Startup. I could write a book about startup, and might in my
retirement, IF I ever have one.
Anyway… the cautious advice given so far is ignored at one’s own
peril. However if you have the proverbial fire in the belly, here’s
my twenty dollars worth.
I think you need to really define your role in the business. Sounds
like you plan to be the administrator. If you do find a manuf company
that will enter into a contract with you, they are probably going to
need a certain volume to make it worth their while. Might be in terms
of units or might be dollars. If this is the case you need to be
ready and able to market that volume fairly quickly and certainly
Hypothetical scenario. Manuf demands 500 units or $50,000
volume(alter the numbers to suit your reality). This means that
likely you will make an initial payment of say $25,000 and balance
due at delivery…or something similar, or maybe pro forma…, all of
it upfront. Whatever, you need $50K just to get the merchandise made.
That’s fifty grand out of pocket and you won’t begin to make that
back till you start to sell some appreciable volume yourself. So
that’s why you need your marketing in place(which also costs real
time money) before you even begin the manufacturing process. You’re
the admin, that’s your job.
Who’s going to buy this first run at a theoretical
$100,000?(asumming key). If you are direct marketing you have to find
500 individual willing buyers. Not insurmountable but a job for sure.
How long will that take? can your new company afford to float the
$50K+ for an unknown length of time. May be its just three months,
maybe three years. A bank will not finance you, angels are hard to
If you are selling to retailers good luck getting your foot in the
door. If you choose to sell to independents you might close 20% of
your prospects and each might buy say 10 pieces average, til they see
how it sells. So that’s 50 actual closed deals, which also means at
20% you need to have 250 real presentations. That’s ALOT of work. In
this economy small fish are not easily taking bait. Institutional
buyers will prob buy larger quantities but do you know who and where
they are to make your pitch? And I’m being optimistic with the
numbers here. Again, alter the numbers to fit your particular
So maybe you say you’ll hire a rep instead. Good reps want proven
lines. Bad reps may take any line but do you virtually no good.
WHEW, depressed yet? I’m not trying to depress or dissuade you. I’m
trying to illustrate that it all takes specific action and planning
on every nit pikin step to get anything accomplished. That’s your
goal…accomplish favorable sales.
So if you are ready willing and able to do the grunt work, to find
or front the money, to plan til you’re blue in the face, to work
nights and weekends, to sacrifice your lifestyle for now…may the
rewards be as big as your dreams.
I know that wasn’t your question but hopefully its a useful answer.