What a month it’s been, over the last 5 weeks we’ve shipped out the remaining 30% of our Kickstarter rewards, and been to the Baby Show in London. We approached both of these challenges as beta tests, putting what you have out there before is polished, letting the real-world show you the way and making sure you’re listening.
Making the decision to organise the dispatch of the remaining rewards meant manhandling 145 boxes of stock into a undersized, under heated self-storage unit whilst trying to maintain some sort of order ready for picking and packing. Followed by picking and packing 72 unique orders. It was hard work, 3 days of working in a cramped sub-zero metal box, but it got me up close with the product for an extended period for the first time, and lead to some important developments.
- Optimized external box to minimise packaging and reduce shipping costs.
- Determined important quality-control final checks.
- Spotted patterns of toy selection.
- Pick and pack should be outsourced.
The second major event this month was the London Baby Show. With the benefit of hindsight, this turned out to be a misjudged reaction to the budget sneaking out the back door (see previous blog post). At the time, the Baby Show’s 25,000 expectant parents and a modest target of 20 sales seemed like the obvious solution, and with late-comer discount I was able to get made the gamble risky but not potentially fatal.
What I didn’t realise (but every other toy company seems to) is that expectant parents are thinking prams, car seats and Tommee Tippee’s. Not toys, definitely not toys. Measured in sales (as intended) the show was a complete flop, but luckily I’ve decided to post-rationalise it as a research and branding event, as which, it was a resounding success at which offered important customer insights.
- Customers do not want to choose each toy.
- Pricing model is about right.
- Expectant parents are not thinking about toys yet!
Magically switching goal criteria are a tool exclusively reserved for the one-man band companies. MURO currently falls into this category (hence the recurring I/we confusion!) but not for much longer. Sales through our website are gradually increasing and now we’re (me and MURO) generating revenue I’m much more comfortable starting to hire people.