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Youth and gender to appeal to companies

Soon2bebossy

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Hi everyone.

I'm looking into purchasing a raw and eco-friendly product from china and supplying it to plastic manufacturers in my country, the thing is I have zero experience and fairly young.

I imagine the latter being a potential benefit due to the fact that the government is practically urging young female entrepreneurs to come forth with their ideas as most of the youth are unemployed and because of this there are a number of big companies that are wanting to take in and assist young entrepreneurs, especially females as it's good publicity for them. In my mind, I could use this to my advantage and seek out such companies, and with their support, manufacturers would be more likely to buy my product as opposed to purchasing from a young, inexperienced "middle-man", should I decide to go the conventional route of cold calling/emailing.

I hope this makes sense and would really appreciate any thoughts/advice you have on this matter.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Tourmaline

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Can you get orders from a plastic manufacture in your country and then find suppliers in china to fulfill it?
 
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Soon2bebossy

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Can you get orders from a plastic manufacture in your country and then find suppliers in china to fulfill it?
Can you get orders from a plastic manufacture in your country and then find suppliers in china to fulfill it?
Thanks for the response. The thing is most manufacturers here don't yet use the type of plastic I want to supply. So I would need to approach these manufacturers with a sample, and should they like it and want it, I could then place the order with the supplier in china. Hope I'm understanding your question?
 

Tourmaline

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What do you know about plastics and manufacturing, and why a manufacture chooses some plastics and not others?
 
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Soon2bebossy

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What do you know about plastics and manufacturing, and why a manufacturer chooses some plastics and not others?
I know very little about the specifics of plastic and manufacturing, based on the fact that my country is not a first world country, I presume manufacturers choose plastics that are cheap. I know that most first-world/developed countries are opting to choose materials that are more environmentally friendly, developing countries will naturally follow suit. There are a few small local companies that manufacture plastics, but they offer very basic 'end' products, and charge more. Not much can be done with such products, so there's not much flexibility. I know this because I looked around for a company to shrink wrap my product, and most of them were unable to do so. I believe if I can provide manufacturers with the latest inexpensive eco-friendly raw plastic, they can use it however they see fit, and not spend a fortune. If a plastic manufacturer can pump out more eco-friendly alternatives, and materials supplied by a young female supplier that's business is BEE compliant, I believe that they'd see the marketing potential and go for it. (Because of apartheid, the government launched a program to address economic inequalities, so most big companies prefer taking on companies that are owned by females of colour as it increases their BEE level, sorry lots of politics here, but hope you get my point).

Sorry if what I've said isn't entirely coherent and flows, I'm terrible at linear thinking, so that's often apparent when I write.
 

Tourmaline

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What I would do is learn everything about plastics and manufacturing, and speak to every single manufacture in your area and find out which ones are open to trying different plastics.

At the end of the day, if it can increase their profits, or let them expand into new markets that have demand, they're probably going to be interested.

This makes me think of a case where textile companies were making fabrics using chemicals that were very bad for the environment. They then had to process the used hazardous chemicals and figure out ways to dispose of them and deal with regulations and inspectors. An eco-chemical company came in and helped one manufacture create a chemical process to create the same fabrics, but with completely eco friendly chemicals. The end result was their wastewater was more pure than the tap water they used, and their costs went down because they no longer had to deal with hazardous cleanup. Once one manufacture did it then all the other manufactures wanted it too!
 
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Soon2bebossy

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Feb 7, 2019
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Cape Town, South Africa
What I would do is learn everything about plastics and manufacturing, and speak to every single manufacture in your area and find out which ones are open to trying different plastics.

At the end of the day, if it can increase their profits, or let them expand into new markets that have demand, they're probably going to be interested.

This makes me think of a case where textile companies were making fabrics using chemicals that were very bad for the environment. They then had to process the used hazardous chemicals and figure out ways to dispose of them and deal with regulations and inspectors. An eco-chemical company came in and helped one manufacture create a chemical process to create the same fabrics, but with completely eco friendly chemicals. The end result was their wastewater was more pure than the tap water they used, and their costs went down because they no longer had to deal with hazardous cleanup. Once one manufacture did it then all the other manufactures wanted it too!
I will definitely do so! Thanks for the motivational story, that's ultimately my goal for this business. Appreciate you taking the time to respond :)
 

Walter Hay

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@Soon2bebossy , the advice given by @Tourmaline is sound. Learn all you can about the industry and you will be better received when you make sales contact.

Walter
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Take any advantage you can get.

If they have a government requirement to buy from you because you're female and young, then great. However, if you think that's an appeal, and it's not required, then it likely won't turn out the way you think it will.

Do your best to play that card, but at the same time prepare for all the other potential scenarios through cold calling/networking/emailing, etc.

However, from what it sounds like, you're 99% still in "wantrepreneur" mode. You don't have a product yet. Don't know how you're going to supply it. Yet you're asking questions as if you were already in sales mode.

I would concentrate first on figuring out what product you're going to source, what your costs will be, and at what price you'll be able to sell it. To do that, you can use your "I'm a young girl trying to start a business" background to schedule meetings with decision makers at different companies. Send emails. Tell them what you're trying to start. Ask them if you could meet with them for 15 minutes to pick their brain (if they say yes, expect a lot more than 15 minutes). Ask all the questions you have. Change your mindset. Go back home. Reach out to the Chinese/international suppliers. Get some feedback there. Then re-approach the individuals that helped you with either a second set of questions or a solution. Once you figure out a solution, ask them if they'd buy it. How much they'd pay. What kind of quantity they go through in a month. And have them at a minimum give you a verbal commitment to work with you.
 
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Soon2bebossy

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Feb 7, 2019
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Cape Town, South Africa
Take any advantage you can get.

If they have a government requirement to buy from you because you're female and young, then great. However, if you think that's an appeal, and it's not required, then it likely won't turn out the way you think it will.

Do your best to play that card, but at the same time prepare for all the other potential scenarios through cold calling/networking/emailing, etc.

However, from what it sounds like, you're 99% still in "wantrepreneur" mode. You don't have a product yet. Don't know how you're going to supply it. Yet you're asking questions as if you were already in sales mode.

I would concentrate first on figuring out what product you're going to source, what your costs will be, and at what price you'll be able to sell it. To do that, you can use your "I'm a young girl trying to start a business" background to schedule meetings with decision makers at different companies. Send emails. Tell them what you're trying to start. Ask them if you could meet with them for 15 minutes to pick their brain (if they say yes, expect a lot more than 15 minutes). Ask all the questions you have. Change your mindset. Go back home. Reach out to the Chinese/international suppliers. Get some feedback there. Then re-approach the individuals that helped you with either a second set of questions or a solution. Once you figure out a solution, ask them if they'd buy it. How much they'd pay. What kind of quantity they go through in a month. And have them at a minimum give you a verbal commitment to work with you.
Thank you for the advice, and especially for taking the time to read my previous thread. I've already found some leads and drawing up an email I'll send out to those leads. Also, I found a very promising government-run incubator program, they're having an orientation day this Friday, which I'll be attending. I will try speaking to some friends who know people who could potentially arrange for me to meet the right people. Will try all different approaches while learning as much as I can about the technical side. The Chinese company has sent me a list of all their products, so I will use to create a powerpoint presentation and present it to companies when the time comes.


Thank you all for your EXTREMELY helpful advice. Will post updates - hopefully they'll mostly be positive haha! :)
 

AgainstAllOdds

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Thank you for the advice, and especially for taking the time to read my previous thread. I've already found some leads and drawing up an email I'll send out to those leads. Also, I found a very promising government-run incubator program, they're having an orientation day this Friday, which I'll be attending. I will try speaking to some friends who know people who could potentially arrange for me to meet the right people. Will try all different approaches while learning as much as I can about the technical side. The Chinese company has sent me a list of all their products, so I will use to create a powerpoint presentation and present it to companies when the time comes.


Thank you all for your EXTREMELY helpful advice. Will post updates - hopefully they'll mostly be positive haha! :)
Hit the leads with an email. Then with a phone. Don't limit it to just email.

In regards to the incubator - sometimes they're very valuable to be a part of... but don't build your business around getting into the incubator. Don't put a crazy amount of effort into getting in unless it's actually that worth it. Focus instead on speaking to the leads and pushing the project forward. That's #1.

And powerpoint is great, but samples are a lot better. Something people can touch and feel.

Good luck. Looking forward to your progress.
 

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