Sales Channels are More Than Just Ebay and a Website
When we first started selling online we thought, ok, I have a product I can sell on my website and maybe ebay. Once we started selling large volumes we had people contact us about selling the product, we had to learn about drop shipping and wholesale account management.
As store owners contacted us we had to create price lists and policies to keep the company growing. We learned quickly when someone was window shopping for a price list, comparing us to another company or coming to us looking to be a drop shipper under the guise that their intention was to stock a product.
College Campus Tours Don't Pay Off for Startups
We had several college tour companies approach us and some tailgate companies as well and we decided this was a good way to spread the word about our brand and invested some serious dollars into it.
Well, we learned that college road tours only benefit the person putting them on, sponsorships are expensive and cost precious inventory to start ups. These tours also require you to be on top of them to ensure your brand is well supported during the program.
At the end of the day unless your giving away something free during the tour people don't care how great it is. Only major brands with unlimited marketing dollars really benefit from these events since they can afford the supplementary advertising locally and nationally to keep the product in peoples sights.
The Branded Energy Drink Was a Bad Investment
We found whenever we went to events, the big brands with beverages would line up to hand us cases of their beverage to use with our product. The only problem was their logo and brand was being promoted alongside ours and they refused to do anything more than leave a case at our feet .
So we figured we'd create our own private label energy drink, “PORTOPONG X: The extreme beverage of beer pong players." After getting the product -- which tasted amazing compared to other brands -- we found that unless we were giving it away or making our own drinks at home it was too expensive to ship it around or try to sell it off. The investment was a misplaced one but a fun idea all the same.
Jerry Piscitelli is the co-founder of PORTOPONG LLC, the world’s first inflatable beer pong table company. A fun product by nature but like any business owner determined to succeed it has tested Jerry’s background in public relations, web design, graphic arts, and social media marketing while expanding his depth of knowledge in retail and consumer behavior.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business's development and growth.