Today’s American Business Process –
- Find a problem that needs solving or a match between skills and talents with a need in the marketplace.
- Brainstorm possibilities for meeting that need or solving that problem with designs, innovations, existing products as they are or changed a bit, inventions, processes or other means.
- Research the efforts already made by others and / or already in existence in the marketplace today or ever before now to solve the same thing or meet that need.
- Analyze how the marketplace could support a business offering some solution to that need to solve that problem and the access points for delivering it to the marketplace.
- Find out how many customers might be there who would want that service or product to meet the need or solve that problem. And, find out what they currently do about it.
- Build a marketing approach, business plan and a business model particularly that will serve this market well, take advantage of new ways to reach the market as well as traditional distribution channels and look for paths to show them the solution.
- Create the prototype of the product or service, write down the design or invention’s plans in a more concrete and precise way, create the drawings and accompanying texts about the business, the design or invention or innovation and the marketing.
- Define the business process more concretely in terms that describe the process and method for building the business and how the product or service will be offered to the public along with a brief about the business model and marketing chosen for it.
- Make the necessary calls to get materials estimates, the cost of creating a more professional level prototype, attorneys available for patent application and search, and create a network of manufacturing and marketing resources to use later.
- Look for funding opportunities. If social media and crowdfunding are to be used, begin constructing those accounts and their overall structure and look, as well as creating the campaign materials for either or both crowdfunding and investor / banker / SBA funding, including video, written materials that will be put online and those to put in their hands in person, websites, campaign focus and the statement or idea that offers what distinction this product or service has going for it.
- Get appointments for funding sources, investors, bankers, SBA, manufacturers, retailers and other distributors. Bring as professional a pitch as possible along with video, laptop or tablet, written materials, non-disclosure forms, attorneys or at least their phone number after prior arrangement with them, projected costs and potential sales / profits / earnings spreadsheets, and prototypes along with all web addresses to online materials about it. Remember to be brief and focused as well as intent on listening to answer their concerns as honestly and as precisely as possible.
- Before signing any agreement have it reviewed by attorneys who will require a retainer or fees to do so. Return the agreement with any changes advised by the lawyers, and make an appointment to return for a signing meeting after those changes have been accepted or to renegotiate the terms with them and repeat the entire process (do not sign until attorneys have advised on the renegotiated terms.)
- Then, make calls to manufacturers if it is to be produced in that way and determine the next stage of involvement from the level of prototype in hand to choice of materials to be used and level of finalized product details (drawings, scale and sizes of it, online or software 3D modeling and file types, interaction contact points to manufacturers’ design team or engineers or rep and when to expect proof of quality piece back from them.)
- After all that, go to manufacturers for cost per unit to produce, negotiate the costs, delivery times, insurance and make preliminary contracts with cost estimates that will go to the lawyers before being finalized. And, get orders from retailers, deals with distribution channels that will offer the products or services and make those agreements, get invoices of specific amounts, schedule a delivery date and payment schedule. All of that information will do for the set of materials that go to the bank, investors who showed an interest, family members willing to invest or loan, other loan and funding sources, etc. where those deals will be made and contracts for their return on investment , loan repayments or participation as a partner will be defined which also must go to attorneys before signing and possibly renegotiated.
- Now, if everything gets agreed to properly, signed and money for funding is provided to make up the difference in time between having something manufactured and getting paid for its delivery to contracted distributors – the marketplace will have the solution, but still not know about it to any great extent. It will not be anywhere that a purchasing decision is made at the time it is made. It will not be automatically desirable regardless of the solutions adeptness at solving the existing problem. The costs of producing it and delivering to the marketplace will not be as efficient as anything required to cover its own costs or offer any substantial profits. And, the tracking process to account for quantities being made, delivered and payments received, numbers of sales, royalties, license fees, franchise fees, patents filing and a host of other elements will still need doing immediately.
- Once these steps are all accomplished, the loan holders must get paid, investors will want a continuing return of their investment with substantial returns within a short time frame of three years or less – and will likely pull out their money at that point requiring a round of new funding efforts to continue establishing the business and its offerings in the marketplace at just the time it needs it most, as well as competition will have been created to steal whatever market share that has been acquired once it is shown as a viable product or service.
- Details that aren’t mentioned above can be found in most SBA and other StartUp materials, including permits, incorporation, patent and intellectual property submissions, business licenses, dba registrations, other required Secretary of State filings, IRS required filings including tax id number and employer id number, Dept. of Labor requirements for employee wages and withholding, among others. These details must be done among these steps above and simultaneously with them at a point somewhere after approaching manufacturers and before delivery of orders, but not necessarily before receiving payment for them although it is better to do so ahead of those moments. And, certain detail steps must be done within the steps above to protect the intellectual property of the design such as creating and using non-disclusure forms before showing it, filing for a provisional patent before showing it to even possible family and friends investors, bankers, potential angel investors or the manufacturers and distributors sought.
- And, last of all – certainly not least, after doing all of that and putting the collateral of your house, property, and whatever else to get started in this – the public at large, individuals in specific and the marketplace in general will never be at ease in adopting the solution or solutions being offered that are different than what they are doing now, even if it solves a major problem in a marvelous way. That is just a fact. Doing nothing and putting up with something that needs to have a solution will always be more likely a choice than changing to something new, novel, unknown, not long tried in this different way, not absolutely guaranteed to solve the problem completely and effectively this time and every time. They just won’t want it – and too, the public is not going to waste time finding out about it, if at all possible because they don’t want to be sold anything else by anyone for any reason – ever.
Aeropostale files for bankruptcy, plans to close 154 stores
Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in March and could end up closing all or some of its stores. Women’s evening wear retailer Cache filed for bankruptcy last year and closed all of its more than 200 locations.
Aeropostale on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying in the filing that it was seeking approval to immediately close 154 of its more than 800 stores. Just two weeks ago, its stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because it was trading for just pennies a share.