Next direction for business question

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Cryhav0c

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I created a company 3.5 years ago with the intention of developing and test marketing a specific line of products. Utilizing FDM/3D printing, I developed many products with hundreds of variations. Several of these products have been issued patents by the USPTO, (7 to date with more to come).

From the beginning, the demands on getting the products to the consumer to be tested were challenging due to popularity and the limited manufacturing capabilities we possessed. During this testing phase, before the actual company existed, we made too much revenue and were forced to create an LLC.

The company has generated .75M in revenue utilizing the aforementioned technology while producing only a fraction of it's products with only 2 employees handling all aspects.

We now have an established national recognized brand comprising 9 Internet domains, an eCommerce website, a Facebook page with 14-15 thousand followers, 2 trademarks and 7 patents.

We had been awaiting the issuance of our last patent, (as it is integral to other products), before beginning to explore options on how to proceed.

This company, which is in the sporting goods area, has been featured on several radio talk shows and currently partners with another nationally recognized brand that hosts a "giveaway" show every week and they profile and recommend our products.

Our products are available and well reviewed via, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Gunbroker.com, eBay and others along with our e-commerce website.

The dilemma: We are not connected in our industry. We have absolutely no contacts to reach out to regarding how to proceed/what to do next.

I met with a SCORE rep yesterday and they were astounded at what we had managed to accomplish and after reviewing the materials projected a very, very healthy future for the company, (yes they threw some interesting numbers around).

This is our first attempt at anything like this and honestly aren't sure what would be the best next thing to do.

Not sure where to take this. Any advise/suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

djbaxter

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Can you not google the industry or product category and get contacts from the websites returned?
 

Cryhav0c

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Getting to the correct people is a major challenge. Most of these types of people guard their contact info and understandably so. They would receive a deluge of unwanted request otherwise. I do wish it were that easy. Thanks tho.
 
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I'll recommend hiring a good publicist, preferably one with an extensive list of contacts. A well connected one can be very instrumental in opening doors for you to establish the sort of relationships that will propel your business. Be prepared to pay them well, either in cash or stocks...or a combination of both.
 

GordonJ

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I created a company 3.5 years ago with the intention of developing and test marketing a specific line of products. Utilizing FDM/3D printing, I developed many products with hundreds of variations. Several of these products have been issued patents by the USPTO, (7 to date with more to come).

From the beginning, the demands on getting the products to the consumer to be tested were challenging due to popularity and the limited manufacturing capabilities we possessed. During this testing phase, before the actual company existed, we made too much revenue and were forced to create an LLC.

The company has generated .75M in revenue utilizing the aforementioned technology while producing only a fraction of it's products with only 2 employees handling all aspects.

We now have an established national recognized brand comprising 9 Internet domains, an eCommerce website, a Facebook page with 14-15 thousand followers, 2 trademarks and 7 patents.

We had been awaiting the issuance of our last patent, (as it is integral to other products), before beginning to explore options on how to proceed.

This company, which is in the sporting goods area, has been featured on several radio talk shows and currently partners with another nationally recognized brand that hosts a "giveaway" show every week and they profile and recommend our products.

Our products are available and well reviewed via, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Gunbroker.com, eBay and others along with our e-commerce website.

The dilemma: We are not connected in our industry. We have absolutely no contacts to reach out to regarding how to proceed/what to do next.

I met with a SCORE rep yesterday and they were astounded at what we had managed to accomplish and after reviewing the materials projected a very, very healthy future for the company, (yes they threw some interesting numbers around).

This is our first attempt at anything like this and honestly aren't sure what would be the best next thing to do.

Not sure where to take this. Any advise/suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Great. Good start, and some advice since you asked.

What and where do you want to be in 5 years? You have several LUCRATIVE options, depending on how much actual time YOU want to spend with the running of the business.

Because you are building a wall of protection around your products, via Patents and Trademarks, you are also laying a foundation of either a buyout, or licensing deals.

The buyout, which will take a couple of years to get positioned, could put retirement or investment money in your pocket pretty quickly, if you stay lean and hungry. You may have to hire employees to keep up with demand.

YOU could create licensing for these and limit the number, several options along this route. Lump sum, start of business year and ongoing % of sales, or % of sales, or any combinations you can think of. Licensees could be regional distributors, or wholesalers too. You may want to get these in stores like Walmart, or relevant retail, including online stores too.

It all depends on your plan, what you would like to do with your assets, and as you increase sales, get an established front runner or two, a high demand high profit item which could be the cornerstone of your business.

So, before boring you to tears, the best advice I have for now, is to sit down with family (if you have wife or significant other) or any partners, and think of the next five years and what you would want the end of that time period to look like. How much money will you have made? How many products will you have developed?

Do you want to flip the business or any given product quickly for extra start-up capital? Sorry, I have far more questions at this point, but if you work from an END RESULT whatever the time frame, and can get a clear idea of what you want from that...then, a PLAN might become easier to build and you can define the steps you need to take to reach the goal.

Good luck, but I don't think you need it, just a little long term focus for now.

GordonJ
 
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