My product is engineered, the manufacturing quotes are in, the patent has been filed. Um, now what?
This is the part where I have to start making real decisions. External decision. Where I can’t keep my secret pet project a secret anymore.
Do I want to sell this in stores? On the Internet? In dermatologist offices? Hair salons? Nail salons? Boutiques?
Do I want to find an investor(s)? Take out a loan? Take pre-orders on my website and forego all partners? What about crowdfunding?
Once you get to this stage, there’s a-lotsa options.
I did scout out some angel investors, but repeatedly, I found panels of men.
My mother-in-law was very hot on the idea for me to appear on Shark Tank, which never appealed to me. (Again, I didn’t like the idea of explaining brush cleaning to a panel of mostly men before I could explain why this product would be so helpful.)
Now I don’t have any problems with men. But I had already talked to one friend-of-a-friend possible investor, but he was a man and readily confessed he couldn’t get his head around the idea. The women in his life, he confessed, were all low-maintenance. He simply didn’t get it.
It was a problem I didn’t want to keep bumping into …
I also talked to one high-level beauty executive, a woman, who told me she liked the device. I felt very satisfied when she picked the product up for the first time and cast a truly genuine smile at the My Brush Betty figurine. (She also suggested a label improvement to emphasize the brush body a bit more). But she was never a potential business partners, just somebody from whom I wanted to get some feedback and market guidance.
Given that I was already “late” on my timeline of launching My Brush Betty in June, I was feeling some pressure to get this to market … There’s always a risk somebody else will come out with something, too, which can make you kinda jumpy when you’re sitting on something new.
I was also busy studying seasonal buying habits in the beauty industry, and had decided the fourth quarter was probably a good target. Notice the quarterly sales chart about halfway down the page here.
After some long conversations with my husband about how much risk we were willing to personally take on, we jointly decided that crowdfunding probably made the most sense.
We didn’t want to take out a loan – if we could even get one for this kind of money – and then have it fail and end up broke.
I could spend/waste a very long time searching for investors … But I decided to try just one more before I ventured out on my own.