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My new beginning, my new business...

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by dbeck29, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Well i decided to put up a post about my newest company for all to see, judge, question, or what ever else you care to discuss. Let me give you a brief history about myself and experiences. I am on the verge of turning 24 years old, never went to college and an average high school student. I started a property management company 2 year ago which i manage a few local buildings. I have also run my fathers hardware/fastener company for the past 3 years. I have been in the fastener industry with my father since i was 17, but it was only when i proved my value that he turned over a majority of the company to me. My whole family has owned and operated a variety fastener distribution companies for 3 generations. There is decent money to be made, but i made a promise to myself when i turned 10, i told myself that i would not turn out like everybody else and work this mind numbing industry. Fast forwarding, my father and i have recently sold one of our commercial office buildings, and taking out some of the profits to start this new venture.

    On to my new beginning. I have always been infatuated with the wealthy, their lifestyle, their habits, business etc. I always knew that i would work with this niche market in one way or another. I am a member of an upscale gym and work out shoulder to shoulder with some very affluent people. Watching them walk in and out all the time, i noticed the trend of ugly gym bags (yet fairly expensive) Thus my big idea. After some research i found that there is a lack high end luxury men bags. When i say high end, im not talking about Tumi, more so, Luis Vuitton, Gucci, etc. They make some mens bags or unisex bags, but they lack gym bags and direct mens bags for the ultra luxury market. Thus, my new company Becker is created. I have been working with a few designers and manufactures trying to perfect some samples. My company is starting with a small niche market focused on high net worth individuals looking for other options in bags. My goal is to provide a bag (gym, carrying,etc) to the executive, and for the individual not to be embarrassed about carrying it into their prestigious firm. That is a big issue from my research. It is very unprofessional for an executive to carry a bright orange gym bag through the board room. My first bag to production with be a gym bag priced $1500+. I have no drawings i can upload to show what separates us from some of the others, but rest assured we are in the process of creating some bags that will whoa the market. After doing extensive research on the wealthy and what they look for in brands, companies, etc, i have a fairly good idea of what my company will have to accomplish on the customer service end as well as the quality end. Once we finalize the gym/over night bag, we are starting on a line of brief cases, laptop bags, sleeves, etc.

    Now here is the catch, i have zero experience in this field, whether it be fashion, fashion mfg, etc. I have some connections to celerities which i will try and push when my bags come to market (hopefully in 2009). This will be a huge learning experience for me as well as my father who is my partner. I have always dreamed big and i know i can do anything i put my heart and mind to. I feel this is a market that has enormous room for a new competitor, as it is fairly untapped. This will be updated as i go along, but mind you it will be at a snails pace. During this process, i will still be working my fathers company to pay the bills btw. Thanks for reading :seeya:
     
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  2. 8 SNAKE
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    8 SNAKE Contributor

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    What kind of feedback have you gotten from the people in your gym? Are you using them as a sounding board while you develop your bags, since they're your target market?

    I'll look forward to following your progress. Best of luck!
     
  3. PEERless
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    PEERless Bronze Contributor

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    I wonder if you intend to retain the Becker identity throughout the life of your business of do you hope to be absorbed by a big-name fashion brand like those you mentioned. Just trying to picture a full-page Becker ad in the Robb Report...

    Great concept. Great niche. Go fast.
     
  4. GoldenEggs
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    GoldenEggs Contributor

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    If you haven't done so already, you may also want to consider trademarking the name and bag appearance. Also, if the bag design is completely new, you may also want to consider a design patent.

    Here is a blog that may be of some feedback/research use to you.

    You might be interested in how Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, got started. Here is the link from the Spanx website.

    Here is one $1500 gym bag... The DB Luxury Gym Bag
    Good luck!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
    yveskleinsky and dbeck29 like this.
  5. carlhuber
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    carlhuber New Contributor

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    I suppose there's a market out there for people who will pay a month's mortgage on a gym bag. Kudos to you for tapping that market! Are you doing investigations into actual innovations in this "high end" market ("Becker gym bags, with antimicrobial/antibiotic linings for long life! and things like that") or are they purely fashionplate items?

    The name Becker has a nice ring to it. Sounds like a good and established name, like a tennis player or something. Boris Becker? Wait...isn't there a tennis player named Boris Becker? Be careful of potential lawsuits - I don't know if you would be open to any, but it's a gym bag, and he's a famous tennis player. I'm just saying be careful. And according to Wikipedia, Becker "has been the principal owner of the tennis division of Völkl Inc., a tennis racquet and clothing manufacturer."
     
  6. PEERless
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    PEERless Bronze Contributor

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    I had the above thought as well. Unless YOUR name is Becker, you need to assess how much that name is worth to you. Hell, I'm gonna go sue http://www.skylertech.com/ right now!
     
  7. bizboy
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    bizboy New Contributor

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    Very interesting concept but I feel even the male rich class don't spend much on bags as much as women do for example there are many luxury wallets for man but not many own them nor care to do so but women on the hand care very much.

    The price I feel is too high, $499 would be better.

    I feel you should to target womens gym bag market because I feel it would be a great demand and will catch on fast but producing a bag for male I think it will take time for males to catch on to the idea.

    Also, how do you have a plan to enter the retail market, do you have connections in the industry or do you have a sales representative that understand the niche luxury market and has done business in that industry. Or are just going to place ads in luxury magazines and the orders will be placed by customers online, by phone and so on.
     
  8. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    The feedback i have gotten thus far has been all very positive. Most of the people are not willing to sit down and listen to my who idea, but the synopsis i provided they were in agreement that there is a market for the product that is fairly untapped. I have had some minor feedback regarding the price, most affluent people said with the right quality and prestiege, they would have no roblem spending that much money of a bag.
     
  9. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    awesome info, thank you very much, i will check it all out in the AM :coolgleamA:
     
  10. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I have done extensive research on the topic of wealthy individuals (kudos to luxuryboard.com) and what, how, and why they spend their money the way they do. Most wealthy people, all ages a like are willing to spend their money on exclusive items that segregate them from the normal individual. They are willing to spend the money on a product of far superior quality than the norm. The affluent are willing to drop the money as well for a company willing to have that personal touch with them. According to surveys, most wealthy want to feel wanted an thanked by their suppliers/manf. I am working on some custom programs included with the bag that would really add a personal touch to the products, such as points/miles like amex, etc.. I want to eventually get to the point where i can design a program online which a customer can log into their account and pick and choose their materials, colors, etc basically design their own product. obviously for a premium. I also did not include the fact that this first bag is also designed to be the perfect over night bag for a 1-2 day retreat.

    As for Becker, it is my last name. i want to be tied to the product just like louis vuitton, coco chanel, etc.

    BTW...gym bag/over night bags are a touch of the surface on where i vision my company in the future. High end luggage, and different leather products are a goal as well.. baby step though


    thanks for the positive remarks !
     
  11. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Becker is my last name and as far as i know, there is no registered Becker Inc. in the state of CA.
     
  12. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I disagree to a degree. Given the opportunity to own such a product, i think that the wealthy will bite. There isnt much out there for a man, and i believe that is the reason why you dont see too many walking around with a bag. I know man bags are huge in Europe right now and i hope to attack their market as well as the mid east market.

    The reason i am pricing the product where i am besides the fact that i will be offering services (unknown right now) and a top quality product with only the best materials available. I am also looking into a warranty that will far surpass any on the market right now. From what i have found, most affluent want a product that seperates them from the norm. A multi million dollar hedge fund manager driving the Rolls Phantom does not want a product that any joe schmoe can buy in a mall. I am aiming for the people holding a lifestyle that is unimaginable to the everyday kmart shopper.

    I have also thought about the womans market, but i do not want to stretch myself to thin in the beginning. The womans market is very saturated with high end bags, and i believe if i can make a name for myself with the mens market, it will only be natural to venture into the womans market. I want my mens products to be something a wife would not be ashamed to buy her husband as a gift.


    As far as my retail strategy, i have limited connections with some very high end retail stores in Pacific Palisades, CA. I am mostly banking on lots of advertising in magazines such as Robb Report, Dupont, GQ, Esquire, ETC. I also have some small time celebrity connections which i hope can eventually lead me to other bigger celebs. I think my perfect candidate will be David Beckham!!! My cousin is also a producer on TMZ, i hope i can materialize something out of that.

    I plan on having online and a phone ordering system. As well as trying to get into botiques, and high end stores such as Sacks 5th, Bloomingdales, etc.
     
  13. Starsky
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    I think its a great idea/concept. All the things are there for your to corner a niche market. Im in the process of launching a new service for the same niche market... We should network, as I plan to advertise in similar areas..
     
  14. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    if you get a chance, email me at dbeck29@gmail.com, I have some vital info regarding this industry/niche market. We can bounce ideas as well.
     
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  15. Starsky
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    Starsky New Contributor

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    Sure will, thanks for the invite
     
  16. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Serving those in the Fastlane is a pathway into the Fastlane. I love the idea and think it can work 100%. Hang out on the exotic car forums and you'll know within a few hours that we all have no issue dropping $3K on a gym bag. I know I wouldn't but I speak for myself- not the niche.

    There are guys on there that are paying $100K+ for watches; having a gym bag that screams like a Lambo screams on the road would be bought in a heartbeat.

    "Becker ... its like taking your Lamborghini into the locker room"
     
  17. Jorge
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    Jorge Bronze Contributor

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    Love it, go for it and good luck!!
     
  18. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks for the heads up! I actually am glued to lambo-power, 6speed, etc, thats how i found your forum, in your 6-speed signature. As for you not speding 3k on a gym bag, you say that because you havnt seen my bag yet, give it time, but i will do a group buy for the exotic forums, to give you guys a better price!!:smxA:


    btw...im digging the quote, very creative!
     
  19. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    much thanks!!!!
     
  20. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Well here is a small update/speed bump on my way to greatness...

    Part of my funding fell through and as you can imagine, this is a very expensive venture. I will not let this stop me, i just have to be more creative now. I am looking into gov. grants right now (anybody have any experience with these that might be able to help?) i dont really have any wealthy family willing to give up their cash to fund a risky business like this either. I want to start finding people will to barter with me for maybe a small stake in the company, but what i have come across is nobody wants to risk working with a young guy trying to start a business in an unfamiliar industry. I am a little dishearted right now, but im not going to let it get me down, i realllllly believe in my idea structure.
     
  21. Jill
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    Jill Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Do you have any prototypes?
     
  22. WheelsRCool
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    WheelsRCool Contributor

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    dbeck29, I like the idea a lot, good luck with it! Here is a thread you might find interesting, it was one I wrote about the growing size of the luxury goods markets: http://www.thefastlanetomillions.com/showthread.php?t=3157&highlight=sell+classes+live+with+masses

    BTW, I don't know if it was here or not, but there was an article I read about a gym owner who started a gym that is exclusively for the ultra-wealthy, it's in NYC I believe. It has multimillionaires and billionaires who go into it to work out, it's very very exclusive. Anyhow, I am sure those guys would love a gym bag that symbolizes their wealth and power to carry into the gym.

    Me personally, when I get wealthy and search for a good men's gym bag, I would search for a luxury brand. They have luxury laptops these days, and like PHX said $100 grande watches, so a bag should be no biggie.

    BTW, Tim Blixseth, he started a very very exclusive ski and golf club which he was told by everyone that it would fail, yet it is very successful, has Bill Gates, the CEO of Fox News, etc...all as members. People told him it would fail b/c "No one will EVER pay such large fees to belong to an exclusive ski and golf club!!" :) Wrong, wrong, wrong they were.

    And don't be afraid to try odd concepts, I read about the watch company TechnoMarine, their first watch was a watch combining plastic with diamonds, which many also claimed would fail; instead it was a huge success.

    So good luck!
     
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  23. mizchels
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    What sort of materials are you making your bag out of? Perhaps there's a new material or manufacturer whom you could bargain with for reduced costs for your materials. For instance, my affluent boss recently tore a page from one of his high-end magazines for me to research bamboo textiles. He wasn't familiar and suddenly was excited about the way the product feature promoted environmental-friendliness. I called the company to order new sheets, socks, boxers, etc. for him (at whatever cost). The company seemed very excited to have interest--they offered to cover shipping and made special offers because of the order. Sooo, to make my long story short, what if you research for some new companies with high-quality materials or new product lines they want to promote? Just a thought. May not be very helpful but it's worth tossing out there just in case.
     
  24. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    this is the stage i am at right now, i am working with some designers and i believe i have found the company who will make my first article piece. The problem is, money is dwindling away fast, im going to be in for probably 15k by the time i have the first sample done.
     
  25. dbeck29
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    dbeck29 New Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

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    thanks for the inspirational post, reps!

    great, useful article btw, i read Richistan 2 times, a great read.
     

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