Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Be wary of the "Thousand Pound Gorilla"

So, you have an idea or product, some money, and the plan to get into the hunting and fishing industry. Like most start-ups, you will need a good sales force to take it to market. If you haven’t figured out by now, I own Field Dress, a hunting and fishing themed t-shirt company. I did my due diligence and sought out the best rep firms in the industry. After putting the product in their hands, the response was a positive one. One company in particular, whom worked with some top manufacturers lines, wanted to rep the line nationally. While we were in discussions with the terms, the “Thousand Pound Gorilla” reared his ugly head. Most of the giants in the industry have their dirty little fingers in everything. Without naming names or companies, their response was “if you rep “Field Dress” we may have to consider pulling all of our lines.” As a business man, I can understand my rep firm declining my company and bowing to the gorilla, but oh how it hurts.

So the alternative, retain reps with less quality lines, more of them to get to all the states, and oversee all of them to ensure you are getting to market...or…take baby steps and grow at the grass-roots level and take your product to market yourself. At the end of the day, I chose OR. Get the name and/or product in the customer’s hands and when the economy turns around…blast off. My advice if you are just getting started, hold on and take baby steps. Spend your time and money wisely and look for that positive event to happen that indicates blast-off.

Look for these future posts.

American Made vs. Overseas Production

The Big Box Dilemma

From my family to yours, have a safe and wonderful Christmas.

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