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Finding Customers while being Broke

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WhateverCheese

New Contributor
Oct 16, 2020
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Helloooow

I am a broke-a$$ student, just finished my engineering degree (I hated it) and instead of looking for an engineering job I want to create a business. The business is about producing and selling high quality dog treats. The production works but I am having trouble reaching interested customers. I tried reaching out in Dog-Owner Facebook groups unsuccessfully. Phone-advertising is prohibited in Germany. I even thought about going into the city and talking to people with dogs.

It would be easier with budget, then I would just put an ad in a local magazine for dog owners. Or put an ad online.

What would you do in my place? Find an engineering job (which I would hate) just to have cash?
 

DelightRedeemed

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Aug 20, 2020
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Lusaka
Helloooow

I am a broke-a$$ student, just finished my engineering degree (I hated it) and instead of looking for an engineering job I want to create a business. The business is about producing and selling high quality dog treats. The production works but I am having trouble reaching interested customers. I tried reaching out in Dog-Owner Facebook groups unsuccessfully. Phone-advertising is prohibited in Germany. I even thought about going into the city and talking to people with dogs.

It would be easier with budget, then I would just put an ad in a local magazine for dog owners. Or put an ad online.

What would you do in my place? Find an engineering job (which I would hate) just to have cash?
Hi Whatever Cheese. I suggest that look for a job and save some cash for the requirements for your idea. Going fast lane is very good but remember also to be patient, don't launch out too quickly. The other thing you can do is while still working you can also be working on your idea on a part time basis.
 

Kid

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Maybe there are some dog events in Germany that you could attend
or rent booth at.
 

AveSatana

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May 4, 2021
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Helloooow

I am a broke-a$$ student, just finished my engineering degree (I hated it) and instead of looking for an engineering job I want to create a business. The business is about producing and selling high quality dog treats. The production works but I am having trouble reaching interested customers. I tried reaching out in Dog-Owner Facebook groups unsuccessfully. Phone-advertising is prohibited in Germany. I even thought about going into the city and talking to people with dogs.

It would be easier with budget, then I would just put an ad in a local magazine for dog owners. Or put an ad online.

What would you do in my place? Find an engineering job (which I would hate) just to have cash?
Someone already mentioned events.

Are there dog-specific places (dog park, dog beach, etc) or places where you can go to the dog owners?

Are there stores/flea market/farmers market/ pet store type places where you can have someone else w/ a booth already sell them for you in exchange for a small cut?

Could you partner w/ other dog-centric professions like groomers, trainers, etc?

There are options out there that are free or very close to free, just need to brainstorm a bunch and give them a good go. (i.e. don’t half-a$$ it and say it doesn’t work just cuz it isn’t immediate or easy).
 

Ali Abbasi

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May 24, 2021
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Since you have a degree you can easily slide into any other job even one that doesn’t have to do with engineering if you hate it. Work a day job save money and deploy some cash towards Facebook ads. Test ads, analyze, adjust.

Or start a dog walking service, and sell your treats to your clients. Offer them a total service: I’ll walk your dog, I’ll deliver the food/treats you want him to eat. Some dog owners(like me) are very particular about the brand of dog food they want for their dog but less discriminating about their snacks as long as they are healthy/high quality.

For busy dog owners: getting their boy walked and saving a trip to the store for dog food is very important and a box of treats is less important but an easy purchase to make.

You’ll walk my dog, deliver his weekly food for me great. Oh you can also bring him treats too? Great how much?

I don’t care what the cost is for treats assuming it’s reasonable and in line with others in the category then fine.

Have fun with the dog service and make customers’ life easy.

Whenever I go to the pet store I have 20 different brands to choose from for treats all high quality. I just go for what has the best ingredient list and they all do so I usually rotate the flavors and brands without thinking.

Competition in dog treats here is beyond crowded.
 

AveSatana

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May 4, 2021
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There are dogwalking apps out there that you can start on. They take a cut but once you connect with people you can undercut them and keep it all.

You could also find dogwalkers and add them to people that can help sell your treats (in addition to groomers and others I mentioned above). Give them a commission on anything they sell.
 

Andy Black

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I tried reaching out in Dog-Owner Facebook groups unsuccessfully.
Why do you think this didn’t work? What can you try that may be successful?

Was it how you reached out?

Was it the people you reached out too?

Was it the product/offer, and how you sold it?

Did you build friends and make relationships first?

If you can’t sell in person (in DMs, on Zoom, face-to-face) then maybe you’re not automatically going to make sales if you put an ad in the paper?

I suggest it’s a good thing you don’t have a budget for ads at the moment. Dial in your offer, who you’re ideal customer is, where to find them, how to initiate the conversation, etc.
 

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