An Alternative, Inexpensive Way to Penetrate the Market For a New Product

My consulting firm receives an average of 2 new product submissions from entrepreneur’s each day. Last year we viewed almost 700 such offerings. They ranged from the silly to the spectacular. The majority of these concepts actually possess some commercial merit. Nevertheless, fewer than a dozen of these will ever make it to market.

There are many reasons for the paucity of successful product launches. The process is challenging and many people are not up for the fight. Many people dream that their idea or concept can succeed, but at no risk or expense to themselves. Still others have recklessly expanded valuations on their product and thus, expectations that are not realistic.

From this deluge of creativity there are always a handful of gems that have all of the essential elements necessary for success. The one constant, however, is almost always capital; or the lack thereof. A certain base level of working capital is always necessary to market launch, license or create a strategic alliance for a new offering.

We have been successfully using a guerrilla strategy for years that mitigates the level of investment to expose a product to the marketplace and secure a positive “Proof of Life”. This strategy has proven successful over and over and minimizes the costs of a full-scale inventory build before the chances for success has been fully vetted. Our goal is always to minimize risk until we have a clear positive green light from buyers and professional decision- makers in the product’s category.

We just returned from a Home and Garden Show in Orlando where we employed this strategy to successfully launch a garden tool. We secured a 10 foot display stand from show management (the smallest and least expensive in the show). For about $200 we had very professional vinyl signs created at a local franchise shop.

Our client had a friend with some creative photography talent and we utilized him to shoot stills of the product in action in a nice garden. The client’s wife did the voice over and we edited the photos into a video loop that we ran continuously for the duration of the show.
That brings us the most vexing question: How do you display product when you haven’t built inventory? We regularly have to address this issue. We have our graphic artist create art for the product based on creative direction that we provide. This art is the basis for the package that contains the product, a counter display and sales collateral.

We have one or two pieces of the actual product made. IMPORTANT! This must be a production quality prototype. It must have all of the features and benefits that factory production pieces will offer. Do not take shortcuts here.
These few pieces are the demonstration models that we use to dazzle the buyers.

The next step is to look bigger, a whole lot bigger, than we really are. We do this by using a boutique display presentation. We use the graphic art to create two, three or four counter displays. These are done at local printers, hand die cut and assembled. The front facing of the display contents are dressed with the graphics but are actually empty of product. Behind the front tier of graphically dressed, but empty product boxes, we have blanks to make the display appear full. Usually all dummy display contents are glued down.

The sales collateral is printed based on the creative we utilize on the display and unit carton. The brochure has embellished copy points and expands more fully on the unique features and benefits the product offers. Also included are pricing, terms, conditions and contact numbers.

The process I described saves our clients tens of thousands of dollars, shortens the process to market entry and confirms market potential, or very occasionally the possibility of failure. During these shows we also pre-sell based on a future delivery date that we have verified with our factories. These orders are often the basis for a funding round, or factoring of the purchase orders.

The essence of this strategy is simple: Our client’s may be the smallest entity at a trade show, but they have positioned themselves to be introduced among the big boys at a fraction of the cost most new products incur during market introduction. Executed properly, these strategies result in unleashing new excitement and energy to support and propel the invention into stores.

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

Getting Your Facebook Page Launched – Don’t Give Up!

Many of us will remember the moral of the story about the tortoise and the hare, even if we don’t remember the details of the story: slow and steady wins the race.While slow and steady may not seem to fit in our fast paced world, sometimes it does. For instance, in a world where instant gratification is sometimes par for the course we can forget that some things really only do come to those who wait. Make that, those who wait and work hard to achieve the goal or vision they have in mind.For small businesses this waiting game can be extremely stressful. We invest a lot of time, often money, and usually long hours in building a business that we are convinced given time will be successful. When results don’t come as quickly as we like it can be disheartening to say the least. But the truth is: time is usually needed along with our best efforts to product results, particularly long-term sustainable results.Facebook is no different. For most of us, it takes time, hard work, attention to detail coupled with perseverance to build a following. It doesn’t happen overnight!Unfortunately, often in our attempt to handle all our various responsibilities, we don’t invest the time and attention needed to not only launch our Facebook Page but to keep it continuing to grow and develop. It’s understandable really but understandable or not it means that all our earlier efforts and any initial capital we expended are in vain if we don’t steadfastly work the plan.Facebook offers small business a tremendous tool to grow our network of potential clients and expand our influence with existing clients. This can have a positive impact on our bottom line over time. A small capital investment is required if you have a custom landing page or pages designed for you; or if you hire someone to oversee your Facebook activity and if you decide to advertise on Facebook. The bigger cost is the ongoing and long-term investment of time and energy – yours or someone else’s.But a Page without the investment of manpower to maintain it and keep it going and growing is a waste of precious time and energy. A resource most small business owners have little of to spare. A neglected Facebook Page may also reflect poorly on our business.Once you’ve committed to a Facebook Page for your business, press on and press in. Give it time to work and give it the attention it needs. Post regularly. Respond to fan comments and inquiries. Look for ways to engage and inform your fans by posting information that is helpful, valuable and/or interesting to those who follow you.Persevere, engage and adapt where needed. If fans are never responding to your posts find out why. There are usually a few friends in amongst most of our fans. Ask them for feedback on how you might improve your page.Hiring a professional to design a custom Facebook landing page is another way to add value. But far more important is the time and energy you use to post good content and look for ways to connect with and engage your followers.A fabulous looking landing page may have lots of people ‘liking’ your page but will rarely help you build your fan base if you are not actively posting content that engages the attention of your fans.For small business the opportunities that Facebook presents are significant. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Bad Credit Commercial Loans – Give Your Vision A Reality

Usually, bad credit commercial loans pass on purposely to the assistance of loans to entrepreneurs having adverse credit history for their existing or planned businesses. Most typically, bad credit commercial loans are done through a bank or some other major high street lenders. Many commercial institutions offer small business loans that are especially designed to fit the needs of a variety of the borrowers at their businesses.

Although borrowers having bad credit history get negative response applying for any sort of loans, coming of bad credit commercial loans has solved the borrowers’ borrowing problems. There are two types of bad credit commercial loans i.e., secured and unsecured. The former forms of bad credit commercial loans contain collateral placing as of borrowers’ securities in the future, whereas pledging placing do not matter regarding these forms of bad credit commercial loans.

There are many lenders available online and offline for bad credit commercial loans. Candidates i.e., bankrupts, arrears, defaulters, IVAs, and CCJs, need to carry with them their current credit scores. Reviewing the current credit scores, the lending authority see through the borrowers’ financial capability and repayment capacity. After, lenders bestow the borrowers with bad credit commercial loans to the borrowers.

If you decide that you want to finance business through bad credit commercial loans, ensure that you visit a number of different lenders, such as commercial institutions and high street lenders. Review your options carefully so that you can choose the lending option that is best suited for your business and for your current financial situation.

In the recent past, the provision of bad credit commercial loans online has given the processing of bad credit commercial loans a good speed. Now, borrowers have to fill in a simple application forms, and rest they have to search out a lender. That many lenders are present online borrowers find options selecting in between.