Monday, March 9, 2009

Printer and labels...

I was dragging my feet. I admit it. This whole creating a product and selling it sorta freaks me out! It puts me out there for people to critique. If I have labels from a printer, it makes things much more REAL. I'm not just "product testing" anymore. I'm in business!

I could fail.

If I don't do anything - nothing will change. I won't fail, but I won't have an opportunity to succeed either. I read time and time again that risk is essential to business.

So far, everyone has loved my lotion. I have repeat customers which is amazing considering I haven't tried to put the word out or put any time into "selling" my product.

I met with the printer today. It's a local printer and they have a digital set up. Meaning they can do my print job for 3x LESS than a printer that needs to create plates. This is great because it will keep my costs low which will help me price my lotion more competitively. They can also edit my file if I have an ingredient change or a product name change. This means I can be flexible. What if mango butter suddenly becomes a rare commodity? What if I want to try out a different scent with a different name?

They will have a prototype for me to see in a couple days. Once I sign off on the print job, it will be done by the beginning of next week. This is the first sizable investment toward my business.

In the meantime I need to do a serious cost analysis. What do my ingredients cost? What are my packaging costs? How does that break down in terms of price per bottle? What would be a good wholesale price so that a retailer could make a profit and I still get enough to make me happy?

I need to develop a wholesale pricing sheet and a letter to prospective clients or retailers. I have to be prepared to follow up with phone calls and visits to promote my product.

I need to contact my insurance company for small business insurance. The chances of someone suing me are slim, but I don't want to lose everything if some whack job decides to inject lotion into their veins or something.

I have to remember my goals are to have fun, promote my funny goaties, and make enough side income to assist with my crazy horse habit. I have riding clinics and horse shows coming up this summer. Wouldn't it be cool to make enough from my lotion business to pay vet costs, supplement feed bills, pay the horseshoer AND go to a couple horse shows?

I don't want to be the next Mary Kay or Clinique or Arbonne. I just want to have fun, provide a useful product for the dry Colorado climate and supplement my horse habit. We'll see where it takes me. Nobody has a crystal ball. All I can do is give 'er a go! GULP


Kelley said...

You can do it Shannon!!! I believe in you (and I have tried your lotion!!!) : )

Love the chicken story... can't wait to meet them. (your husband is funny... even I have heard him complaining about not having fresh eggs anymore.... silly boys!!)

Shanster said...

I know - our neighbors came over the other day and THEY remember him saying he was thinking about chickens again too.... funny that selective memory thing!