I still wasn’t sure if Gearfix eventually had to be manufactured in Asia. So I chose to just claim the value of ”Swedish design”.
Saving by spending
I had an order for ”only” a few thousand units. But it was much more economic to buy the printed material in bulk. For a little more money, I ordered 20.000 extra paper labels with the print -”Swedish design”. This also turned out to be a good move when the drunk & brawling packaging service started to trash my stuff.
I figured that if my gadget had to be manufactured in Asia, the labels would still be usable. How ever, the boxes were made in a very limited edition and got the more prestigious print -”Made in Sweden”.
A big issue for me was to figure out how much I could charge the retailers for my drill bit holder. In lack of good advice I begun a trial and error strategy that failed miserably!
I know nothing The production cost was easy to get grips on. My manufacturer was very clear on what he needed to deliver the gadget. On the other hand I was clueless what the retailers margins were. I heard that some jewellers had an average profit over 1.000% and the local grocery store maby had about 50%.
My buddy’s advice Earlier a Big shot buddy was nice enough to gave me some free advice and helped me out with some business strategy. Among many things, he suggested to focus on how much profit I needed and we came up with 25% to keep any sneaky bastards away.
My advisor’s advice I also had a professional business counsellorwho skilfully avoided answering this pricey question. It later turned out he was a complete bastard.
Starting from around me having 25% profit and the retailer around 300% I typed in many different scenarios. If I sold over 100 000 units it would just cover my expenses. Was that good or bad? It took over a year before I found someone that told me my calculations were fucked up.
I had no money, hardly any income and needed a painful loan to start the production. So the first order had to cover most of the expenses and I set the price stupendously high. This made the retailer only a tiny profit but they were really kind to accept. Since this ”very high” price for my drill bit holder worked for them I should have been able to stop myself from going on a crazy rampage later on.
Most inventions never leave the drawing board so I love giving my work stupid names. It’s fun and in the early stages of development I can spend my time developing the actual product rather than what to call it.
When my invention got rid of the flashlight and became a better product I had to abandon the “Lamp” in Lampowitz. Just days after the first order I put my sister and her husband to quickly brainstorm a suitable brand name. They are professionals but did it for free of course.
Stupid & sexy
Apart from a wide range of sexy- perverted- kinky- rubber- latex- associated words they finally came up with an English word that works fine in Sweden so there was no problem naming it “Gearfix” with the catch phrase –“Keeps your gear in control”.
It might not be perfect that the gearfix.com domain was taken. But I was so pleased with Gearfix and my goal was to sell it in stores, not the web, so the domain issue didn’t bother me too much. My former experience managing a web shop taught me having a great domain name isn’t crucial any way.
I hope it won’t confuse you too much that some events might lag a bit. The next few posts will be jumbled together in an unseeingly logical time travelling order.
This blog is retrospective and it’s not that easy getting everything in a chronological order. My Teflon brain isn’t helping but I managed to sketch up a nice illustration of what’s going on. I knew it would be impossible for me too keep every post in correct order so I try to make all of them able to stand alone with handy links to direct the new reader to relevant information.