PHASE 3

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PHASE 3 by Mind Map: PHASE 3

1. DEVELOPING, SOURCING AND ORDERING YOUR PRODUCT.

1.1. I'M DESIGNING SOMETHING BRAND NEW!

1.1.1. This can add several months to your launch but can also be WELL WORTH IT. If appropriate, make sure that you get a design patent on your newly created design to protect it! This will mean that only you can sell it in the US and will protect it from copy cats and also income erosion over time. Watch Adam's interview with Eric Karich on Patents. It is in module 4 and is called "How To Use Patent Law To Cleverly Defend Your Innovation".

1.1.1.1. Engage product designer

1.1.1.1.1. Find a designer on UpWork by searching "industrial designer" or "product designer". We will often engage several designers to start with to see who reveals themselves early as being talented.

1.1.1.1.2. Make sure you do a Skype video call with each designer first so you can get a better fell for them. Good designers are rarely cheap and no matter who you hire, you will be investing months into working with them, so choose carefully!

1.1.1.1.3. Write an inspiring and detailed brief regarding what you are looking for.

1.1.1.1.4. Be very specific about the kinds of things you DO and DON'T like.

1.1.1.1.5. Create a mood board of designs you like

1.1.1.1.6. Possibly make a screen recording of you narrating your thoughts of products on the mood board or while on website (including Amazon) so the designer can get a sense of how you think, what you like, and what you're looking for.

1.1.1.1.7. If possible, make the brief multi-media. Written + photos + video. The better the brief, the better the outcome that you will get.

1.1.1.1.8. Think deeply about materials and their limits. Also think about the impact of using more than one type of material in a product and if that will cause a lot of complexity for manufacturers who may have never worked with that new material and might not have the necessary equipment.

1.1.1.1.9. Have technical drawings done by your designer. These will be used by the patent attorney (see below) to get a design or utility patent on your product

1.1.1.1.10. It is strongly advisable to have them show you sketches of their ideas before they spend a great deal of time creating 3D renders and very detailed finished ideas. This will save you both time and you money.

1.1.1.1.11. Get a 3D file of your new design from your designer. These are usually a .obj or .stl file. You can use these to make digital renders (digital photos) of your products

1.1.1.2. Get design patent

1.1.1.2.1. We recommend Eric Karich

1.1.1.2.2. www.karich.net or [email protected]

1.1.1.2.3. Tell him you are a Reliable Education student.

1.1.1.2.4. He will give you his opinion of whether or not the idea is patentable or not before he charges you.

1.1.1.2.5. Cost about $3,000 and will take several months to secure. You can move forward while that is processing though.

1.1.1.2.6. Watch Adam's interview with Eric on Patents. It is in module 4 and is called "How To Use Patent Law To Cleverly Defend Your Innovation".

1.2. GOT MY DESIGN. I'M READY TO SOURCE A MANUFACTURER!

1.2.1. Watch all of module 4 then follow the steps below.

1.2.2. Create a clear product specification of exactly what you are trying to source. Include as much detail as you can including things such as: dimensions, materials, colours, weights, durability, quality, grade etc

1.2.3. Create a clear brief for your sourcing assistant. Where are they sourcing from? What is their target price? What is most important to you with a supplier?

1.2.4. Shortlist 2-5 suppliers and request samples from each

1.2.4.1. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of who you are ordering what items from

1.2.4.2. Suppliers will often ask for a small fee for samples (which they will often credit against the 1st order if your proceed). This is normal and sorts the pretenders from the real buyers (like you!)

1.2.4.3. They may ask you for your DHL account details. This is not necessary. You can open a DHL account or you can just ask them to send their PayPal details or their bank details to pay them samples.

1.2.4.4. If you have a sourcing agent in China, have samples sent there. They will arrive much faster and for far less money. You can then Skype with your sourcing agent and see the samples and have them send only the best ones.

1.2.5. Stress test the samples

1.2.5.1. Always stress-test the samples by using them how your customers will use them. You would be amazed at how many people don't do this and how obvious the flaws can be!

1.2.5.2. Give them to kids and see how long they last.

1.2.5.3. Assume NOTHING.

1.2.6. Assess proposals from various suppliers

1.2.6.1. English skills

1.2.6.2. Attention to detail

1.2.6.3. Responsivness

1.2.6.4. Willingness to work with your ideas

1.2.6.5. Reference checks on sourcing site

1.2.6.6. Visit their website (if they have one)

1.2.6.7. Price. Within reason, this is not a high priority at this stage.

1.2.7. Select a supplier & place your order

1.2.7.1. Choose the supplier you like the best. Quality of product and ease of communication should be paramount.

1.2.7.2. Prepare your Purchase Order (PO) in accordance with the training provided by Amanda Clarkson in Module 4. If you have Amanda's paperwork, use that to ensure that you get it right. You can buy Amanda's program and documents from the links under her lessons in Module 4.

1.2.7.2.1. A common question is "How much should I order?"

1.2.7.2.2. Use ZonGuru to determine how many units per month page 1 and 2 sellers are selling.

1.2.7.2.3. If you don't want to run out of stock, base your order on 2 months supply of where you plan to rank (if page #1, work out the average sales per month of page #1 sellers and double it). In addition to that, add that many units again for each month that it will takes to manufacture and ship your products into Amazon. So if that's 3 months, you'll need 5 months supply not to run out. That can be a big number when you're launching a new and untested product. See below for advice there.

1.2.7.2.4. It's not the worst thing in the world to run out of stock when you start. The first time you enter the market with a new product, there is a great deal of risk. If you are concerned, just order 2 months supply based on the average sales volumes of the page you are targeting.

1.2.7.2.5. Remember! Always start small! Even if you have $100,000 available to invest, start with $10,000 - $15,000 and build your confidence. The course is NOT a guarantee of success. Every product category is different and there are all kinds of risks along the way. You WILL make mistakes when you start no matter how smart you are so fail small until you know what you're doing through experience in the marketplace.

1.2.7.3. Pay your deposit to supplier. Usually 30% up front and 70% when your order is ready.

1.2.7.3.1. Get an ETA of when the items will be ready. Notify the supplier that you will be sending in an independent inspector to inspect the goods. This will keep them more honest.

1.2.7.3.2. If you have more than one supplier for your product (like a separate packaging company), you will need to coordinate the assembly of your product. That is outside the scope of this mind map. Generally speaking, we recommend keeping the number of suppliers for a single product to a minimum when you're first starting. That being said, complexity can create a moat around your business. There are very few rules that apply to everything on Amazon!

1.2.8. Appoint a product inspector

1.2.8.1. Be sure that you arrange to have your products inspected in the factory on the day they are being packed.

1.2.8.1.1. Watch the interview with Annika Jeppson in Module 1 again.

1.2.8.2. We recommend either LuckyLucky (www.lliff.com) or V Trust (www.v-trust.com)

1.2.8.3. Inspectors are generally good at knowing what to test for. That being said, take the time to write a list of everything that could go wrong or that a manufacturer could do to make their job cheaper, faster or easier. To do this well, you really need to put yourself in the mindset of a manufacturer who is working at scale. Think about all the ways that you could save a cent here or there. It won't come naturally, but that's the way that many manufacturers think. If you haven't specified it, and if you're not checking for it, there is every chance that they will cheapen your order somehow and there's nothing you do about it afterwards.

1.2.8.4. Generally speaking, the inspectors will "pull" about 5%-10% of your order for random inspection. This is normal. From that, they will write a detailed report including photographs. You can have more inspected, it will just cost more money.

1.2.8.5. It is common for products to get a *fail* by the inspectors. This is not a deal breaker. Take a close look at what has failed and make a commercial decision. Very often the points they raise are minor and not worthy of delaying the shipment.

1.2.8.6. Listen to Amanda's training in Module 4 about her experiences in China. This part is one of the highest risk moments in your Amazon journey.

1.2.9. Arrange your freight

1.2.9.1. While your goods are being made, connect your freight forwarder with your manufacturer so they can discuss shipping your goods.

1.2.9.2. We recommend Lucky Lucky as shown in previous steps. TIP: You can search this mind map for keywords in the top right. So search "Lucky Lucky" and it will show you everywhere that their name shows up.

1.2.9.3. It's now time to go to Phase 4 (below) to setup your Amazon listing. You'll need to do that in order to create shipping labels for when you're goods are ready.