Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader. The Question and Answer feature helps readers learn more about prominent people in the business community. This issue’s Q&A profiles
Brandon L. Maddox, owner of BMaddox Enterprises LLC, which does business as Dakota Silencer, which sells sound suppressors, and FFL123.com, a membership-based website to help customers get a federal firearms license and develop their firearms business.
Q:How did you become interested in your field?
A: “I started varmint hunting West River and enjoyed long-range rifle shooting. I ordered my supplies and equipment through my father-in-law, Tom Lavin, who has a federal firearms license in his pharmacy in Vermillion. I decided to get my own federal firearms license to buy firearms and ammunitions cheaper and maybe sell a few on the side.”
Q: What types of products and services do you offer?
A: “FF123.com is a membership-based website to help customers get their federal firearms license and start and grow their firearms business. We serve as a firearms business consultant. We currently have over 50,000 active members and are one of the most trafficked firearms-related websites in America, with over 80,000 unique visitors each month. … Dakota Silencer is based in Sioux Falls, also with a store in Carrington, N.D. We are a Class 3 firearms dealer focused solely on selling sound suppressors. We are the largest Class 3 firearms dealer in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country. Sound suppressors, or often thought of as silencers, have always been legal but are highly regulated by the federal government as a firearm. We sell sound suppressors mostly for hunters in the Dakotas. The Dakotas allow hunting of all game with sound suppressors, and this market has exploded with growth over the years all over the country. We have our own line of products made specifically for us by West River Rifle Co. in Sturgis. We also distribute these products to other Class 3 dealers across the country as well. We work gun shows and sell our products directly from our website at DakotaSilencer.com.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: “Helping customers get their business started across the country with FFL123.com. Helping customers make their hunting or shooting more enjoyable and successful.”
Q: How do you foresee your industry evolving?
A: “Demand is at all-time highs for the firearms industry. The firearms industry is a huge part of the American culture and now the American economy. With all the recent controversy, I don’t anticipate any major changes at the federal level or state level here in South Dakota.”
Q: Do you have a charity or organization that’s especially close to your heart?
A: “We are really thankful for our church family at Community Reformed Church. Working a gun show every weekend the first four months of each year makes it difficult to stay as involved as I would like to.”
Q: What has been your most rewarding experience in the past year?
A: “Being able to quit my day job, formerly managing a local mail-order pharmacy, to focus 100 percent of my efforts on the businesses I have created. I love and appreciate the autonomy of self-employment after spending over 15 years working for and managing large business divisions of Fortune 500 companies. Running a multimillion-dollar company that you started at zero is a major adrenaline rush but can also be very tiring.”
Q: What business advice do you have?
A: “Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from reaching for your dreams and aspirations. The greatest obstacle in business success comes from within; self-doubt keeps more businesses from starting than anything else. To be successful in business, you must study others that have been successful and learn from their success and do as they did. Like most business philosophers, I strongly believe business success is highly predictable. You cannot beat the competition unless you are truly willing to outwork them every day. If you outwork your competition each day, you will eventually learn how to outsmart them. If you consistently outsmart your competition and outwork your competition each day, one fine day you will awaken to discover you are at the top of your industry.”
Q: What do you think are the best and worst things about living in Sioux Falls?
A: “It’s a perfect place to raise a family. Having traveled for work to most of the largest cities in America and having lived in many large metropolitan cities, I realize firsthand that most residents of Sioux Falls do not really understand how this location is a very well-kept secret. It’s a perfect environment to start and run a new business, especially web-based business. … Worst thing: the wind. This Southern-raised boy has yet to fully understand the whole wind thing. It is not normal for my heavy Weber grill to ‘move’ across my deck due to the wind.” – Jodi Schwan, Business Journal