Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It may be time to grow your product line!


It has been a long time since my last blog and for that I apologize.  But, it is time to get my fingers typing again so I can share all the neat things I have been doing to grow my children's line beyond books. In 2012, I raised thousands of dollars in order to produce my first Pug Story children's book, "Chloey's BIG Move".  Since hitting the shelves, Pug Story books are now sold in stores across the world.  When people began asking me about the second book coming out it got me thinking.  For as many people who wanted the next book in the series to come out, even more people wanted to know if I carried Pug plush toys to match the book.  And of course, that got me really thinking; what was the best course of action for growing my product line.

Since I was getting more requests for Pug plush toys than another book, I began my research.  I started bringing a few Pug plush toys I had myself to readings. After each reading I was left with less and less plush toys.  The kids loved them and always asked to keep them.  When they look up at me and bat their eyelashes and then say, "pretty please, " it's just too hard to say no. I knew I had to get those toys made. As cute as these kids are, an emotional pull is just one component of this new project. The other aspect of course is the business component, which includes the execution of your plan.  

I have been lucky to work with some wonderful manufacturer's, both stateside and overseas for the better of 12 years.  Because they are trusted resources, I reached out to some of them to begin the process of sourcing a Pug plush toy to add to my line, giving my fans what they really want!

Sample Pug plush toy
Once I contacted my resources, I was able to do the following:

  • Pick the exact look, size and color of the plush I wanted
  • Decide on the most efficient minimum order quantity (MOQ) for my first run
  • Agree to a Free on Board (FOB) price 
  • Set up logistics for shipping the product to the states and start getting quotes from my sources
  • By adding the above two points I got a good handle on my final cost per piece
  • Go through the process of prototyping to get a pre-production item ready
  • Make sure my quality control settings are in place
  • Determine time lines and delivery dates once order is placed
  • Mitigate potential pitfalls by adding on extra time for delivery and money on the back end is time to secure the funding for such a project!  The process is related to an older post talking about crowd funding sites such as; Kickstarter or Indiegogo, reaching out to family and friends or your inner circle.  Don't forget to reach out to groups that mirror what you are trying to do through social media etc.  

*For example; I write a book series called Pug Story for children, so naturally I began working with Non-Profits related to Pugs and dogs, as well as children's charities.  By working with these groups you will gain credibility, extra exposure, and in turn, feel great about being able to help them as well! 
It is truly a Win-Win!  

Pug Story will be launching our newest Kickstarter campaign this Friday, so stay tuned for details and more.

And don't forget to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!

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