New Game Plan! June 07 2015, 0 Comments
We had such big plans (and high hopes) to launch our Raincoat line and English Bulldog sizing this summer, but financially we just were not able too. Making inventory is a high up-front expense for a small business owner in the first few years, as you might imagine, and anyone who has a small business or knows someone who has started a small product-based business knows cash flow is the biggest challenge in the early years.
Starting a product-based business was a whole new ballgame for me and I want to share my experience, having open communication, with my customers and the public about the ups and downs.
Babies & Beasts did have our best Fall/Winter season yet in 2014 and it does have me more motivated than ever to continue grow the business. I plan to approach achieving that goal in a few ways which I have outlined below.
First I've made a decision to not make any new winter coat inventory for the Fall/Winter 2015 season. We will instead invest in our sweater line, expanding our sizing to cater to English Bulldogs, and possibly Boston Terriers. This way we can open our product line up to more customers and hopefully increase cash flow in order to fund creating Raincoat inventory for the Spring/Summer 2016 season.
We may continue this focus into 2016 as well, holding back the winter coat line until we have built up our pattern base to also include sweater and raincoat sizing for Mini-Dachshunds and Dachshunds at minimum. (Great Danes, Boxers, Dobermans and other Bulldog breeds are also on our radar).
This approach will allow us to build up our customer base and build equity around our lower price-point products. It also allows us to purchase fabric at lower costs because we'll be buying higher volumes, and decrease manufacturing costs because we'll be getting more produced each run.
In addition to that we are hiring some interns from local schools to get help with various aspects of the business. With a career of over 10 years in Digital Marketing I have a lot of experience and advice to share. They too can help with aspects of the business where I may lack strengths in that they specialize in.
Lastly one student is helping me update and refine my business plan so we can start approaching investors, and possible partners, in a much more formal way.
I think the next two years are going to be a very exciting time for the business and our customers. My goal has always been to create high quality, durable, stylish, practical and well fitting coats and sweaters for your dogs. Other companies are not meeting the needs of the dog breeds we are creating products for well, and we are changing that.
We can't thank our customers enough for their support over the past four years as we started this company from my small apartment on Queen St. West.