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1 year in, competitive, no money (yet) with a BIG IDEA

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by aeko, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. aeko
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    aeko PARKED

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    I've read Millionaire Fastlane, and so I'm posting my struggle here to request ideas/advice on next steps.

    I've been a graphic designer/motion graphics/3D artist for 15 years and I started my journey a year ago and I've since built what I consider a great brand, BUT, I haven't made any money yet. I've put in over $20K in investment and I'm in almost the same amount of debt from life. I have been working on this full time after being laid off from my previous position.

    So far I've:
    - Created/Designed a brand
    - Built a website
    - Created photorealistic 3D product shots/reusable 3D assets (for Amazon/website)
    - Launched on Amazon.com (US market)
    - Had products manufactured in China and shipped to Amazon
    - Have around 50 reviews on Amazon (4.5 stars)
    - Ran a contest to build an email list (over 700 subscribers)
    - Built a decent Instagram following (over 2000 followers). Not highly engaged though.
    - Shot, edited, and created a professional 30 second branding video (not launched yet)

    It's frustrating that I'm not where I'd like to be financially yet, but I'm not giving up. And I feel like it's all just beginning.

    After a lot of analysis a year ago, I chose a very competitive market on Amazon because it "felt" right and I felt that I could make a big dent in the market using my branding/graphic skills. My plan was to initially get cash flow by selling an existing product and then redesign the product to solve as many customers complaints as possible while also making a beautiful product that would have visual appeal. Entering a competitive market didn't make sense, based on “conventional” Amazon wisdom because it was so competitive, but there's a lot of demand for the product I sell, and the market is big. However the quality of my current (cash flow phase) product isn't as good as I'd like. It's also not unique in any way.

    My current position is that I haven't succeeded in creating cash flow with the existing product yet (it's not unique) and thus don't have the money to push towards manufacturing a better redesigned product. It's more than a bit frustrating, but I no intention of giving up.

    My big idea is part of the redesign and has huge potential and could potentially get a lot of people talking/word of mouth, but I don't have the money to get this thing manufactured. I could get some money to take everything to the next level, but it's hard to know if this is the right move (risk) or if I should fall back to doing design work until I can get out of debt and THEN try and get this idea launched/manufactured/etc.

    Please feel free to ask questions if I've not included anything that would help in providing recommendations.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. aeko
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    aeko PARKED

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    Anyone?
     
  3. pmaloneus
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    pmaloneus New Contributor

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    If your product isn't selling easily right now, how do you know the redesign would improve sales?

    Are there other areas of feedback that you have gotten that you can go after first?
     
  4. aeko
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    aeko PARKED

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    Because when I was advertising on Amazon, I was selling over 15-20 a day. So while I don't "know" a redesign would sell, an improved product (better looking, better quality) is likely to sell very well. Of course, it's still a risk.

    The major feedback I've gotten is issues with the part of the product that I want to redesign.
     
  5. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    You may want to try posting on the Amazon thread. Its listed GOLD. Unsure of the link atm