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Starting a Business and launching a product with £500

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by APW, Aug 31, 2015.

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  1. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Just thought I would start a thread regarding my new business which I have setup and I aim to launch a brand new product with less than £500. It might be helpful to those wanting to do the same or those who are currently facing the same issues as me.

    This isn't a thread for negativity so for people to try and tear my business plan apart so if its in the wrong category can admin please move it. I will keep the product under wraps for now until its reasonably successful atleast if it fails it will fail in private.


    3 months ago I came up with an idea for a business, done a bit of research and found there is loads of similar businesses in the UK so I looked at what they were doing with the product and what I could do better.

    Within 3 weeks I had a website up (£100 + about 60 hours of my own time) and the product created (spent £70 on materials + about 2 hours creating it) and thought it was fantastic, much better than the competition. Then I put the product away for a week, I never looked at it or thought about it. Then following week I pulled the product out of the drawer and thought it looked awful and no one would buy it.....back to the drawing board.

    I ripped holes in my product from design, shape, size, colour and price completely destroyed it. I spoke with a designer 2 months ago and we bounced ideas of each other and I created another prototype (costing £175 + about 30 hours of my time). Again I got the product and put it away only this time I didnt look at it for 2 weeks.

    During this time I put together a business plan, marketing plan, Setup business bank accounts and regstration etc and setup social networking sites and carried out market research. I came back to my product and it still looked amazing just maybe one or two things left to change.

    4 weeks ago I made some minor changes to the product (costing £50) which now looks good and still withing my price range (only just). I have spent the last £100 on mareting my social media sites which now have over 700 likes from people who are interested in my product.

    I am now 15 days from launching the product and getting very nervous....

    Ill keep you updated soon....

    Oh and I spent the last fiver on a fish supper, thought I would treat myself
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  2. dave archer

    dave archer UKBF Regular Free Member

    790 165
    ....... aim to launch a brand new product with less than £500

    The same item that loads of other businesses have already put onto the market and are
    already selling.
    Don't you think that there may be some little problems with having competition even before you start ?

    And even if no competition.......

    What happens when people start ordering YOUR product ?
    .... now have over 700 likes from people who are interested in my product.

    What happens when 500 of those likes suddenly decide to buy YOUR version ?
    They Want it Now - Today.
    You don't have any stock to sell !

    You will need to find a company / person to start manufacturing it, by the dozens, and pronto,
    because you will not have time to do it all by yourself on the kitchen table.

    Then the costs will rapidly start rising into the £ thousands.:eek:

    Material costs.
    Assembly / Labour costs.
    Machinery purchase costs.
    Packaging and Postage costs.

    What is it, what does it do ?

    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: dave archer Member since: Mar 8, 2014

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,356 1,247
    Does that mean your cash is dried up . . . .?

    Oops, I forgot, you have banned me from "contacting" you.

    I wish you luck in your venture.

    Keep us all posted.
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  4. shmit88

    shmit88 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    56 9
    @APW Don't listen to this guy. Seriously! He has it all wrong.

    You have made the right move by finding a product with a lot of competition. This means that there is a real need for the product.

    Not to mention, you have gone out there and looked for the flaws in the particular product and found a way to make it better. That's exactly how it should be done.

    If you do manage to get 500 orders when you launch (I will be very surprised if you do) then regardless of whether you have stock or not, it shows that your product is wanted and you're on to a winner. There is such a thing known as 'pre-selling', e.g. selling a product before having stock, to determine if there is a market.

    Anyway, don't be disheartened if you don't get a sale when you launch if you're only launching on Facebook. People on Facebook aren't in the 'buying' mentality, and so it is a lot harder to sell there. I'd advise you to take a look at selling your product on Amazon. Give me a shout if you want some resources, I can point you in the right direction.

    Well done on your progress so far.
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: shmit88 Member since: Jan 3, 2014
  5. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Silly man....

    Thanks very much I will keep you updated.
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,356 1,247
    . . . . . But not stupid.;)
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  7. boring-friday

    boring-friday UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    566 166
    Good luck, don't listen to all the negativity (especially after you spent all your cash anyway) lol. Absolutely anyones business plan could of got ripped apart prior to starting, can imagine mark zuckerberg on here talking about facebook and people saying its just a copy of myspace/msn/bebo but hes doing ok
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: boring-friday Member since: Jun 5, 2015
  8. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Having competition is a good thing in my eyes you dont always need to have something new and unique infact that just makes things harder.

    Regarding orders I have 2 solutions short term and long term.

    Short term:

    I plan on holding no stock and only purchase parts as per order. All parts of my product can be locally sourced and purchased there and then (while this costs more I can still make a healthy profit). Assembly can take me around 10 minutes now so I could probably complete upto 50 orders a day if required.

    Plan is simple - Day 1 customer places order Day 2 I purchase parts and complete the order Day 3 Shipping and customer recieves product by day 4.

    If I take on too many orders my site does state product are made to order and can take extra time during busy periods.

    Long Term: (subject to sales)

    I purchase parts in bulk providing me a discount and import items from China, this will allow me to save alot more money and increase my profits (profits which can be used lease premises and take on staff for assembly).

    In the highly unlikely event that loads of people place orders and demand the product now, they will be told to waitas it is a handmade product - most people arent unreasonable enough to make such petty demands.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  9. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    I didnt say I spent all my cash, I spent £500 which was my target investment. The goal is to build a business on as little as possible. But thanks anyway lol

    Also I wanted to put all this guff about needing thousands and thousands of pounds to get a product to market. I also want to disprove the myth that it takes months possibly years to turn a profit.
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  10. Mingleflow

    Mingleflow UKBF Contributor Free Member

    54 9
    APW, you made me really interested, that is a brilliant thread you started :)
    and I definitely agree, we started with almost the same amount of investment, mostly went for marketing and now here we are, getting more and more business and penetrating into other areas, which is great!

    I like your approach to improve your product: by leaving it for a week and do not even touch it. I usually spend more time on it, just making it better (at least in my eyes) and then after a while I come back to it and change it again and again. I never leave it alone, but surely, I will give your way a go!

    Good luck with your launch!
    Posted: Aug 31, 2015 By: Mingleflow Member since: Aug 28, 2015
  11. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Today my goal is to get as much marketing tools and product parts for FREE or heavily discounted......Let the day begin
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  12. vvaannmmaann

    vvaannmmaann UKBF Legend Free Member

    13,109 3,369
    When we started we had a £500 budget just for advertising and printing..........
    Where did I go so wrong?
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: vvaannmmaann Member since: Nov 6, 2007
  13. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Great thing about business is that everyones ideas are always different. My plan was just to disprove this myth that you cant launch a product if you dont have thousands and thousands of pounds
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  14. Mingleflow

    Mingleflow UKBF Contributor Free Member

    54 9
    We have just started offline marketing and found instantprint printing good quality but cheap flyers - if you want to consider leaflets
    otherwise, for online marketing: you mentioned you have Facebook page with likes. That is a good starting point, not to sell anything through Facebook, but Google really likes website which appear on Facebook a lot. So start posting news with links to your website, Google will appreciate it :)
    When you type your product to Google search, do you appear there? If not, then you should focus on that. Register to free websites (gumtree, freeindex, vivastreet, etc) and in the description give real description, but different all the time. That is important to use different wording, because Google doesn't like copy-paste.
    Identify few keywords around your product and write all the content you post anywhere around them. Use at least one of the keywords in each post/description/etc, so you will appear on Google at the end.

    You mentioned you have another business already.I guess, you have a website for that. I would start advertising your new product on that website as well (just expend it with a new subpage and few words and link on the main), because if you just create one new, Google puts it into a "quarantine" for few months and does not run the robots that often on new sites. That means, advertising on your new site won't be that effective at the beginning. Once the number of visitor will pick up, Google will look at your site differently and the content of your website will be more important than before. So choose wording wisely on that as well.

    Also, if you have a target audience for your new product (I guess you have), search for their forums and sites they visit often and start advertising your business there. If it is a focused group, paid advertisement might be cheaper as well, depending on the sector.

    If you want to generate business based on Google search, the best might be to run Google Ad words campaign. Your main keywords might be expensive though, depending on the sector again, but if you use a bit longer keyword selection (4-5 words instead of 2-3) that can decrease the click cost dramatically.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: Mingleflow Member since: Aug 28, 2015
  15. Lola Finn

    Lola Finn UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    6 4
    @APW true. You don't need masses of budget to capture an audience, it helps and makes it easier/faster but in the end, not that crucial. As long as the marketing is clever enough to invoke interest/curiosity you're golden :) if it's within your skill-set, you could always swap cost with time i.e. designing your own teaser images/videos for social media etc. Keep optimistic! Good luck!
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: Lola Finn Member since: Aug 5, 2015
  16. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    9,773 3,945
    Let's be quite clear about this - if you know what you are doing and you avoid adopting accepted wisdom, you can build all sorts of things for almost nothing.

    I have been building a large workshop at home and only on the weekends for £6,000. That is a builing on two floors with a footprint of 130 sq m and 6m high. It is in fact, more or less a house, but without water and drainage.

    The film Skyfall required no financing. Cash requirements were covered by product placement advances and distribution advances paid for big-ticket items. Marketing was paid for with future TV rights.

    You can find any number of small kitchen or hobby items for sale directly from China for a small fraction of the UK or US sale price. Buy one for £1, sell it for £5, buy five, sell them for £25 and so on.

    One- and two-man Chinese companies make all sorts of things, like the bare electronics for signal generators, valve microphone pre-amps and that sort of thing. Buy for £20, put them in a nice housing for £20, sell for £200.

    At the grass-roots, ebay level, you can get away with that sort of calculation. It is only when you try to scale the damn thing up to a real business level that things begin to look different and the ugly word 'marketing' rears its head and one-third (or whatever) of gross profit has to go on advertising, fair stands, IP protection, certification, brochures, prize draws and 1001 other activities.

    Starting a commercial or other venture with little or no money requires a hidden value. Usually this is knowledge, but, in the case of my shed/house, land and my own trees for timber and machines to build it with and with that Bond film, the massive value of the franchise.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  17. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    Had a very productive morning.

    Spoke with a friend who runs a printing company and he offered to do me 10,000 full colour flyers free (only have to pay for design cost but I can do that myself). He then called his mate who does website techy stuff like SEO who said he will fix up my site to make it look better and do backlinks (whatever they are) all for free and all I have to do it allow his link on the site and I told him I would come to him when its time to upgrade/improve my site.

    I visited 3 suppliers of parts for my product - 2 gave me enough free samples to make nearly 30 orders and offered me trade prices for future offers and 1 wouldn't budge at all - fair enough.

    This afternoon I gotta go to 4 more suppliers and see what I can get from them and speak to 2 local newspapers about advertising.

    Busy Busy
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  18. Twinkle Toes

    Twinkle Toes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    540 75
    Local newspaper advertising probably won't be suitable for your business. You're probably better off spending the money on some sort of national marketing/advertising. Local paper for local businesses works well though.

    Unless of course you are only selling locally.

    And as soon as the first ad is placed you're over your £500 budget. Unless you're not going to advertise until you've made enough sales to pay for it. Which would be a odd way to do it.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: Twinkle Toes Member since: Feb 21, 2015
  19. APW

    APW UKBF Regular Free Member

    406 75
    The £500 budget was to turn an idea into a physical sellable product, which I have done and I am ready and waiting for the launch day.

    Going straight for the national ads idea would instantly mean I would be spending thousands which defeats the purpose of my objective. This is a slow burner targeting local people first and building into a national or global business why run before you can walk.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: APW Member since: Aug 17, 2015
  20. Twinkle Toes

    Twinkle Toes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    540 75
    Sorry, thought you said "launch" a product for £500 not "develop" one. Big difference.

    I didn't mean advertise in national newspapers, but advertise nationally, maybe ppc, on websites that are related to your product etc.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2015 By: Twinkle Toes Member since: Feb 21, 2015
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