013 - How To Take A Product From Idea To Market For Under $7000...And It Doesn't Have To Be Your Own Money With Adam Walz




How To Take A Product From Idea To Market For Under $7000...And It Doesn't Have To Be Your Own Money With Adam Walz
Simple Funding methods
choosing manufacturers
how to win on amazon 



Show Notes

Josh Tapp 0:00
What's up everybody? Josh Tapp here again, and welcome back to the lucky entrepreneur podcast. So today we have e commerce master Adam was on the mic. Adam is the CEO of sunshine and Daisy. And he's here today to share with us how to take a product from idea to market for under $7,000. And guess what, guys, it doesn't even have to be your own money. So Adam, let's hop right in. Alright, Adam, so tell us something about yourself that most people don't
Adam Walz 0:26
know. Um, so if I had to say one thing, it would just be that my wife is pretty much the secret to my success. She's kind of behind the scenes with everything you know, I've tried plenty of things and and the one that the one thing that stuck and that's really working is when I took one of her ideas, and kind of just ran with it. So funny how that works. Oh, yeah. Behind every great Matt's a great woman and that's definitely the case for me. So I love that
Josh Tapp 0:58
one. So you basically just Took her company that she had she was selling products. So sunshine and Daisy, you took you took her product and said, hey, let's put it online. Right?
Adam Walz 1:07
Yeah. So she was kind of just making it, you know, giving it out to her friends, her mom, you know what I mean? Like, hey, this is some cool stuff that I made. And I was like, You know what? We, we could package that up and brand it. And I could turn this into something really, really cool. And I just saw that potential because she had a great product and kind of just looked at her one day and said, Hey, you know, do you mind if I sell some of this on the internet and see what happens? Yeah,
Josh Tapp 1:32
I love that. Well, so man, when, when we were talking earlier, you said, you know, you've you've done quite a few different businesses up to this point. So So tell us a little bit about your journey, you know, how you got to where you're at, and we'll kind of go from there.
Adam Walz 1:45
Sure. Okay. So, um, yeah, when I first realized that, you know, I kind of had the entrepreneurial spirit wanted to build a business. I kind of just jumped in online and started looking at different things. And the first thing I got involved with was the affiliate marketing. And you know, I promoted a couple mlms for a while and things like that. Not that there's anything wrong with those business models. There's a lot of people that have a lot of success with them. But it definitely wasn't for me. You know, and I made a little bit of money here and there, but it just, it didn't really stick. I also, you know, then got into some more traditional businesses. I started a lawn care and landscape company and did that for a while, got involved with real estate investing with my brother and started flipping some houses and stuff. And again, though, there's nothing wrong with those business models, either. I think it's really just a personality trait, you know, what, what are you best suited to do? And I found that that wasn't my thing, either. And when I finally set it all in the physical products world, that's that's what really made sense to me. And so that's, that's what we've been doing ever since.
Josh Tapp 2:54
Yeah, I love that. I mean, we were talking before and you know, it's kind of that process of elimination. You know, I I mean, kind of figuring out what you love, you know, and where you want to be long run and what fits best with your goals. What's kind of funny is it's kind of eerily creepy how similar our stories are. A lot of a lot of the same lines, we follow a lot of same lines, but I really, you know, I appreciate that you were able to, to decide on on a business that works well for you. So, let's delve a little bit further into So, you know, you mentioned how you got into the sunshine, a daisy business, you know, selling products online, but, but why why product? Why, you know, tangible products?
Adam Walz 3:34
Yes, so what I really did was, I took my overall my ultimate end goal, and then I just reverse engineer that, you know, I feel like that's really important to know what you want so that you can figure out how to get there. Right And for me, possibly, you know, similar to a lot of other people that that get into entrepreneurship and building businesses. I kind of just didn't want to be stuck in the whole nine to five lifestyle. You know, I see so many other people that were just really just living these lives where they go in these jobs they hate. And they're doing the same thing over and over again day after day just to be able to survive. And I just, for me, I was like, No, like, I can't live that way, I got to figure something out. I've got to build something that I can sell, you know, for a couple million dollars, invest that really, really well. And then kind of go on through my life without having to worry about, you know, I feel like there's something really powerful in that in just knowing that all of your needs are met, so that you can act out of you know, I'm going to do this because I want to I'm going to build a business because of the social impact and to create can create, not because I need the money to survive. And my mission has really been to conquer the challenge of money, you know, get that problem out of the way. So it's like okay, So what what can I do to really solve that problem for myself? And then you look at you look at the physical products world, you know, brands like Dollar Shave Club, Burt's Bees, native deodorants, these are all they started out as small companies that you know, someone built or a small group of people built. And they got acquired by these big brands for 10s of millions of dollars. And it happens all the time. And so I figured, you know, if I want to build a sellable asset that I can use to accomplish my goals, building a physical products, brands, probably the way to go for me.
Josh Tapp 5:38
Yeah, I love that man. I have a random question for you. Did you do any business school at all?
Adam Walz 5:44
Um, so I'm currently in Business School. Um, I'm actually you mentioned that you're working on your MBA. I'm still working on my bachelor's arm so that I can then move on to the NBA.
Unknown Speaker 5:55
I love that.
Adam Walz 5:56
Yeah, and the reason for that is, you know, I've taken I've done a lot Lot of informal business school if you will, yeah, gurus, you know, just people online.
Russell Brunson, you know people like that I learned a lot from them. But as far as formal training, no, not up until this point. I just barely started in in a bachelor's program learning about that the more traditional way. I love that good. Okay. Oh, just because, you know, you never stop learning. There's always different sides to it.
Josh Tapp 6:31
Yeah. I love that. Because what's really the reason I asked that is because you you've basically, like, identified the correct way to build a company. I mean, we've learned in the MBA program, you know, whenever you start a company, you need to know what your exit strategy is. And, and for you, you know, you're building it not to make it 100 million dollar company for yourself. You're saying, Hey, I could probably take this to where it's worth 1 million $2 million, and then I could get acquired. Absolutely, that that's a huge deal to me. Know that direction you're going because and I think especially in the space you're in, right. I mean, in e commerce, it's pretty, pretty hard to take it further than that without kind of the big funding behind you. Correct?
Adam Walz 7:11
Right. Right. Absolutely. And big funding. I mean, I've been able to raise a little bit of money for this company, and we'll get into that, but I'm definitely not, I don't have the connections to be able to walk into a Silicon Valley office and say, Hey, I need $10 million, you know,
Josh Tapp 7:27
yeah. Especially because let's we'll get into the funding in a second but like you're saying, you know, it's starting a physical products business can be a little bit more expensive. So kind of walk us through the process of, of development, you know, from idea to sale, what does it kind of take to take a physical product online?
Adam Walz 7:45
Okay, absolutely. So, I mean, I guess, do we want to get into like private labeling and how all that works, or kind of just how we started ours?
Josh Tapp 7:56
I'd like to kind of how you started yours how you were able to get to Amazon.
Adam Walz 8:02
Okay, so so the first thing we did
you know, we we knew what we wanted to do, we kind of had a general idea. So I hopped on 99 designs COMM And I had somebody design a logo. And as soon as we had a logo we basically said, okay, we don't really know what we're doing here. But we need to get something out into the world. And so we just launched a GoFundMe and we had we didn't even have our our product yet we just had a logo. My wife was making some soap but we didn't have like boxes with packaging, nothing. We kind of just had this idea and we just threw it out there and and you know, started talking to all our family and friends about it. Like, hey, we're doing this. It's serious. We ended up raising about 1600 dollars through our GoFundMe campaign. And it really didn't even pay for itself. We actually lost money on that campaign when it but when it was all said and done, we had to get our packaging designed and printed. And everything that went into it. But most importantly, it, it got the idea out into the world, we now had all this public accountability, everyone knew that we were trying to do this. And so there's, there's all this pressure to not screw it up, you know, it's like I have to make this work. Now people have bought in and purchase this product when I don't even have it to give it to them yet, you know, right. And so, yeah, so that was that was how we first got out there. And then I was like, Well, now Now we have to do this, and we need money. And so that's when I decided to start raising some money. Yeah. And that was that was actually fairly simple. I feel like it's just a matter of doing it. It's something that I'd never done before. But I knew that I'm an effective communicator, I knew that I could make it happen, you know. So what I did was I just spent about a week putting together this PowerPoint, you know, just laying out my vision what I wanted to do how I was to kind of do it and then I just found the two people that I thought were most likely to want to invest into me. One was a coworker, one's a close friend that I've known for years. And I just gave each of them my pitch and they ended both, they both ended up investing $3,000 and so at that point, I had six grand to work with, which paid for inventory advertising. And that's we kind of use that capital to be able to springboard and and launch on Amazon.
Josh Tapp 10:28
I love that. So did you have to like give up equity for that? Or did you kind of treat it more like a loan?
Adam Walz 10:34
So I did give a small piece of equity for that. It would have been nice to do it as alone, but at the same time, I needed a really compelling reason for why these people should give me several thousand dollars, right? When I don't really have much to show. So
Josh Tapp 10:52
yeah, well, it's it's that I mean, if you don't have the resources yourself, be resourceful. Right? And I really like that you're able to go out and do that because most people aren't willing To do that,
Adam Walz 11:02
yeah. I mean, it definitely, it wasn't within my comfort zone. But I also believe in using fear as a compass, you know, and if something scares you, it's like, Hmm, maybe that's, maybe I should, you know, why does that scare me? Maybe there's something to be gained from doing it. And so, yeah, that's how we kind of just created some value out of thin air and
made our company a real thing.
Josh Tapp 11:27
I love that, man. That's awesome. Well, so once once you got the printing, funding and everything, did you just start? Did you keep making the soap yourself? Or do you guys have a manufacturer that does it for you? Oh, good question. So yeah,
Adam Walz 11:39
we we actually, we made our first couple of batches ourselves, and then we outsourced it as quickly as we possibly could. Yeah. So I actually found a company in Wisconsin on they were willing to take our recipes and do it the way that we wanted them to. And it's actually cheaper for us to pay them to do it. than it is for us to do it ourselves. Plus we save all the time, right? Because they can do everything on a larger scale. So without sacrificing quality, you know, it's still handmade, it's still up to up to par with what we wanted. But, um, yeah, I feel like outsourcing as much as possible is is the way to go, especially in this day and age where it's so relatively simple to just find other people to take care of the things that you're not necessarily equipped to do, such as running a manufacturing plant at
Josh Tapp 12:33
your house. Yeah. That's so true. Well, I was just curious if you guys did that. Because I mean, even if, I mean, when you're starting a business out, I mean, you can do the first couple batches, but like you're saying, a lot of times it's cheaper to just do it through somebody else. And it's just a matter of, you know, being able to go out and and communicate with people and figure out who could do it for you for cheaper. So I love that. So do they send in? I'll go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 12:57
No, go ahead.
Josh Tapp 12:58
So do they send it you Does your manufacturer send it directly to a Amazon warehouse then? Or how does that work?
Adam Walz 13:05
Almost. So we there's a separate company that prints the packaging for us. And so our manufacturer sends it to the printing company, the printing company handles the third party logistics. So they package it up, they print the boxes, packs, package it up, and then ship it to Amazon. So we are to the point where we don't have to actually even look at our own product, except when we order some for ourselves to keep keep it on stock.
Josh Tapp 13:30
Right? I love that. That's so awesome. So you know that that's the process, really, I mean, like you're saying is if you can get somebody to the packaging and the manufacturing, and then you can ship it to Amazon. That's the value of Amazon. I mean, that takes care of pretty much your entire process and you don't really have to do much at that point.
Adam Walz 13:48
Yes. And the other really important thing about Amazon especially if you're trying to sell any sort of physical product on Russell Brunson, you know, he talks a lot about this like go where the customers already are Figure out who your customer is, and then put your product in front of them. Right? Because they're already buying it from someone else. Amazon is the ultimate example of that for physical products. Like they're literally like I was looking at it. And there are thousands and thousands of people searching for products similar to ours every single day. Yeah. Right. And so I would be crazy not to take advantage of that. And, and, you know, I mean, I only need a small sliver of that traffic to have a very, very successful business. Yeah. I love that just makes that a whole lot more simple because you've already got the buyers there, just put yours in front of it, make it a little bit better than your competitors. And there you go.
Josh Tapp 14:38
Well, what's awesome is you literally were able to do that with $6,000 in capital. I mean, that's, that's pretty impressive.
Adam Walz 14:45
That's, yeah, that's the world we live in. Man. It's kind of crazy. Um, there's, there's really no excuse not to not to if you want to succeed and you want to get out there and do something big in the world. It's like all of the burial barriers have been taken away by technology.
Josh Tapp 15:02
Absolutely. When the fact that I mean, most of us when we look at physical products business say, oh man, that's just a headache. It's gonna be expensive. I mean, you're starting that up for the cost of, you know, a small small car, small used car, you know? Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Well, so once you're on Amazon, right, there's so many different products on there. How do you guys make yourself stand out?
Adam Walz 15:25
I liked that question on what we did. So we looked at our competitors, and then just tried to improve on that a little bit. I noticed that in the niche I was going into, there wasn't there weren't a whole lot of sophisticated sellers. It was kind of just companies that in my opinion, from my point of view, just kind of ended up on Amazon because they knew it was the right thing to do. Right didn't really have very optimized listings. Their pictures were pretty weak. They didn't have any infographics. And so for me, coming from a digital marketing standpoint It was pretty simple to go in there and just be like, Okay, how can I make my my picture look a little bit better? How can I get some infographics that really lay out the benefits? I also looked at some of my top competitors looked at their negative reviews. Um, one thing I noticed, for example, this is a bar soap I noticed that one of my top competitors, they had several comments saying that they're skewed their soap left like a filmy residue on their on on your skin. Yeah, just just as an example. And so I made it a point to put in one of our infographics. No filmy residue will not leave any residues on your skin. You know what, right? So kind of just standing out that way, because apparently that's a pain point for people. So we just want to solve that.
Josh Tapp 16:47
And that's awesome. Because the other soaps aren't doing that they're putting a picture up and saying, here's our soap. It smells like flowers. Right?
Adam Walz 16:54
Right. Exactly. Yeah, not not a whole lot of branding. They're not targeting a specific end. Individual I was I was able to really put some of my other skills that are usually more reserved for like digital products and things like that I was able to take that knowledge and kind of translate it onto the, onto the product that I was selling. And that's what helped me kind of differentiate.
Josh Tapp 17:18
Yeah. Well, I love the approach you took, I mean, that's the funnel hacking approach, right? I mean, you're going into your competitors, and you're saying, What is everybody complaining about? Because they're loud. I mean, the complaints are always the loudest. Right? And if they're complaining about something, you can say, oh, I'll just add that in mind or, you know, tweak my product or whatever I have to do to make sure that I'm you know, satisfying that need for people so that's super awesome.
Unknown Speaker 17:41
Josh Tapp 17:42
So on the on the the topic of branding, though, we've talked about this a little bit, you know, you and I before but what I really liked was how you talked about, you know, sunshine a daisy isn't a soap company, right? So go into that a little bit and like the branding and how you guys are planning moving forward.
Adam Walz 17:58
Sure. Yeah. So we're we're selling company on what we did was we started with with our customer and then we kind of figured out I mean, obviously we have the soap already on because she was already making it and that's kind of how it started. Well, I want to sell this soap because it's it's really good and we can make some money doing it. But at that point we had to build a brand right and so we said okay, so what? What's an individual who need whose needs aren't being met? My wife was pregnant at the time, our first kid and that was the inspiration again, she's always the inspiration.
Josh Tapp 18:31
Girl around.
Unknown Speaker 18:33
Kidding. Yeah, man.
Adam Walz 18:35
Yeah, man. I could go on and on about my wife. But
yeah, so we decided on moms like like who is an individual whose needs really aren't being met, like who needs some some extra care and attention. psych moms I feel like are so stressed out. They feel as though they can't really They can't focus on themselves, right? Because they're constantly taking care of all their little kids running around that needs so much attention. So there's, there's all this like giving of themselves,
Unknown Speaker 19:11
right? And it was like, What
Adam Walz 19:13
if What if we came from an angle of like, Hey, you know, you know, kudos to you for doing that, but don't forget about yourself. Right, right. And so then from that point on all of our messaging, all of our branding, you can see on our Facebook page, the way that we create engagement is basically creating content for stressed out moms. And that's kind of our bait is like draw like, um, we draw the we draw the similarity between like, sorry, we, that's how that's how we that's kind of how we attract our customers. We rose messaging around like, Hey, you know, you need time to relax. Our product helps you do that. So we we identified the payment And then use it to solve that problem.
Josh Tapp 20:03
Yeah. Which is so awesome because you're able to brand yourself then. I mean, really, you're like, I'm here to help moms. No actually do self care.
Adam Walz 20:13
Yeah, absolutely. In a nutshell. Yeah. I was like, going way around the, like,
explaining that with way too many words. But yeah, that's
Josh Tapp 20:24
nuts. All right, you're doing great. I love that. Well, man, that's awesome. So I mean, you guys have been able to get your product on Amazon yourselves moving forward. So what what's kind of been one of the big obstacles recently that you've been able to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Adam Walz 20:38
Okay, so recently, I noticed that we we weren't really we kind of hit a bit of a peak. Like, we stopped getting more sales like we were we topped out at a certain number of sales a day, and it just wasn't really growing. And I tried running ads and I tried doing all these different And I really just couldn't, couldn't get past that that ceiling. But then I'm looking at my competitors. And I'm like, they're making a lot more sales than this. So obviously, this isn't we haven't tapped out our potential here. And right now, I mean, revenue was decent, but nowhere near the goals that we wanted to hit on. And so I really just again, you know, took a closer look at what they were doing and how I could improve it. And at the moment, we've got three cents, right? And we're just selling them individually, you know, you buy one bar soap at a time, and we've got like a bundle discount going and things like that, but we really just have three individual varieties and a lot of the top top listings in our category are selling these six packs. So you know, we looked at that and said, Well, if that's what they're doing, and that's what I don't know why six is the magic number of bars of soap to sell together. But apparently that's, you know, they they're the ones with the arrows in there. And that's what they've got on on. That's what they've got. And so we just needed to join that. And so yeah, so I hit up my designer, I was like, hey, I need three new boxes, contacted our manufacturer, like hey, we need to come out with three new scents helped me out here and kind of just put all that into into motion emotion. And yeah, we're about to be able to to join the ranks of the of the six pack sellers. And I should I should help us out a lot. Yeah,
Josh Tapp 22:28
yeah, cuz I mean, people are gonna buy one they're like, Wow, my low buy six.
Adam Walz 22:32
Yeah, at a discount. And I think people give them out as like gift boxes and things like that, which Yeah, totally fits what we're trying to do.
Josh Tapp 22:40
Right, especially with the direction of your company. That's awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that man. So when when you're having these issues and stuff, though, where do you turn for help? Like, who do you follow? Who's your mentors? How do you how do you go about it?
Adam Walz 22:54
So Ryan Moran is definitely my number one mentor for the physical product space. He is someone who puts out a lot of free content around how to build companies because he makes his money in investing in physical product brands. So he kind of, you know, he puts out a lot of different things to try and help people out with building them from the ground up. So that there's more opportunity for him in the world to invest. And so that's, that's what I look at the most is his, you know, his content, really, podcasting podcasts is is how I absorb most of my information. It's nice to be able to listen to that while I'm going about my business and doing my daily life. Just pop some audio in so I'm also learning at the same time. And yeah, just depending on what what question I have or what type of obstacle it is. There's going to be different podcasts that that will typically answer my questions.
Josh Tapp 23:58
Yeah. I love that. Just so you know, I pray your request we actually got Ryan, he'll he'll be coming on to our podcast here in like November I think so sweet. We'll have him on. I'll ask him some questions you've got,
Unknown Speaker 24:10
guys. That's cool. That's cool. Looking forward to that,
Josh Tapp 24:14
for sure. Well, hey, man. So before we before we sign off here, you know what's a what's a last parting piece of guidance you have for us? And then how can people connect with you?
Adam Walz 24:24
Um, so I would just say, you know, if you're, if you're starting a business or wanting to start a business and haven't really taken that first step yet, again, I would just say just get something out into the world. start telling people about it. Even if you feel like you don't have a lot to offer yet. Just start talking about it. Just get it out into the world. You'll be amazed what type of opportunities start to open up. For me it was like people being willing to like just give me money in order to start it you know, I never thought that would happen. But I just put it out there and started doing things you don't have to know exactly what you're doing you just have to have an end goal in mind and just start taking action and it really really will come together so that's that's my two cents as far as connecting with me if you want to kind of funnel hack my business and my marketing strategy I would just look up my my business Facebook page, Facebook, excuse me facebook.com slash sunshine Daisy life you can see exactly what's working for us as far as what type of content we're putting out there how we're directing people to our product. So that should it be helpful as far as me personally I don't have much of like a personal presence online. I don't really consider myself like an influencer or anything but feel free to look me up on Facebook. Shoot me any questions you have facebook.com slash Adam was CEO, you can find me there.
Josh Tapp 25:52
Awesome. Well, we'll have links to all of those within the description as well so people can connect with you and kind of see your website and everything. So Cool. Awesome, Adam, thanks for for hopping into this call with us. And we will catch you soon. Okay, appreciate it. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the software's and tools that call for your attention and for your money, but you never know which ones work well for your business. I personally have worked with over 100 companies and every single company has different tools that work well for them. But I found the few specific tools that work well for every business and I've made a resources page that you can access at the lucky entrepreneur.com slash resources. On that page, we've got trainings that will teach you how to use the tools effectively, what businesses they work best for, and then how to access them and get discounts on them all through our resources page. So if you'd like access to those resources, go to the lucky entrepreneur.com slash resources. Once again, that's the lucky entrepreneur.com slash resources.
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