welcome visitors to Chicago and expresses his passion for the local teams, his beloved Chicago Bears, White Sox, and Bulls!
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I got started in business and sales while I was still in school. I went to Harper College in Illinois and in one of our classes we are assigned to figure out and successfully run a business. I was in charge of the sales aspect of that project and I really found my groove. I was naturally good at sales. It was there that I got my first taste of the business and I haven’t stopped since.
How do you make money?
It is pretty straight forward, I ship supplies to in demand need. Bought for x sold for y.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
From my first order, I have always been on an incline in growth. We made the INC. 5000 2014-2015. That year showed a 380% year over year growth. We started at $50,000 to sky rocket up just under 5 million in sales.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No, I’ve really never doubted myself. I think that confidence is key to achieving goals so that’s where I try to stay. Believe in yourself and trust your gut.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer was actually my school, Harper College. I arranged an order for 80 cases of medical gloves to the University’s Biology department while I was still a student. That sale motivated me to get into the medical supplies market and start my own business. I quickly realized that getting profitable customers in this competitive market was not going to be easy. I was competing with established supply companies who were cheaper or had more resources than I did. But, it ended up being my persistence that eventually got me noticed. I convinced the number one medical dispensing unit company, Pyxis, to take a chance on me. We made a deal to sell 50 Pyxis units within the first year of business and I ended up selling over 250. My little two-person team was able to deliver five times what they asked. I have had an exclusive contract with Pyxis for over five years and each year it keeps getting bigger and bigger. The point is, back when I was a small two-person company I still had the confidence to reach out and competed for big business. Since I was able to deliver what was promised I made a reputation for myself in the medical supply industry.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
The best strategy, in my opinion, is business dinners- select 30-40 school reps (potential clients) to bring out to dinner. Then we all go out to dinner and get to know one-another on a personal level. It truly is the best return on investment. We get to know our customers with a nonsales approach. My sales team gets to know their reps as people outside of the conference setting. There is so much value in establishing an honest long-lasting relationship.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision has been whether to stay in the educational market or to expand to other marketplaces. But, I think I have decided to start expanding.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Persistence- You shouldn’t be in business if you don’t have tough skin. You have to steer with confidence and prove wrong anyone who stands between you and your dream. It is also critical to multitask. In order to start, run and grow a successful business you have to learn to multitask and keep your head above water.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It is absolutely when I see my employee grow. When I see that sales click. When one of my sales guys takes ownership and starts to grow in their role. When I see that they have as much confidence in the company as I do… nothing can beat that. I know when I see that, the customers will see it too. It’s that passion that drives me and this business to keep going.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Well, the sky’s the limit so that’s exciting in itself. So, I plan to take over the educational industry and become the biggest supplier in the country. It has been really exciting to experience this rapid growth and pursue new opportunities. Right now, I’m in talks with a few large multi-million businesses to partner with to offer more products to medical industry.
What business books have inspired you?
“Traction” by Gino Wickman. It has some great advice on gaining control of your businesses. It’s based on years of real-world implementation in thousands of companies. Wickman does a great job of explaining the entrepreneurial operation system and how successful organizations are applying these practices every day to run a profitable business.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
We recently redid website to make it more user-friendly. We updated our catalog to include our new private line medical supplies. We also made our new private line sterile so the supplies are FDA compliant and ready for hospital markets.
What is the next big thing that you are looking forward to?
We are looking to move into a new office building. Expanding our offices to a new space is certainly exciting.