This is a guest post by Ellen McCaleb of GrowthChartArt.com.
I’m on my way to the ABC Expo as a first time exhibitor and Elle Decor magazine just contacted me. They’d like to use one of my growth charts in a nursery feature. “Just the perfect thing,” the stylist said.
Some would say, “You’re here. You’ve arrived!”
I guess I have arrived, but it’s taken so much to get here.
And “here” is just the beginning.
The beginning of having stores stock my products, the beginning of making regular sales and the beginning of having this business pay for itself.
Though it’s hard to see it some days, I am getting closer to the goals I set three years ago. My husband frequently tells me, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” And that is so true.
My company, Growth Chart Art was born three years ago. Lots of blood, sweat and money later, I’m “here.”
I’d like to share my lessons learned for those of you on the product development journey.
Ideate and Incubate
The first basic tenant I have for any idea you come up with is this: if you are still thinking about it after three months, then it’s real.
It’s not just a whim.
Instead of being paranoid about someone stealing your idea or thinking your idea is the greatest thing ever, share your idea and prototypes. Solicit input. Then solicit some more.
Build Your Brand
You need to know who you are. Envision what your company and your brand stand for.
What space do you intend to occupy or conquer? Do your research. Who else occupies that space? How is your product an alternative to what’s already in the market? What’s your point of difference?
I was stuck on the idea of having to price my USA made growth charts around $60 retail (I’d starve) because that was the price ceiling at the time for higher end growth charts. But none were made in the USA. None were sustainably produced with eco-friendly components.
I thought I had to compete with the imports. I was wrong. I underestimated the importance of my distinctions. I adjusted my prices and sold more growth charts.
Take Your Time
But what you really need to do is finish developing your product and bring it to those social networking platforms when you are ready.
Don’t rush things. Don’t follow someone else’s timeframe. Don’t do anything before it’s time.
To quote the Grateful Dead, bringing a product to market has been a long, strange trip. But I’m so glad I can share my travels with you.
How has your journey as a mom entrepreneur been so far?
Ellen McCaleb is a professional trophy fish carver – she’s carved over 200 fish from 16 different countries and seven continents. When Ellen became a mother she was inspired to create a really cool growth chart, which turned into her new company Growth Chart Art. She lives in Barrington, NH with her husband Jonathan, her children Evelyn and Nathan, her dog Foster who thinks he’s a child and a cat Mulberry who knows Foster is definitely a dog and not a child.
Latest posts by Ellen McCaleb (see all)
- Product Development Tips from a Mom Who's Gone from Idea to Expo - November 11, 2011