If you're wondering what the Power Mentoring II program can do for you, read Kate O'Malley's experience here...
"I have been working on my product for 7 years. Running into roadblocks, dead-ends, or just plain confusion about where to go and what to do next. By taking Tamara Monosoff's "Power Mentoring" class, the roadblocks, and dead-ends are now an open road of endless possibilities. Tamara's step-by- step approach to getting your product to market is invaluable. By taking this class, I was provided workbooks, and weekly live group sessions, followed by video replays of the classes, to learn everything I need to know to move onto the next step. The discussions were open and helpful each week. I learned more in a few weeks then I ever could have in my 7 plus years of struggling. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who has an idea for a product, or who has "shelved" an idea for a product because they don't know what to do next. Tamara is a fantastic speaker, motivator, educator and resource" -- Kate O'Malley -- Class participant Power Mentoring 1&2 (2014).
No matter where you are in the product development process, if you take this accelerated 4-week Power Mentoring Program (begins on June 3), you will have clear action steps, real resources, and a plan of action for taking your product idea to the next level. Imagine starting your Summer fully equip to achieve your goals. You have heard my students rave about what they've gained from participating. You can have this too.
In ONLY 4 Weeks...
- You will know how to conduct valuable market research including how to come up with an estimated retail price and production cost for your product.
- You will understand the best options for prototyping including a list of qualified prototype developers.
- You will know how to find the safety regulations related to your product.
- You will learn how to find product liability insurance.
- You will gain clarity about how to manufacture your product whether you need a plastics engineer, textile developer or formulator.
- You will be given the names of specific funding resources. I share the names of micro-lenders that I used to fund my business.
- You will learn how to use video marketing, QR Codes, and PR to create buzz and excitement for your business.
- You will gain insight into how to create "WOW Factor" emails that will entice retail buyers to open and read them.
- You will learn new alternative routes to generating sales through daily deal websites, catalogs, e-tailers and retailers.
- You will learn the ins-and-outs of licensing your product to another manufacturer.
Ann Hurley, Founder of Luv Chicken, just completed my Power Mentoring II program last week. Here's what she has to say about her experience... "As a business owner of 2 years, I was feeling stuck and needed some ideas and a little support to push things to the next level. Tamara is amazing! She gave me fresh marketing ideas when I thought I had already tried everything. Her classes were packed with tons of resources that would have taken hours to find on my own. She shared her knowledge of these resources (marketing, manufacturing, etc.) to the point I knew exactly which ones would be a great fit for my company. Her classes were so informative and positive, I couldn't wait to get back to working on my business with the new tools she had given me. She even helped me land a meeting with a senior buyer from a Big Box Retail Store! I strongly recommend this class not only to entrepreneurs just starting up, but entrepreneurs who have been working on their business for awhile and need a little nudge or fresh inspiration. Thank you Tamara for your time, insight and generosity. I can't wait to see how applying everything I learned in your class will change my business!" -- Ann Hurley
If these women can do it, so can you! You can turn your product idea into an income-generating business and I will show you how.
Power Mentoring II begins Tuesday, June 3, 2014. $300 OFF until May 1.
Schedule Details Below:
Getting Started with Market Research (The step that most entrepreneurs skip!)
Monday, June 2, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Getting The Goods - Prototyping, Manufacturing, and Safety Testing.
Thursday, June 5, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Legal Tools and Techniques to Protect Your Idea - Patents, Trademarks, "Provisional Patent Applications" and Non-Disclosure Agreements.
Monday, June 9, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Get Funded! Creative Financing For Your Business - Crowd-funding, Micro-loans, Grants, Personal Financing, Vendor Financing, and investors. Tuesday, Thursday, June 12, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Creative Marketing Ideas that Work - Video Marketing, Google Hangouts, Social Media, YouTube, PR, AND...How to Build Your Own FREE App as a Marketing Tool (Yes, I have actually done this myself and...No, I'm not a techie! I can't wait to show you how you can do this for your own business!)
Monday, June 16, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Selling a New Product to Retailers & Directly to Consumers - Pricing Strategy, Discounts, Packaging, Trade Shows, using Independent Sales Representatives, Distributors, Unique Retail Options e.g., QVC, Zulily, and catalogs. Consumer Shows, Online Sales, Direct Sales Organizations, Promotional Sales, e-tailing, and Amazon.
Thursday, June 19, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Licensing 101 -- Strategies, Common Terms, and Agreement Models.
Monday, June 23, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
* Can't make a session? No worries! All group webinars will be recorded so that you can watch at any time that is convenient for you. (Ready to Accelerate Your Business? Sign Up Now: Power Mentoring II)
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE WHEN YOU SIGN UP:
- My LIVE instruction for four weeks -- two online 90 minute group sessions with action assignments in between and expert guests on relevant topics above. 30-minute open Q&A at the end of each group session.
Copies of the books (below) will ship to your home with FREE shipping:
- NEW! The Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing (2nd Edition)
- NEW! The Ultimate Product Launch Workbook for Entrepreneurs (Companion to the Power Mentoring II program AND The Mom Inventors Handbook 2nd Edition). -- This helpful workbook is not for sale outside of this program.
- NEW! TOP U.S. Retail Store Contact List for Product Entrepreneurs (Get your product on store shelves!)
- NEW! TOP U.S. Catalog Contact List for Product Entrepreneurs (Get your product in national catalogs!)
- Your Million Dollar Dream: Become Your Own Boss
- How Hot is Your Product? book and workbook. And, access to the How Hot is Your Product private members area with 22+ video tutorials.
- Margin Calculator (will help you come up with the best price-point for your product) and Video Tutorial to show you how to use the calculator.
- My Golden List of Prototype Developers and Factories (not for sale anywhere else)
- At the end of the program, when you're ready, I will BLOW MY HORN about you and your business via my social media networks. (Note: Companies have offered me $2,000 just for this alone!)
Program cost is $1997. (Click here to get $300 Off until May 1st)
(Save additional $50 by paying in full)
Need a payment plan? Here you go!
Don't let another moment pass by. You CAN turn your dream into a reality!
And, I'm here to help you.
Tamara Monosoff is passionate about helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals. She is an award-winning inventor, social entrepreneur, best-selling author, educator, speaker, and founder of TamaraMonosoff.com.
QUESTIONS? I welcome questions about the program.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Mentoring" in the subject.
I can't wait to work with you!
Journey On, Tamara
Today is THE official launch for the Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing (second edition)
(watch 4 minute video)
If you have a product idea (or know someone that does), you need this book. Honestly, it is unlike any other book out there. As I wrote it, my goal was to "reveal" everything that I could to provide you with clear steps and specific information and resources to accelerate your success.
And, the 50 entrepreneurs featured in the book share the names of their highly coveted prototype developers, factories, and formulators and most importantly their personal stories. I share the names of the catalogs and retail distributors that landed me my biggest sales accounts as well as "back door" tips for getting your product onto major retailer store shelves.
Order the book now and follow these 3 simple steps to get awesome gifts in your inbox:
Gifts will be delivered to your inbox AND You will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD and my new self-paced Power Mentoring Programs*. You are going to love these prizes!!! (Winners announced Friday, April 4th at 12:00 Midnight Eastern)
Please help me get the book to #1 on Amazon TODAY by placing your order now and sharing this message with anyone who will benefit from this information.
With heartfelt thanks and appreciation,
P.S. This book is for anyone (men or women) that has a product idea.
*no purchase necessary to enter the drawing.
I'm thrilled to share some news with you. For the past nine months, I've been writing the NEW, updated and interactive second edition of the best-selling, Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing. It officially launches this week!
It is jam-packed with up-to-date resources and information that will blow you away. I have included absolutely every valuable resource I can give to accelerate your success.
This book provides a step-by-step road-map to take your product idea from concept to flying off of store shelves. There are an abundance of new opportunities and I want you to know what they are and how to use them.
All of the chapters are NEW in the book. Here are just a few highlights:
- Manufacturing: You will learn what questions to ask, choose the best materials, set the correct price, as well as the names of proven factories both in the U.S. and overseas (generously shared by the entrepreneurs featured in the book).
- Funding: There are an abundance of resources today to fund your business without going into debt: including crowd-funding, fast online loans, and non-profit micro-lenders. (I used some of these resources to fund my own business).
- Selling: You will know how to sell to retailers, catalogs, distributors, daily deal websites, television retailers, and more! I share the names of the distributors and catalogs that catapulted my business to the next level of success. It took me two years to land these accounts; some of which don't even show up in Google searches so I provide them for you in the book.
- Video Marketing: You will learn how to use both on and off-camera techniques to create captivating videos as well as do-it-yourself PR to get the word out about your product. Here's the video I made in my garage two weeks ago introducing the book. If I can do it, you can do this too. Click to watch 4 minute video.
Personal Stories Will Inspire You:
The best part is that I'm featuring over 50 entrepreneurs, most of whom used the first edition to successfully bring their products to market. You will LOVE their personal stories. The book is interactive and you can scan their stories with your SmartPhone -- I teach you exactly how to do this -- to watch the videos that they made especially for YOU. They share the challenges they've faced, the rewards of starting a business, the thing that has surprised them the most and one piece of valuable advice. You are going to LOVE these stories. I find myself watching them again and again because they touch and inspire me every time.
Hear what one such entrepreneur wrote:
"When I had the idea for Carry-Her Doll Carriers and found The Mom Inventors Handbook (1st Edition), I couldn't put it down! The stories in the book about other mom inventors inspired me and I realized that 'I can do this too!' I'm on track to sell 85,000 units this year with my new placements in Toys "R" Us, FAO Schwartz and Walmart for the holiday season! P.S. I was just reminding my husband of the day I read your handbook...I told him that night that I'd be in your next edition." -- Roberta Wagner
Already on the Journey?
The book is also perfect if you have already launched your business but need help getting to that next level of sales success. The sales chapter is packed with specific how-to information. In fact, I had to divide it into four parts so that you can easily digest the steps and hit the ground running.
Get AWESOME Bonuses!
If you purchase a copy of The Mom Inventors Handbook (2nd Edition) this week... you are going to get AMAZING gifts and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD and my new self-paced Power Mentoring Programs. The Drawing will be held and winners announced on Friday, April 4th at 9:00pm Pacific/12:00 Midnight Eastern. All you have to do is follow three simple steps. Click here to get started! Or go directly to: http://www.TamaraMonosoff.com/bonuses. You are going to love these prizes!!!
Give a Gift that Matters...
Nothing shows how much you care more than supporting someone else's dream. If you have a friend or family member that has been struggling with getting her/his product ideas off the ground, this book will show her exactly the steps to take but most importantly it shows that you care and support her dreams.
I love what Karen Walker, creator of Swagger Tags said about receiving the first edition as a gift...
"I had no background in developing a product, so I didn't know where to start. I had read a few business books, but didn't find them very helpful. My sister-in-law gifted me The Mom Inventors Handbook and I didn't start reading it right away because I thought it was just another ra-ra inspirational book for women with not much useable information. When I did pick it up in earnest, I quickly realized how wrong I was. It was just what I needed: no fluff, just chapter after chapter of great, relevant and inspirational information. I went from having no clue where to start, to putting together an action plan for my product Swagger Tags."
Imagine...Karen felt this way about the first edition and the second edition blows the first edition out of the water!
With heartfelt thanks and appreciation,
These classes sell out every time! Sign up early to hold your spot.
Power Mentoring I (Begins September 2, 2014) The First Steps to Inventing. If you have ever said... - "I have a new product idea but I don't know what to do next" or "I have an idea but I don't know who to trust" or "I have many ideas but I don't know which one to focus on first" then this LIVE 5-week online program is for you. It is designed to help prepare the necessary groundwork for successfully bringing your product to market: Click here to learn more.
Power Mentoring Program II (Begins October 7, 2014) Get Your Product on Store Shelves! Manufacturing...covered. Funding...covered. Creative Branding, PR and Digital Marketing Tools...covered. Selling Your Products to Retail Stores...covered. Getting in the Media Spotlight...covered. You will be blown away by what you learn in this 7-week LIVE online class! This program is designed for product entrepreneurs who are already committed to a product idea and have advanced beyond the essential market research: Click here to learn more.
Hear what my students are saying...
"This is by far the best class I've ever signed up for. You have given me more information in 8 weeks than I could have gotten in 8 years on my own. I also know that your giving us the information honestly. I know that everything you've shared is to help me succeed. You've shared your life story so I could learn from your mistakes and celebrate in your victories – to better empower me to have the courage and knowledge to create a reality with what I thought would just stay a dream. If you have ever had an idea that you think may sell, don’t wait another day! Sign up with Tamara Monosoff to learn, step by step, how to and how NOT to take this idea forward. Tamara’s classes, her encouragement, and support empower you. She gives you the tools to know how to control the outcome, be it patenting, licensing or finding money and the right niche in the marketplace. I've struggled on my own for well over a year. With Tamara’s knowledge and wisdom, I am now ready to move forward with confidence. I could not have done this without her. Thanks Tamara!" -- Bonnie Nesbitt
"Signing up for Tamara's Power Mentoring I & II was the best decision for my start-up! I've been working on my product for a little over a year and the amount of information of resources and learning from Tamara's experiences have given me valuable tools and guidance to forge ahead. Now, I have a clear knowledge of how-to and the confidence to succeed! Thank you, Tamara for your teachings and support!" - Carrie Ushiba, PawdPet,LLC
"I am so happy that I took both classes. Being a total novice, I felt Power Mentoring 1 eased me into the process. Tamara explains everything in a very easy to understand format. She stops to answer questions and makes sure everyone is understanding what she is explaining. Not only does she teach the class but she offers so much more! The classes are recorded so at anytime I can go back and review. She makes herself available by email so if I needed further explanation on a topic she was there for me. She shows enthusiasm which kept me motivated! She shares information that would take you hours upon hours to research and obtain. She asks the right questions to make you think about every possible scenario. Power Mentoring II gave me so much more. From having the guest speakers answer our questions. To all of the websites given to obtain information, and the benefit of having "classmates" to review your product and give you honest feedback. It has been so much more than I ever expected. I highly recommend taking these classes. I have had my product idea for years, thanks to this program I am going from an idea to a product!" -- Vicky Giesegh
"I learned so much from Tamara's mentoring program! The information and structure of the program was excellent! Initially, I was concerned about the cost of the program but found that this course is well worth it! Classes are all interesting and filled with valuable and useful information. Tamara shares her industry knowledge, guides you in the right direction, emphasizes key phases of your business to focus on, shares her favorite resources, advises on what to delegate, and informs you how to avoid costly mistakes. Taking this course helped me piece the puzzle together for a first time inventor. Knowledge is power and I think Tamara's mentoring program gives you tools to organize and set yourself up for success.” -- Jessica Goirigo
"I'm so happy that we invested in Tamara's Power Mentoring II Course. Tamara packs an amazing amount of knowledge and advice into each session, and her enthusiasm and love for what she does makes her words shine. We're a two year old start-up company that's had success, but now we find ourselves at a crossroad. Along the way we've gotten a lot of advice. But none like Tamara's...her insights are spot-on. Thanks Tamara for helping us find the direction and motivation to push onward!" -- David Harges and Christine DeSavino, Founders of DaisyGrip
"Last year I took a six-month entrepreneur MBA course from a well regarded University in the San Francisco Bay Area. The focus was to help students learn how to develop and market their products. I can tell you that Tamara has already introduced more material and information (in one class) than I received in three sessions from that course. We are all going to benefit from Tamara's passion and expertise." -- Kitty Woodworth
"Goethe is quoted as saying "instruction is much, encouragement is everything." The Power Mentoring sessions with Tamara Monosoff enabled me to understand what that means. When I was nervous, she made me feel at ease. When I was so excited, she helped me calm and focus. When I was scared to face all the possibilities,negative as well as positive, she helped me open my eyes. She conveyed even more information through her presence than I gleaned from her books alone. I could tell she has both book smarts and common sense from her videos but what I heard as I talked with her in person is her wisdom and her genuineness. I found she could counterbalance my every emotion so that I can continue onward in a steady fashion. Thank you for being my mentor."-- Becky Colvin
"I have spent relentless hours trying to bring my idea to fruition, only to get discouraged because I did not have the knowledge or confidence to move forward. Tamara's Power Mentoring I and II Classes have given me the tools and necessary steps to succeed. The experience has been invaluable and because I can use what I have learned for future ideas, makes the program priceless. Thank you Tamara! You have EMPOWERED me!"-- Toni Hafner
Power Mentoring Program II (Begins October 7, 2014) Get Your Product on Store Shelves! Click here to learn more.
Need Help Selling Your Products to Retailers? Now You Can Have Access to the Top U.S. Retail Store Contact List!
When bringing our product ideas to market, we often focus so intensely on creating the product that we overlook, or put off planning for, the single most important step – selling.
"This information is HUGE! Thank you so much! When I opened it up, I was in awe and all I could say was WOW!!" -- Toni H.
Large product companies must go through the exact same sales process you need to follow: calling the buyer, sending samples and convincing them to try their new items. But they KNOW WHO ALL THE LARGE RETAIL CHAINS ARE.
So, what if you had, in your hand, a list of over 175 top retail chains across North America—that include over 285,000 stores broken down by category?
- Grocery, Drug, Convenience Chains & Clip-Strip Distributors
- Mass Merchants & Department Stores
- Office Supply
- Arts & Crafts
- U.S. Military-Based Retailers
- Leading Television Retailers, Catalogs, & Etailers.
"I think the list's value is well over $100!" -- David H.
Of course, you can create this list yourself. I have been in this business for nearly 10 years and it took me and my team over 60 hours to create this list (and we knew exactly what we were looking for!). There are many 100+ store chains on this list I NEVER EVEN KNEW about.
In addition to providing the list of retail chains with the address, website and phone numbers, in some cases we were able to provide LinkedIn addresses for actual category buyers.
Selling your product to just one of these chains could change the entire course of your business… and your life.
"The spreadsheet looks terrific and will be a tremendous help!"
-- Chris and Sue S.
When you purchase the list, it will be sent to your inbox. Look for the tabs at the bottom (see image below). Click on the tabs to view the contact information by category. For example, if you want to sell your products to mass grocery store chains (see below), you can see that the contact information is right at your fingertips. You can easily print the contact list too.
Kick off the New Year by generating product sales through major retailers! This practical tool will help you plan who to target first. And, if your product is already on the market, you will see opportunities on this list that you may have never previously considered.
My goal is to provide you with tools and knowledge to help you succeed faster.
I want to hear from you! Please share your success stories with me.
Get this HOT LIST NOW!
Dotti Templeton has reinvented the onesie! TwoSees are like onesies with a "rear view." An overlapped, easy-peek opening on the back lets you check if your baby pooped without having to remove his pants. Dotti shares the ups and downs of launching her business Little Parakeet and bringing her first product to market.
Mom Invented: What or Who inspired you to start your business?
Dotti: When my kids were little, Onesies didn't exist. Kids wore undershirts which would ride up and expose their bellies and backs, so I think baby bodysuits are great. But one day when I picked up my one-year old granddaughter, Cassady from daycare, I noticed that all the kids were walking around with their Onesies unsnapped and hanging outside their pants. The caregiver explained that it was just much easier to do a diaper check on everybody without having to lie each child down on the floor and pull off their pants for a poop check. I understood, but since I wasn't the one being inconvenienced, I didn't give it a second thought.
Then one day I was grocery shopping with Cassady when I thought I smelled a poopy diaper. We were in the deli department full of cheese and fish so the "sniff test" was inconclusive. My shopping cart was almost full and Cassady was sitting in the seat, wearing a onesie under her pants and shirt.
The restroom was out of order and there was no place else to lie her down, so I parked my cart, put on our hats, coats and mittens, and headed out to the car.
I put her on the cold back seat of my car, wrestled down her pants, lifted her leg and pulled it open to take a peek. Empty. All that for nothing, now I had to redress her and trudge back to the store, and I was aggravated.
By the time we got back into the supermarket, a stock clerk had emptied almost everything in my cart back onto the shelves. I had to re-shop for nearly everything, and if there's anything I hate more than grocery shopping, it's grocery RE-shopping.
When I got home, I searched the Internet for a snap-at-the-crotch undershirt with an opening in the back that would allow me to do a quick butt check. It didn't exist. So I invented it. TwoSees was born and is now patent pending. And, I named the company Little Parakeet, my nickname for Cassady.
Mom Invented: What obstacles or challenges did you encounter when developing your prototype?
Dotti: Rarely have I ever even sewn a button onto a shirt, let alone make a prototype of an article of clothing. I knew nothing about the apparel, sourcing, or manufacturing businesses let alone financing, marketing and business laws.
To start, I searched the Internet for the product I wanted to buy, a onesie with a hole in the back. When I saw that it didn't exist, I spent many many hours doing as thorough a patent search as I could. When it yielded nothing, I paid a company to conduct a professional, independent patent search.
Before we could do any market evaluation, we needed a working prototype.
I ordered what are called "blanks" off the Internet so we could start to make some prototypes. Blanks are articles of clothing that you can buy and design yourself, for example, T-shirts that you want to screen print, and/or label yourself under your own company's name.
The prototyping was extremely educational and I advise anybody inventing anything to be as intimately involved with it as possible.
Art, my husband, and I took the blanks and started cutting holes in the backs. First, we cut it horizontally, thinking that it made sense to have the opening be as wide as possible. We tried it on our "model" (a 1960's Penny Play Pal doll) and it looked and worked great.
However, when we tried it on a real child, we saw that it gaped wide open whenever she bent over. In addition, all the extra fabric bunched up at the waistband and the upper part of the shirt got caught in the diaper and acted as a wick.
When we went back to the drawing board, we decided to go vertical. I took a pair of Art's boxer shorts and cut out the fly. I sewed the fly into the back of the onesie, and cut a hole in the middle of its opening. It was not pretty, but when we put it on Cassady, it didn't open when she bent over. There was no extra material to get bunched up under the waistband, and the vertical model allowed for the pants waistband to fall almost anywhere on the baby's back and still be easily accessible.
Finding a person who could professionally sew a prototype was impossible. I didn't even know what to call such a person. Finally, I found out that I was looking for a "cut-and-sew" expert, and at least I was able to get a few names off the Internet.
The first expert turned out to be pretty bad. I didn't know what to expect, but the price was high and the quality was low. I could not show her prototypes to moms.
The second pro we found was great, but she was even more expensive than the first woman. We paid $50 for each TwoSees she sewed, but it was worth it to have a good quality product.
Mom Invented: What market research did you conduct before producing your product?
Dotti: Once we had the prototypes, I was able to show them to moms and get their opinions. Each week, I would go into Brooklyn to spend time with Cassady. Since our daughter and her family live in a densely-populated city, I was fortunate to have access to several parks and Tot-Lots within walking distance from their home.
I'd take the TwoSees to the park with me and strike up conversations with moms who had children around Cassady's age.
I asked for moms' opinions about the TwoSees and most people are nice. Out of the many moms I spoke to over about a year, one mom expressed that she was concerned that if her baby pooped up his back, it would come out of the opening. Of course, I'm thinking, "If your baby poops out of his diaper and up his back, that opening is not going to make a bit of difference in the amount of mess you'll have" but I just thanked her and kept my mouth shut.
A few other moms were concerned that they would cost too much more than onesies. Frankly, I was concerned about that too.
That's one of the hardest things you'll have to swallow is someone not thinking your "baby" is as great as you do. It's difficult to separate your product from yourself, but you have to do it and take it on the chin without getting defensive or feeling hurt. Try to see every criticism as an opportunity to make your product better...it's free advice.
I also sent out TwoSees to moms to evaluate over a long period of time. I wanted them to actually use them and report back whether or not the opening in the back was useful. Moms told us repeatedly that once they got used to using it, they wanted all their onesies to have openings in the back.
Mom Invented: How did you find a manufacturer or source to make your product?
Dotti: Finding a manufacturer for clothing was probably the most challenging part of the entire process.
What I learned about the apparel business is that it's very closed and secretive. I learned this both from trying to source on my own and from reading numerous books written on the subject of sourcing.
Many manufacturers don't advertise, they only want to deal with designers who have an "in." When I could find a few names and I called them, they wouldn't call me back. The ones who called me back didn't want to do a "small" run (I wanted 2000)and they didn't want to deal with a newbie.
Finally, with the help of a design and manufacturing consultant we hired, we were actually able to visit a few manufacturers in the US. Their prices were outrageous. They wanted to charge more per piece than we could ever even sell them for. In addition, we had to gather all the materials and supply them to the factory ON TOP of the cost they were going to charge to put it all together. Every snap was a separate cost.
Eventually, we found an agent who was trustworthy and reasonable, and through him, located and worked with a factory in Vietnam. I don't know the name of the factory, and I know we are paying a premium for using an agent, but we are happy to pay him for what he knows and what he does.
Mom Invented: What hiccups or surprises have you experienced along the way?
Dotti: We ran into problems every single step of the way. It would take a book to tell you about each one.
In addition to learning that most US factories weren't clamoring for our business (I never had such a hard time trying to SPEND money), we learned that everything is more difficult, more time-consuming and more expensive than we allowed for.
We learned that you don't know who to trust when it comes to sourcing overseas. And I learned that all the "peripheral" stuff associated with launching a product can be as challenging, time-consuming and expensive as manufacturing the product itself.
When we received our shipment, the openings on the back were all wrong. I had received a good sample and approved it before authorizing the order, but somehow, 2000 TwoSees showed up with the openings wrong.
Fortunately, we paid half when we placed the order and the second half was to be paid upon approval. I discussed it with my agent and we worked something out, but every glitch adds more time and money to the project.
None of this is meant to discourage anyone from following their dream, only to serve as an alert to prepare for mistakes, setbacks and aggravations...and then expect even more.
Mom Invented: What has been your biggest success so far?
Dotti: I was happy to learn that TwoSees recently received the Parent Tested, Parent Approved (PTPA) award.
PTPA sends your product to 5 parent testers throughout the US and Canada (you have to send them 5 products at your own cost) to use for several weeks. The parents then write and submit evaluations about the product and the organization decides if it's awarded their "seal" of approval based on the parents' evaluations. Evaluations include everything from packaging to durability, style and usefulness.
We used Pitch PR for two months and they really got amazing results for us. Their work resulted in articles in various popular mommy blogs (like PopSugar Moms) and websites as well as a couple of TV spots. Well worth it.
Mom Invented: Building a business is serious but sometimes it's good to laugh at our mistakes.
Dotti: Don't get me started. If you can't laugh at yourself or have difficulty getting up after a disappointment or setback, rethink going into business for yourself.
You can receive 101 rave reviews on your product and get one person who basically says "dumb idea" and you have to work all day to put the negative remark out of your head.
Mom Invented: What has surprised you the most about launching your product(s) or running a business?
Dotti: The expense of the project surprised me the most. Between consultants, patents, wholesale prices, PR and the website, we won't even break even after selling the 2000 TwoSees we have.
True, we spent money that other people might not have on some of these items, but we are hoping we did so wisely so that it pays for itself in a quicker take-off of the product.
One issue that didn't come up until AFTER we got the first shipment was that many people saw the blue parakeet designs as boy-related, not neutral like we did.
Mom Invented: Where can people purchase your product?
Dotti: Please come visit us at Little Parakeet.
Mom Invented: What advice can you share with other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Dotti: I'm guessing that there's nothing I can say that hasn't been said a million times by other, way more successful people than I.
My advice is to figure out the money up front. So many good ideas and businesses can't thrive because they don't have the funds they need to keep going until they become successful.
- Know your risk tolerance when it comes to putting money into something other than your savings account.
- Know what you can afford not to have, at least for awhile.
- Figure in at least 20% more to the cost of what you plan to do than you think it'll cost. Write it all down.
- Have the guts to ask the tough questions and get the hard-to-hear answers from yourself and others.
- Get help before you think you need it, especially in areas of weakness. I love communication, creativity, marketing and aesthetics... finance, sales and operations... not so much. So when I looked blankly at my husband when he asked if I'd reconciled the bank statements with the payments made from various sources, (reconcile??? I didn't even know where they all were!) I knew I had waited too long to ask for his help.
Yes, yes. There are many stories of people giving away their cat and eating bread and water to fund their success and it all worked out. I wouldn't discourage anyone who could do this...it's up to you, though, to really know how much sacrifice you are willing to make.
Mom Invented: How can people find you?
Dotti, Thank you for sharing your story with us!
The response to the survey was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. I read each survey personally and found your feedback to be invaluable. This has helped me understand how I can serve you better.
- Heather F.
- Dana B.
- Jen B.
Thank you again!
Thank you to those of you who have already signed up. In a nutshell: Manufacturing...covered. Funding...covered. Selling Your Products to Retail Stores...covered. Getting in the Media Spotlight...covered (see details below). You will be blown away by what you get from this 7-week class!
If you've had an idea percolating in your mind for days, months, or years, the only person that can make your dream come true is YOU. It's time to take action!
- Are you feeling stuck? Have you hit roadblocks and just need someone to guide you with clear action steps and resources?
- Is your product ready to go but you are looking for new ways to sell it successfully?
- Are you interested in using hot new video marketing tools to promote your product but the idea overwhelms you?
- Do you need funding to get your idea off the ground without going into debt?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then the all-new, HIGH POWERED Power Mentoring II is for you. Imagine having the information, updated resources, and specific action steps handed to you in a series of clear, small steps.
Together we will rocket your idea forward and save you months -- even years -- of slogging it out on your own. I hope you'll "decide" to take a leap of faith and join me. I can't wait to work with you!
COUNT ME IN: Power Mentoring II begins November 5th.
Power Mentoring II: Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be!
This intensive 7 week program is designed for inventors who are well into the process of developing and launching their product or have already launched but are looking for NEW TOOLS and resources to catapult you forward faster.
You will be armed with action steps and you will be amazed by what you learn! Have specific questions to ask? The last 30 minutes of each group session will be open and dedicated to answering your questions LIVE. (Sign Up Now: Power Mentoring II)
Week 1: Getting The Goods - Prototyping, Manufacturing, and Safety Testing.
Tuesday, November 5, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 2: Legal Tools and Techniques to Protect Your Idea - Patents, Trademarks, "Provisional Patent Applications" and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Tuesday, November 12, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 3: Selling a New Product to Retailers - Pricing Strategy, Discounts, Packaging/ POP Displays, Trade Shows, Using Independent Sales Representatives, Distributors, Unique Retail Options e.g., QVC, Zulily, and catalogs
Tuesday, November 19, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 4: Selling Direct - Consumer Shows, Online Sales, Direct Sales Organizations, Promotional Sales, e-tailing, and Amazon.
Tuesday, November 26, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 5: Creative Marketing Ideas that Work - Video Marketing, Google Hangouts, Social Media, YouTube, PR, AND...How to Build Your Own FREE App as a Marketing Tool (Yes, I have actually done this myself and...No, I'm not a techie! I can't wait to show you how you can do this for your own business!)
Tuesday, December 3, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 6: Get Funded! Creative Financing For Your Business - Crowd funding, Micro-loans, Grants, Personal Financing, Vendor Financing, and investors.
Tuesday, December 10, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
Week 7: Licensing 101 -- Strategies, Common Terms, and Agreement Models (We will give you a copy of an actual licensing agreement that we use!)
Tuesday, December 17, 9:00 am - 10:30 am PST / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
* Can't make a session? No worries! All group webinars will be recorded so that you can watch at any time that is convenient for you. (Ready to Get Started? Sign Up Now: Power Mentoring II)
What you will receive:
- My live instruction for seven weeks of online group sessions with action assignments in between and expert guests on relevant topics above.
- Every program participant will become a member of our private community where members give honest feedback, share resources and ongoing support. What could be better!
- Receive a copy of The Mom Inventors Handbook, Your Million Dollar Dream and How Hot is Your Product? book and workbook delivered to your front door with free shipping. And, access to the How Hot is Your Product private members area with 22+ video tutorials.
- 8 Tips & Resources Guides
- Margin Calculator and Video Tutorial to help you price your product.
- At the end of the program, when you're ready, I will BLOW MY HORN about you and your business via my social media networks.
SIGN UP NOW HERE! SAVE $50 by paying in full now. ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!
You can do this and I am here to help you! Don't let another year pass by. You CAN turn your dream into a reality!
-- Tamara Monosoff, award-winning inventor, best-selling author and founder of MomInvented.com & TamaraMonosoff.com.
Please note: Space is limited and programs will not be offered again until next year. Let's get going!
QUESTIONS? I welcome questions about the program. Email me: email@example.com.
WATCH this VIDEO! In 7 minutes, my good friend, Invention Development Consultant, Justin Aiello of AielloDesign tells us the things we need to consider as we take our initial product design concept and transform it into a reality.
I hope this information serves you well. Please let me know what you think!
P.S. Want more? REGISTER at TamaraMonosoff.com to get:
1) Complimentary How Hot is Your Product Quick-Start Checklist
2) Get three complimentary video tutorials in your inbox by clicking on the "Get Free Training Button" on TamaraMonosoff.com.
3) Ready to get cooking? Purchase the Complete How Hot is Your Product? 10 Step System (book, workbook & 22+ online video tutorials) to walk you through each step. You will find Justin's interview and many other valuable bonus video interviews posted in the private members area right now. Imagine how good you will feel knowing what questions to ask and which steps to take first.
We just finished a video recording of the How Hot is Your Product Kick-Start Webinar for the people that purchased the How Hot is Your Product? 10 Step Product Evaluation System. We had a great response! In fact, our members loved it so much that we have decided to share this valuable, information-packed session with you too.
Brad and I provided an overview of the 10 Steps in an effort to offer you support as you work your way through the product evaluation process.
Remember...the GOAL is to Find Out if Your Product Idea Will Make You Money! This process isn't difficult and the knowledge you will gain is phenomenal... it could be the key to your success.
Watch the video recorded webinar and let us know if you have any questions.
If you like what you see and you're ready to join our special group, you can purchase the How Hot is Your Product? 10 Step System and Get Started Right Now.
“Loving the videos!…I have already dabbled in each of these stages and yet many of my questions are being answered
in areas which seemed daunting to tackle. You and Brad are covering the precise areas that I needed some clarity in proceeding.”– Melody F.
Imagine how good you will feel knowing that:
- You've done your homework
- You've made smart and thoughtful decisions
- You've created the opportunity for your success!
Forge on! You can do this.
P.S. The How Hot is Your Product? Kick-Start Webinar video and the Quick-Start Checklist have been added to the private members area so that you can view them at any time!