I sold girl scout cookies in elementary school, and even though the audience was receptive, selling has always been uncomfortable for me. Not including the cookie fundraising, I consider TrustyTrunks swim diaper covers my fourth startup. Each one is a longer story, but the first was a software product which failed because I selected a terrible developer. For my second startup, I had a stellar developer, but completely lacked the appropriate sales and marketing knowledge. The third was successful, yippee! However, I was only selling my own accounting software skills. I had plenty of contacts and history in the industry, so I always had as much work as I could handle without needing anything more than basic communication skills.
So here I am in an unfamiliar industry, but with enough history and wisdom to know my focus needs to be on sales and marketing. My head is spinning from the amount of reading I’ve done via books and internet sites. The amount of information available is abundant to the point where it could get overwhelming. However, I have enough to start working.
Here is my strategy:
- Use Shopify to build a website (if you’re reading this, I got this done!)
- Create prototypes and set up photo session
- Receive patent application completion notice from attorney
- Launch website sooner than I had anticipated, even before TrustyTrunks are available
- Utilize social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter) to bring people to the website, with the goal of building an email list for a Kickstarter campaign
- Launch Kickstarter campaign 30 days before manufacturing run will be complete
- Ship Kickstarter product and open shopping cart
- Perhaps sell on Amazon, and if so, use their FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) program. Use their PPC program.
I’ll be providing updates on how we’re doing with sales of TrustyTrunks!
Thank you girl scouts! I still love those thin mints.
Gem of wisdom: It is never too early to start thinking about where and how you plan to sell your invention.
Bonus Gem: Great sales can make up for poor accounting, but great accounting cannot make up for poor sales. – Nancy Stockton