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  • Year 2 / 10k month and scaling up

    updated 3 years ago 0 Member · 1 Post
  • Christine

    September 4, 2019 at 8:32 am

    It has been about a year since I last posted our update on our company. It has been a crazy roller coaster of a ride so far and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I like to refer it to my “mid life crisis company”. Some guys want fancy cars, new hair, wife, etc… We started a company with ~30K and alot of hard work. I had the idea for a couple years of creating a home wireless speaker out of reclaimed historic riverwood for years as I knew it was a unique brand differentiation and improve acoustic design. Seth Godin’s purple cow references “make something remarkable”, which means people will remark about it. Kind of like a viral co-efficient that will continue to spread the word of your product. I didn’t start for a couple of years as the timing wasn’t right yet for starting due to a couple reason. (small kiddies and free cashflow). Once the kids were out of daycare that gave me a bit more disposable income I could focus the money on. I found a great co-founder/friend and we were off to the design, iterate, repeat. The design process took approx a year to perfect as we are both full time working dads so had to grind early AM, late PM or weekends to continue to drive the product to perfection. For the founders this was the easy part of the process as we are both technical creator type. He is a mechanical engineer that has a passion for woodworking and I handle the electrical/acoustics/business development. The marketing sales are the area that are ever challenging. Originally we thought, if you build it they will come but the reality is nobody know what/who your are and need to continuously push brand awareness. Our product is a premium item as it is handcrafted in Canada so the high price point isn’t for everyone and will take a few touch points before convert to buy. Now we are selling our 1st product across North America and are hovering around the 10K a month in sales. We have our manufacturing facility set up and supply chain setup for growth. Oh ya and we still are doing this with a normal 9-5 and raising a couple great kids each. So for all those who say you can’t. because of is you CAN. You just choose to not work at it. Here are my biggest takeaways for everyone who want to start a company from nothing in a hyper competitive area. Find an area of passion and start. Acoustic and product design has always been love for me. I have a detailed design engineering experience in electronics/acoustics so creating a product is achievable under tight budget. Work hard and things will happen. It’s true the more work you do the more results you will get. Things only happen when you make the effort. For us winning a startup contest 100K allowed us to really form an actual company through securing vital funding for inventory. The more you work at the most simple tasks like media outreach to accounting it all helps move the bar forward. GaryVee is probably one of the most real speaker on this issue that i recommend watching. Celebrate the win and forget the losses. We had some great times celebrating and sponsoring celebrity events where we get to meet and greet people we normally wouldn’t have ever cross paths with. Some really high profile people have our speaker and love the story/sound. On the flip side a couple big losses can hurt but like riding a bike… get up and dust yourself off. Biggest loss so far was UPS has totally missed a “guaranteed” shipment that was intended for a birthday present for one of the biggest musicians of all time… and i’m a big fan of. Next time I will drive the 6+ hours to ensure it arrives. Build a support team around you. You cannot do everything yourself so you need to build your team to help with the stuff you don’t really like or have time to do. It’s very difficult to do when you are first starting as you have to manage cashflow so just do what you can, when you can and get help for other things. Make sure you are making a profitable business and have a plan forward. In order to create a company that will be able to grow you must focus on profits. This is truly the easiest way to increase your companies strength of a branded physical company. We are not a typical tech company focused on users acquisition but instead profitability. 90% of startups fail in the first years a they are not profitable and founders quit as there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Do what you can to increase revenues or bring down liabilities. Customer service and Branding are EVERYTHING. Be different and give the best customer experience ever. Answer emails, Facebook comments, and calls promptly. Offer free shipping and lifetime warranties. Your customers will become evangelist and you will get follow on sales because of it. Finally ignore the naysayers, downers and rude people. Be yourself and enjoy the ride. Cheers – by hq overview Riverwoodacoustics – –

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