The right set of tools were all one Lakewood man needed in order to build his company into the successful venture it has become.
Don Cohen started his business, the Tool King, in 1978 as a retail venture. He quickly realized that he had a product people would need — no matter how much the times changed.
“We know our customers and they are easy to identify, people will always need tools,” said Cohen, founder and managing partner of the company located off Sixth Avenue.
Although there are constant changes with computers getting faster and phones getting smaller, Cohen knows people will always need a hammer.
“The journey has been an interesting one, and although we have had great success, we still want to reach for more and do better,” he said.
Not a handyman, Cohen said that he owns few tools and only replaces light bulbs and the screens in his doors when the weather changes.
“I moved here from Detroit and had a store there, which I got the idea for from a friend whose dad ran a tool store. I moved to Denver because Denver wasn’t at that level as a tool city in ’78 like Detroit, so I knew I could do well here,” he said.
Cohen has utilized the Internet to get his tools and products to people and companies nationwide.
“We are number one on eBay and Amazon for selling tools and we are starting to look to utilize vendor information along with videos on out new Toologics Web site, Toologics.com,” Cohen said.
Cohen discovered the Internet could be a great boost to his business almost by accident.
“My son was playing around on eBay a few years ago and, just for fun, I told him to put two of my old drills on there and see what happens. I thought it would be a fun little way for us to bond and me to learn more about the Internet. One of the drills didn’t sell and the other sold for $7, so I told him to put a few more things on there and then a few more and that’s how it all started,” he said.
He added that he believes that the company’s online business has grown so quickly because people thought to be ‘tool people’ might not be the ones thought to being using a computer all that often, but they are starting to now.
“Online is a much more cost effective way of distribution and we have a lot lower cost than most tool companies without even trying,” he said.
The City of Lakewood, where Cohen resides, has also been good to him as his business has expanded.
“Lakewood has great economic development and a plus is that it’s very progressive and wants to help new businesses and aid other businesses to do better,” Cohen said.
Now ToolKing.com is one of the leading community Web and tool sites in the nation and has three times the amount of tools to be sold as any other company online, according to Cohen.
Although his company has grown tremendously since the store opened nearly 30 years ago, Cohen said that he still hires all the employees personally. His people are his most important aspect.
“We pride ourselves on our diversity and the fact that anyone working here can reach whatever level they want to obtain, anyone can rise as much as they want to and work toward,” he said.
An accomplishment that the business has recently achieved was the Golden Hammer Award, which recognizes companies and individuals who excel at moving home building and improvement products from manufacture to user.
“Everyone here is in discovery mode and we are always looking for ways to have significant growth in the company,” Cohen said.