First active hospitality order

This has been a big week already. Not only did I get my first products that I have ever made from scratch to a customer, I also had my first active hospitality order.

I say “active” as I already had the hotel pilot scheduled for back in April, but that was is still on hold until their occupancy returns to normal. What I have found is that the smaller venues like at bed and breakfasts locations are already full again.

And so, I just received my first “active” hospitality order from my friends at Tallagandra Hill Winery. They have three stand-alone cabins on their site.

Tallagandra Hill Winery
Tallagandra Hill Winery

And while, I really want to eventually sell the single use, aluminium tins in the longer term, it’s not profitable yet until I can really get significant scale. So, I am glad they choose the big bottle option instead for the moment.

Here’s to more business as the Covid-19 restrictions lift and people start travelling again to boost the hospitality industry.

Time to pivot

Our crowdfunding campaign ended yesterday for our Stray No More pet barrier, and unfortunately it didn’t go the way I had hoped. It would be easy to quit right now, but when your mission is strong enough you don’t. Instead, it’s time to pivot.

Time to Pivot

Go/No Go Decision #2

This week is the second of my Go/No Go decision milestones. I’m expecting the manufacturer quotes back this week. While they’re still estimates, the most important numbers are the unit prices. Can I make the products for a reasonable price here in Australia and out of recycled plastic?

If the answer is no, I have to pivot – either by 1) changing the business model or 2) the products. I’m set on making products out of Australian recycled plastic. So, really #2 is the only option. However, if that occurs, it could take me months of market research again to decided what that product should be and then to design it.

That delay would also force me back into the job market – trying to do this business as a side hustle while working full-time in my usual 50-60 hour a week type jobs. I don’t want to do that because I know the business momentum will suffer from my lack of energy and attention.

Right now, I’m trying not to think about this too much. It could still work out after all.

Milestone: Request for Quotes sent to Manufacturers

I sent the design and tender documents to the three manufacturers today. Since I didn’t have any industry experience, that was actually a huge milestone for me and the business. I should be celebrating.

Instead, my monkey brain wants to think about the potential worst case scenarios: the manufacturers not wanting to work with me or the quotes coming in way too high to have a business case.

In a weird way, I welcomed the distraction of having to figure out widgets and custom theme issues with one of my new websites today. IT help desks are starting to become my best friends!

Milestone: Product #1 Design Complete

We continued to finalise Product #1 today. Between emails though, I spent most the day rereading the advertising classic “Ogilvy on Advertising.” It was written in 1983, in the days when television advertising was king. Nevertheless, many of the truths about advertising remain especially copyrighting.

While my To Do list is long, I think that it’s really important that I take some time out weekly (if not daily) to download new ideas and information. Fortunately, this is one good habit I enjoy.

The challenges of working at home with a pet

Nasa, my 18 year old, bossy cat made it impossible to work at home without constant interruptions today. I finally grabbed my laptop and drove to the lake – working from my car all afternoon. Not a bad place for an office, though I don’t want her to think that she’s in charge either.

Despite having to take up office space in my car, we finalised the design for Product #3 today. If I can only afford to fund one product at a time, I reckon this is the one to help all the others just because it’s less complicated from an installation point of view. 🙂

Today, I was also contacted by an executive recruiter for a large international charity CEO role. I respectfully declined. I already have a job – even if it’s not paying yet.  

Milestone: Product #2 design complete

Received final pdf files from my local designer for Product #2. He’ll send CAD files tomorrow. This is just what I need to send a manufacturer. The manufacturer will go through a full review of it to ensure that it will actually meet the functional and technical needs in the best way. I’m sure there will be changes. I already have some concerns about its robustness