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  • Holding Pattern

    I'm going to have a few scratching their heads on this one but that's alright.

    This is a business decision that makes a lot of sense, to me that is. I'm making a decision this weekend to shelf my second business, or just stop the tracks so to speak even though I'm midstream with the idea.

    The idea is to stop putting so much into it as I'm depleting my reserves and even though it's a stellar idea, I need a more solid focus.

    I started this idea in august of last year and it took it to this day with monies spent and all that was involved to get it this far.

    The truck I built, the accident I had between the two and the massive costs of renting a truck to get me by has knocked me off the pedestal to keep trudging forward.

    This doesn't mean I'm "closing shop" however. This means I'm going to limit what I do with this product, continue to put it out there randomly, meaning I'm still going to do bank grand openings and a few festivals....but that's about it and chaulk this year up to development.

    The economy isn't helping my plight; I knew going into it that I was high risk with the idea completely. My attitude is to appreciate what I've accomplished, pay down some debt over the next 14 months and come back with a solid, strong advertising campaign in march of next year.


    The revolving debt for my idea is minimal, the plumbing biz can manage it with no problems. There was no way in hell I was going to be able to cover all bases this first year, I knew I was going to rob it in some fashion.


    It's a start-up company, 90% of all new businesses fail and I'm locking down on my idea to prevent just that. I'm just going to put it in a holding pattern so I retain the name, the legalities, the conversation stirrers and the fact that I own it along with my other 2 companies to prevent its demise.

    I made this decision to do this this morning because I cannot keep pushing money into it. The return isn't there....yet. There are quite a few businessman struggling locally and my intentions are to start pulling back on my advertising at some establishments. Pulling out all of my yellow pages advertising will be nice.


    All of the decisions made above I can still afford....but I'm travelling a road that is one way if I don't stop and look around to see that I'm in this journey alone. Instead of spending 600 hours building a truck for all to see next year, I have the luxury of emailing/snail mail/phone contact all these organizations I missed this year because I was too focused on the building of this business and prop myself up for introductions of my product in a planned event, not a last minute we'll get ya in scenario.

    My focus should of been a two year design which it is now, not 1 year. I started off looking at the smorgasboard of opportunities with this product, not what's on my plate. Spreading far and wide is an action I caught onto quickly was a bad move, promising the world when I only can offer a box of dirt. lol


    But anyway, I'm hoping my situation helps others because my idea is a good one, I wouldn't of leaped 150 grand deep into it.......I'm just on a time delay to regroup, pay down some debt, consider some other opportunities with the product itself and see where it takes me.


    I feel like a nascar driver who's had a rough start, didn't win many races early on that's kept me from being a contender....and now is focusing on 'next year' to provide clarity of what mistakes not to make on the second go around. No freaking way is it a start over situation. Would be way too expensive and I'd never try this twice.

    Everywhere I go with my truck, set up my product, gets outstanding results......the problem is cash flow which isn't there yet and I'm not going to gamble on this one. Plumbing once again is the save of the day as I yanked in a couple grand just this week doing drain cleaning, replacing toilets and what have you.

    Having a 100 grand of inventory and completely built truck ready to roll sitting in one spot isn't a loss, it's a protection right now till the market provides a better economic climate. Along with the current weather I'm having here in my area......hasn't been consistently hot.

    So, 4 factors got me where I'm at:

    Economy
    Personal wreck
    New Product to market
    Late arrival/no advertising/development year

    I could be selling sunshine in a jar with this product right now and people are hesitant until they've been exposed to its likeness for a number of years. My plumbing company faced the same gammut and you can't force the phone to ring........now, 5 years later, you can't get the phone to stop ringing.


    Holding off on this idea on a casual retrieval will land me with success with this product in the 3rd/4th/5th year. Notice I didn't say 2nd year. That will be entirely a growth year with plenty of mistakes, the same manpower issues and the same "get in the door" semantics that need to be ironed out.


    This decision isn't cut and dry however; I'm still leasing my product to a band camp for a couple weeks, still doing grand openings for a bank in my area and still doing a few charitable events, a couple festivals. It's still in demand, I just can't keep this onslaught of money going into it, and I don't think I want to bring investors in until I'm on a solid standing.

    I'm so glad I have patience on this idea because if not, I could be considered very volatile to keep pursuing this heavily.


    Talk about a huge burden lifted....I now can breathe easier now that I've realized that all my hard work and effort is protected and I can establish working relationships with possible future affiliations to get these under lock and key.

    If anything you pull from these words, know when to stop and protect, replenish your reserves. A good idea will stay a good idea, but mean nothing if you expire beforehand.

    Besides, I love building an idea when nobody else is in the off season. I surely wouldn't work this hard to lose it all so I will continue to keep the ball bouncing, just off the court.


    Oh and I think I need a new kidney

    Bah-dum-tisk!
    Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 07-12-2008, 02:49 PM.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Holding Pattern

    Sounds like you are making a smart choice. Your health is the most important thing--including your mental health--otherwise what's the point? Let the iron heat up to striking temp then deliver the blow. In the meantime I hope your health problems are not too serious.

    PS And yes I am intrigued as hell!!!


    Eli
    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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    • #3
      Re: Holding Pattern

      This is very good advice. You're very wise to see the current market and know how to react. I hope your health returns. Kidney problems can be so painful and dangerous!! Get all that worked out and the rest will work itself out.

      I'm curious as to what the new product is though!
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Holding Pattern

        Thanks for the kind words, I think the problem with my kidneys are an adverse reaction to a diabetes medication I'm taking.


        Anyway, I landed a corn roast today bringing in my truck and all the equipment. Problem is......


        No money, all done on a "show us what ya got" situation because every freaking association is struggling and extra dollars aren't in the equation.


        So, I'm constantly thinking of whether I do it or not.....people can't see a product if it isn't in front of them. But I always let them know that the first time is at no cost.


        Today for the first time in I know months, I'm literally taking the day off. I feel guilty but I know I need to recover from a 7 day work week for the past 5 months, always working.

        The amount of work I relieved myself from doing this 6 day county fair is remarkable, figuring I was going to be running service calls in the day, sitting in a booth at night, watching the reality sink in that people aren't going to drop $20/30/40 dollars for product that they want, but can't afford.


        There's other reasons why I pulled out of this event other than spending money, but the main one is the manpower costs along with time constraints. I have to keep my plumbing company strong for baseline income. The others are entirely seasonal.
        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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        • #5
          Re: Holding Pattern

          Is the prouct really that top secret? What are the 2 other businesses? Inquiring minds want to know

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          • #6
            Re: Holding Pattern

            Originally posted by Masterplumb View Post
            Is the prouct really that top secret? What are the 2 other businesses? Inquiring minds want to know
            Misting fans for the school systems to protect our youth and outdoor event seating for large gatherings. Both ideas are good and will pull through.........just not a overnight success.


            This just gives me a lot of time to establish product branding along with building relationships that are going to matter when the products come in season.


            Tonight I did welding modifications to a couple items relating to the fans....going to deliver the product tomorrow. No closing of doors with this idea....just not going to try too hard to get noticed because if I get a bite, it costs money to fulfill the obligation.
            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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            • #7
              Re: Holding Pattern

              Well, here's what I've managed so far since I've hit a flatline:


              Setup at a 2 day 4th of July event *I believe that was before I posted this thread* which was the last time I paid for labor for this idea, using others.

              No mechanical failures, all went well with video and pictures to boot, a guaranteed lifetime of use as long as this keeps going.


              Truck sits on a main road that's heavily travelled where the truck was wrapped at the sign company and the truck sees at least 10,000 cars pass it daily. About as bad as a LA freeway. I park this vehicle whenever there's no activity or any events I am scheduled to do.

              Put the vehicle at the main entrance of a county fair locally in my area for 6 days straight, at least 25,000 people witnessed this vehicle.

              In my booth at this same event, I set up 3 fans, two that were misting and cranked the pressure up to 1300psi so I could literally blow clouds across the midway. It worked and I had other booths come up to me and ask if they could be moved next to me in future events. Mainly because I drew 100's of people daily that wanted to stay cool......and last week was hot the last 4 days of the event.


              Friday I sneaked away and did a grand opening for a bank using the big truck, set up one side for fans to mist and personally met with two bank presidents along with another important group of people that are considering my product in the future. Between video and still pictures, I made darn sure that my product and big business are tied together for representation reasons solely. ALSO, there was a country music station doing a live feed at the location, made sure he knew to plug my product name. That's free radio advertising and the last time I paid for that, it was $15 a second for that exposure to listeners.

              Saturday I set up a fan in the announcer's shack for the truck & tractor pulls and sure enough, the guy wouldn't stop talking about the product, mentioned the website about 7 times through the course of the night. A whole field of people waving those hand fans, trying to keep cool, that's my clientell completely.

              I do a wedding show this sunday at Cincinnati Convention Center, another county fair the following week, I'm sending out a fan to my former high school's band camp for two weeks so the AD's from the school system gets to see the effectiveness of the product completely.

              I've turned down two big events that would of been spectacular for feathers in my cap, but my priority is hometown, not 70+ miles away. Getting weekly emails and calls locally and out of state, a few out of country calls.

              What's bad...........is I'm turning down all local calls that are giving me ZERO advanced notice for BBQ's or graduation parties. Just a few days notice isn't going to work with me and I want the planner type to call me so it gives me ample time to make sure I have equipment in tow.

              So, for every time I say no, it is a gauge for me to work off of for next year because I can't spend money on labor or anything proactive with this biz until I get 10 grand out of the red, then I can consider the options. Unfortunately that timeline will land me at the end of the season and I'm just going to use this first year as a simple gauge of what mistakes I made, what good moves I made.


              I will say; Getting into two county fairs means I've clinched a lifetime permission to continue to return to those events. Both are big, both are the best advertising I could possibly muster for such a minimal cost to me and in turn I get the word out locally in each area that a guy is specializing in this one specific product, for the first time ever.
              Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 07-22-2008, 10:19 PM.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #8
                Re: Holding Pattern

                maybe I missed something in a different post but here goes.

                I like your ideal and think it will work if your able to put the time in it but couldn't find out what the darn things sell for????

                Do we send a email for price or is it somewhere on your site?

                shup

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                • #9
                  Re: Holding Pattern

                  Originally posted by shup View Post
                  maybe I missed something in a different post but here goes.

                  I like your ideal and think it will work if your able to put the time in it but couldn't find out what the darn things sell for????

                  Do we send a email for price or is it somewhere on your site?

                  shup



                  You wasn't the fellow from Capitol Theater was ya?


                  I'm on the fence for selling; my idea is to lease locally, keep it hometown proud but the schools are saying they are looking outward to buy if I don't offer a lease to buy option or sell outright.

                  I won't make anything on the sale of these other than name recognition on a national level and that in itself opens another parameter of liability I don't want to extend into.


                  PCPlumberWhere are the $$$ numbers?
                  What is the cost to manufacture, your time, equipment, warehousing, repairs, maintenance, losses, laborers.

                  What is your return-on-investment and what is the length of time?

                  Can't really disclose that because I have a unique set of circumstances on this.

                  All I will say is I bought my inventory at 1/5 actual value. Being that this is a development year I'm not expecting to make hardly anything for 08' and my concentration is name branding, exposures, clinching very important ties with neighboring communities so I don't have to work so hard to get in the circles that produce the best results for eyeballs on the product.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                  • #10
                    Re: Holding Pattern

                    Well,


                    I ran out of money 2 days before the 4th of july this year and here's what I've accomplished on fumes:


                    2 county fairs, 12 days of exposure, roughly 40,000 people attended between the two

                    One event for a bridal show at the Cincinnati Convention Center, don't know the count but at least a few thousand

                    2 day event at my hometown, a 4th and 5th of July celebration that netted at least 10 thousand people a night, not including the number of days that truck sat before and after the event.

                    Did two bank grand openings that my product was used more for an attention getter more than a product of use. Kinda doesn't make sense in print but believe me, it worked.

                    Did 2 church festivals, one was a two day event, the other a 1 day event, probably 7000 people tops between the two.

                    Brought my equipment and truck to a YMCA so 400 kids had a good time. This indirectly lands me in the view of doing the special olympics next year hosted at a local park.


                    This week, at no cost to my local schools of my choosing and given the 90 degree weather, I'm going to let them use my product for 3 days at no cost, let them get a taste of its value, then take it away.

                    I've changed my mind about leasing to the schools at a monthly idea to just day rents. That way they justify the cost to a per-day use and gives them more control over their spending.

                    Mother Nature has not been kind to me as low temperatures have dampered my first year goals but everything I've done is being performed for product development and outreach, exposure to the market and producing a rolodex of video footage and still pictures to give true meaning that X people invested in Y product and Z clientell needs to invest as well.

                    Rome wasn't built in a day but I'll tell you that I could of lost hope with this idea given the crazy low temperatures we've been having here. What I'll project by video will never give hint that we had a cool summer, never.


                    Bringing in a magician at one of my events was a nice twist that boosted sales that one night, just because I had a reason for people to sit and stare at the surroundings for more than a casual walking by.


                    I've had some close friends of mine, potential gf's ask me when I'm going to have a life after work, maybe some hobbies...


                    Look at this way; I love to work, I love to develop ideas. Hobbies are expensive and the return is usually geared back to just one person.

                    I consider building companies as a pleasure, being needed on different levels for different products. When it becomes successful, this in turn promotes political power of sorts. I never wanted to be a part of this terrible cycle but I'm trying to become something that is heavily considered in my area when outdoor events go on.


                    The road travelled will be difficult, I'm positive of that, but keeping the boat from sinking will be top priority in thinking that when something sticks around long enough, it will provide years of recognition and then the market bears an acceptance. I was just fortunate enough to have inside connections to these events, given that the weather didn't exactly coincide with the reality that the product was truly needed.


                    Given my 38 years in my area knowing how hot it gets on average....I'll take my chances to keep driving forward till the wheels fall off. Just like a LA car chase. I'm not stopping because I know I'm on to something big.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                    • #11
                      Re: Holding Pattern

                      Dunbar;

                      Saw your red truck at the Blessed Sacrament corn roast Friday. I puttered around while the kids used all the inflatables to see if anyone went to the truck to possibly meet you. It took me a few minutes to figure out why your truck was parked where it was, then it dawned on me. The kids really had a good time!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Holding Pattern

                        Originally posted by nkyrental View Post
                        Dunbar;

                        Saw your red truck at the Blessed Sacrament corn roast Friday. I puttered around while the kids used all the inflatables to see if anyone went to the truck to possibly meet you. It took me a few minutes to figure out why your truck was parked where it was, then it dawned on me. The kids really had a good time!


                        Y'know, I had an inside connection to that event and that's what got me in considering how cool it was that evening.

                        That was the mildest temperatures they've ever had, thus the reason I shut the fans down and let the mist just well out and drop to the ground.

                        I parked that truck intentionally to get eyeballs on both and it worked! Didn't realize it would be so crowded that all that field was full of cars soon thereafter.

                        I yanked a ton of still pictures and video, mission accomplished. Anything I do in business I promise there's a reason behind it.
                        Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                        • #13
                          I now know

                          What it's like to be a farmer now.


                          Betting on mother nature is quite a task.


                          But like any farmer knows, you keep going like there will be another season, you take it in stride and know that you do your best to make it happen.



                          The statement, "Never quit your day job" is one that I firmly believe in, more than ever.


                          Yes, I'm still a plumber.


                          As I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks, my dog flipping off the bed because he's getting too old to use the stepstool I gave him, I understand that all good things come to those who wait.

                          What's awesome for next year?


                          I don't have to build a truck
                          I don't have to build a website
                          I don't have to spend $140,000.00
                          I don't have to buy $85,000.00 worth of inventory
                          I don't have to "convince" numerous affiliations of my product; they want me back just like a repeat customer.
                          I don't have to make the mistakes that cost thousands of dollars because I was venturing into unchartered waters not only with a new business but a new idea, new product in an area that has nothing of the nature.

                          ALSO,

                          I know how I'm going to hammer this into people's heads next year.

                          Direct mail, 3-4 repeated mailings and drive that damn truck right into their subdivisions so they know what it is.....just like the ice cream man with the music playing.

                          Same as last year, I'll be building and designing ideas that sounds unheard of in a strained economy. I know I'm going to pull this idea off in the worst of times when casual spending was at its worst.

                          I'll have a considerable lead into this idea than the new guy who comes along wanting a piece of this pie. He'll find out quite quickly how tempermental the product is along with the staggering costs for the equipment.

                          Be different, go against the grain, always play your cards like you've got the last hand to win. Always be sure of yourself and don't be afraid to stick your neck out on an idea. High risk is my middle name and I firmly believe that some of my best business decisions are ones that I focused hard on and didn't back off. My glitch this year was saying no to an investor that could of jacked me up into a good spot...

                          but I would of been hating that decision years later when the goings get good, and this guy hit me, or should I say, I was vulnerable and didn't see the forest from the trees and committed to access of cash flow.

                          The interest rate was substantial, he was in it to make money like I want, and he's pissed I turned it down. He knows where I'm going with this. Hot weather will return, it's a fact.

                          It's been quite an education for me dealing with high pressure systems, pumps that seem almost as emotional as a woman at times. *Sorry ladies, you own that statement*

                          Rome wasn't built in a day and I see myself 5 years from now in a room, with white linens, with a stainless steel bedpan stating for the record...


                          I did it.

                          I changed my area forever bringing a product that will protect my community and our growing youth and put safety in the controlling interest of my idea. Let the others follow but I brought it here first.


                          The above typed print is provided as inspirational thinking for those who have an idea and feel they must act on it. Positive thinking is the correct way of accomplishing this, along with boatloads of borrowed money. Good luck!
                          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                          • #14
                            Re: Holding Pattern

                            good luck Dunbar ill be rooting for ya!

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                            • #15
                              Finally

                              http://www.signweb.com/index.php/channel/31/id/3362



                              Scroll to the middle of the page.


                              Better believe I'm going to use this to my advantage.


                              The truck is getting entered into another national contest because a lot of people felt that there's bias to the first place/best of show winner.


                              Definitely 2 kinds of creative, everyone has to remember that this was a Digital Art Wrap Photography contest, not what you can bolt to the top of a VW Bus.
                              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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