In this transcript, Clay Clark (U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) and Jill Donovan (founder of celebrity endorsed, Rustic Cuff) discuss the importance of emailing in business and mass production on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA.
Clay: Now, are there ... I'm just telling you this. I've dealt with a lot of entrepreneurs and things, especially with Thrive and I've been told by a lot of our venture capitalists, "Hey, if you want me to sign an NDA, I'm not going to, and I'm not going to meet with you either." I say, "Well why?" Because I'm in business to make money and entrepreneurs constantly pitch me ideas and I'm not going to limit my ability to produce stuff in this sector of the market just because you feel like you have God's gift to this industry. I have been told by a lot of people that it's very hard to get someone to sign an NDA and even harder to enforce it. I've been told, "Don't even worry about it, really, when you're dealing with overseas." Do you agree with that?
Jill: Yeah, I mean good luck if you can actually get them to sign it, but you probably could, but getting to enforce it is in a completely different ...
Clay: It almost becomes a barrier to doing business, though, is my thought. Anything else you need to have their, Jill? I mean, should you be emailing from a gmail? I see a lot of entrepreneurs who are like, their email is greg@ ... like it is gregs ... It's like email@example.com. That's his email. So like, yeah, so what was your name? Well, I'd like to hire you, Mr. Clark, as a consultant to help me grow my business and I'm like, "Oh, awesome. So what's the name of your business?" "It's, you know, Greg's ... ", and they name it, "Greg's Automotive." I'm like, "Okay. What's your email?" "Greglikestoparty74@yahoo.com." Like, "Really?" It sort of eats away at the credibility. Do you recommend you have at least like, firstname.lastname@example.org or clay@rusticcuff or, you know ... ?
VIDEO: Lesson Nugget: In a lot of cases focusing on an NDA will limit your business, and will make you more difficult to work with.
Jill: You don't have to. One thing you have to remember is that the factories are in the business of making money too, okay? You're not necessarily representing the factory. They just want, they want to make for pe-, they don't care necessarily where you're taking the product or about you. It doesn't matter if your email is a business email or if it's your personal email. It doesn't matter necessarily if you're buying all these and you're just going to stay in your home. They just want to sell to you, these factories.
Clay: Okay. They just want to sell to you.
Jill: Well, my point is that, yes, it is great for them, ultimately, if you go out and you sell them and then you make some more. But they're in the business of making money, you have to remember that. So it's not necessarily where they're interviewing you, okay? It's not something that you should fear. Like you have to, oh my gosh, they're not going to like me or they're not going to like what I do. They just want to know that you have the money to pay for the product that they're going to make.
Clay: Does that feel like, do you think it hurts at all your ability to negotiate a minimum order if you don't have your website or you don't have the dimensions of your stuff together when they ask you?
VIDEO: Lesson Nugget: Manufacturers are in the business of making money. Don't worry about getting them to "like you," if you are able to pay them, they will likely do business with you.
Jill: Yes, absolutely. It helps to have a good presentation of you and your product, but ultimately, you have to remember, this is just, I'm saying this to take some of the fear factor down.
Clay: Yeah, this is good.
Jill: You are not on an interview with them. Look at it as, you are interviewing them, not them interviewing you.
Clay: Okay, you are interviewing them.
Jill: Yeah. It's not this thing where, oh my gosh, they're not going to like me. They're not going to think this is good enough or that I'll sell enough. Ultimately, they just want to know, do you have the dollars to back up the order that you're going to place?
You can find out more about this on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA.
VIDEO: Editor's Note: "Dear Factory, here is $10,000.00 and a couple crates of porcupines. Please create my porcupine golf clubs."
Clay: That's huge.
Jill: Okay, so it takes a lot of the fear out of it. When I started contacting different factories, I looked at, okay, listen. You all want my business. I'm going to interview you to see which one I think is the best product and the best communication.
VIDEO: Lesson Nugget: You are interviewing the manufacturer, not the other way around. You decide which factory GETS to create your product.
Clay: You have to go into it with that attitude that Jill's talking about here. You absolutely have to have the attitude that you're interviewing them, because if not, you'll get it all messed up and it can only take a week. You want to come across with a little bit of strength in you.
Jill: It's not like, will you accept me and my small order? It's like, hey, I'm going to give you the opportunity for a smaller order with the potential of something big. Are you willing to accept it? If not, guess what? There are a thousand more that can do what you do.
Clay: Did you have all the documents that they wanted when they ... Like when you first contacted the factories, did they ask you for stuff that you didn't have? Did they say, "Oh, go ahead ad send us over the ... ", and you're like, "Uh, what's that?"
Jill: They did talk a language that I did not know. I had to Google some of the terms.
Clay: Yeah. What were some terms that just blew your mind. You were like, what are they ...
Jill: I wouldn't necessarily say blow my mind, but they use a lot of initials. MOQ, which we've talked about before, was minimum order quantity. CAD drawings. Things that I had ... you know, I'm just used to hand-drawing out things. They'd say, "Send over a CAD drawing." Which is a very specific, very, very detailed lengths, dimensions, everything about your product. Anything and everything that they would need to know in order to build your product.
VIDEO: Lesson Nugget: Familiarize yourself with the lingo and common abbreviations before talking with manufacturers.