An aspiring entrepreneur had been experimenting with a new non-GMO hot drink for more than a year when she decided to contact Ground Floor Partners. She initially wanted us to help her find a contract manufacturer and help her with marketing. But after several conversations we agreed the product was not ready for prime time and that what she first needed was a business plan.
Research and Planning
Our first step was to do some market research to see if there was sufficient demand for her product to build a real business around it. We quickly determined that the market was big enough, and then identified several wide-open market segments and promising marketing and distribution channels. We also researched the competition, and found that although she had far more competition than she had initially realized, none of her competitors owned significant market share and all of them had problems with marketing and distribution.
We finished the business plan within a few months and then continued working with our client on product testing, packaging, pricing, quality control, small batch manufacturing, and then marketing and distribution.
We immediately encountered some problems:
- The initial pricing did not properly account for marketing, packaging and testing costs.
- The packaging had issues with leakage and quality control.
- The initial logo and packaging design were OK, but not as polished and professional as some of her competitors and the industry as a whole.
Testing and Implementation
Over the next six months we worked closely with our client to resolve these and other issues. We helped her fix the quality control and packaging problems. We made several introductions to professionals we knew and trusted. They helped her redesign her website, logo, and packaging.
Product Launch and Market Expansion
Our client began marketing and selling her product to local restaurants, bars and through her website. She also began selling through Amazon and has received extremely positive reviews from several food bloggers. She recently began working with a contract manufacturer and plans to scale up her production volume by a factor of ten over the next six to twelve months.
- Focus On … Something - December 16, 2020
- Business Planning for Success - August 14, 2020
- Where Do We Go From Here? Small Businesses and Coronavirus - March 23, 2020
- How International Conditions Can Affect Your Small Business - February 15, 2020
- Selecting the Right Firm, or What Could Possibly Go Wrong? - December 10, 2019
- Will Impeachment Affect Your Business? - October 16, 2019
- Should You Scale Your Business? - July 17, 2019
- 15 Tips to Protect Your Small Business on the Internet - May 30, 2019
- Bright Shiny Object Syndrome - May 17, 2019
- Interview with Cecelia Hamilton - April 8, 2019