Last time we talked about the ingredients needed to start a business where you should solve a problem, make it easy and intuitive! Always remember that Staples EASY button !
So, this week I wanted to touch on the next step, which is Execution! That’s the hardest part of the business and usually where people fall short. Everyone has great ideas, some even try to act on them, but to truly make it a business, you have to follow through until your product or service is available to the public. Most people always have the same problem; Where do I start??
Starting is the hardest part of any business, and how to go about doing it can vary depending on what it is. With a software product, you need to either know how to write software, or find someone who does, and if you go the latter route, be prepared to open your wallet!
Starting is the hardest part of any business, and how to go about doing it can vary depending on what it is.
With a software product, you need to either know how to write software, or find someone who does, and if you go the latter route, be prepared to open your wallet!
For this video, I’m going to give myself a selfish plug and discuss the Ultimate Men’s undershirt I’m creating since I’ve gotten it to the place where I’m ready to go into full production after making many samples, and putting them through the wash & wear tests.
So, let’s start with what I have now, the last and final sample, and then I can explain how it went from inception as an idea, to this shirt that I can wear & wash just like it was something I bought in Nordstroms…
The idea came from a real world problem I had myself, as well as every other male where our undershirts that once fit when new, shrink in the dryer, and after going through a few loads of laundry, they become smaller, and tighter than the originals. That leads to the most annoying clothing problem a man can have, besides a wedgie, where your undershirt pulls out of your pants and bunches up around your belt line!! Grrrr!
Once that happens, you have to try to tuck everything back in discreetly, or constantly go to the men’s room and fix your undershirt & pants. Have I mentioned how annoying that can be?!
So, about 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to try to make something that wasn’t software related, and I embarked on making the perfect men’s undershirt. Where to start!??
Well, the material was the fist place I wanted to start because I always hated cotton Tees. They aren’t soft, and they shrink and eventually feel like a canvas sack that doesn’t move with your body. Therefore, I knew cotton wasn’t going to be my main fabric of choice ( but I was willing to have a blend with it hidden deep inside something way better)
I started researching other company’s renewable and organic tees, and bamboo seemed to be the most popular fabric choice, along with a few other sustainable ones. I discovered that some were even made from recycled water bottles! So, I bought a few different styles and fabrics to see which was my favorite.
Bamboo + cotton sprinkled with a little bit of spandex turned out to be the winner. Perfect, so now i had a fabric, and a t-shirt, but now I needed a pattern for my particular design. But how do I make a pattern!!??!
I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to tackle, so I found a seamstress that had experience with production and so I contracted her to take my basic T-shirt, and add my secret sauce.
Great! After a few weeks, I had a pattern, so now I needed some of my own fabric that would make this the softest, most desirable undershirt on the planet.
I shopped online, found a fabric retailer, ordered some that was closest to what I wanted, bamboo+cotton, and bamboo + cotton + spandex, and I was on my way.
Once I got the fabric, I had the seamstress make me my first shirt sample! Boy, there are a lot of things to know about shirts between the different types of seams, collars, and terms, terms, terms.. Who knew clothing was so technical!? I was doing this because I wanted something that WASN’T technical, and here I am knee deep in science & technology again. At least I was prepared, and armed with some engineering background…
Skipping ahead, that was 6 samples ago, and almost 2 years in the making, but now I’m finally ready to make a full scale production run with this sample here. I’ve worn & washed it for months, and I’m ready for the men out there that hate their shrunken Tees to try something great, and won’t break the bank.
I should mention that this process isn’t for the faint of heart, or wallet. I’ve spent a few thousand dollars on this final sample by going through the pattern adjusting, and continued sample production phases, but it’s been a great learning process, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Angela & Sherri of Fabric, the fashion one-stop-shop business in Tempe, AZ. They have been instrumental in this process, and are the magicians behind the curtain.
Yes, yes, I know most of you will immediately say you don’t have a place like that in your city, but you don’t need one because you can use Fabric remotely, or you can always find a local seamstress that has surely worked in production and can help make your patterns, do the grading, and sew you some samples! After your get some samples, you’re ready to use a large scale manufacturing company which can be found in large cities near you.
So, there it is my friends, Execution from idea to product in 10 short minutes, after almost 2 years of my life getting to this point. I hope that example was a good one to use to show how you would start researching any product you want to make, and the steps you should follow to achieve your goals.
Remember, you shouldn’t try to boil the ocean and complete your sample all at once. You have to break down the product into it’s atomic parts, and work on solving those problems one at a time. Once you solve the atomic pieces, you’ll be ready to assemble the parts in order to make the final product. The process is the same no matter what the end product is. Once you master the process, you’ll be ready to conquer the world.
Thanks again for watching, listening and hopefully being entertained as well as learning a thing or two.
Next episode will be about customer service, because that’s the key to any success story, and the one I’m going to showcase is so under the radar, you will be surprised but it’s probably the reason they are still in business… Stay tuned and always remember, NEVER GIVE UP!