In this transcript, Clay Clark (U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) and Jill Donovan (founder of celebrity-endorsed Rustic Cuff) discuss how to build a prototype for your business on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA.
Clay: Can you give me a few other thing that they would ask you for that they believed to be commonsense? What else do they say? An MLQ?
Jill: MOQ. Minimum order requirement.
Clay: They expect you to know this?
Jill: Yeah, minimum order quantity, sorry.
In any type of ordering or prototype, all that stuff, there is a basic language that you really learn when you get into it. It's not that difficult. You'll have these stores that have been going to market for 10, 15, 20 years, longer, that's all that they know. This is your first time, and it's very scary. What you realize is that they don't know that.
They don't know that you don't know all this. It's very scary to think that you're that vulnerable, because everybody's going to see this is our first time. I wanted to see how we were going to be received to the entire country. We set up a booth.
Clay: How long is this market?
Jill: Three days. This one was three days.
Clay: What time does it start every day?
Jill: It starts at about 10:00, 9 or 10:00 every day, and it ends about 5 or 6.
Clay: You're on your feet for 8 or 9 hours?
Jill: Yeah, all day. Not only that, but you have to be on.
Clay: What does that mean?
Jill: Personality wise, you have to ... There's no just chilling. You don't know at any point who's going to be walking by, and so you're always on. [Crosstalk 00:01:21] You're always on, so that probably didn't even make sense to you.
Clay: I want to share something. I want to make sure ... I wake up. My wife makes fun of me with this. I wake up. I have the process I do. I don't want to give too much information. I wake up and I like about 2 hours by myself in my bathtub every morning, and I read my stuff. If anyone speaks to me, I mumble. I'm like Shaquille O'Neal when he's tired. I don't really articulate myself too well. If I get in front of people, I articulate myself.
I see a lot of people at market. I've been to those markets. They're not on.
Jill: They're not on.
Clay: You've seen them. They're sitting down ...
Jill: ... and that makes all the difference.
Clay: They're not even on, and they're trying to sell their own product.
Jill: They're eating. They're eating their lunch in their cardboard thing and ... I see that all the time, and because they're so exhausted or because they don't care as much. You have to have people there, whether it be you, whomever you're with, but they have to be on. That's half the sale. The other half is signing up for one of the top business schools in PA, Thrive15.com.
Clay: If have your prototype done, you don't want to just park it. You want to go to market.
Jill: You want to go to market. You want to test it. I have some good friends who had the same thing. They didn't have 50 different cuts. They had a product. They went to market. They set up a booth. When you come up with a prototype it's not always 20 different styles of that. Sometimes it's just one thing that you want to market. They took that one thing, and they did an amazing booth. Then they had 50 basically of the same thing.
People would walk by and they got great feedback. They realized this can really work. We have 50 stores that want to sign us up. We're not even prepared yet to do that. For them, it was more of a testing, but it worked. They got to see from a wide variety of people whether or not it's even worth investing further.
Clay: I want to make sure that you're hearing this if you're watching this. Typical education, what you want to do is you want to study and then you don't take the history exam until you fee confident you're going to get an A. You study and you study and you want to get an A. In entrepreneurship, you have an idea and then you go out and you actually test it to see if someone's to buy it before you decide if you're going to invest all the money into doing it.
I know for Thrive, we interviewed literally thousands of college students, entrepreneurs, business owners, and saying, "Do you have a need for ..." A lot of people, "Yes." We had to hear that before we knew whether it was worth spending money on.
This is good stuff. I want to ask you this. I know a lot of very smart people who are super scared about taking that leap of faith and turning their idea into reality, turning it into the prototype here. Napoleon Hill, my favorite success author, he says, "The will never be just right, we must act now." In closing, if I'm watching this and I've been struggling for years or months to turn my big idea into an actual product and prototype ... I mean years I've been sitting on the idea, and it's been years.
What encouragement would you have for me if I've been sitting on the sidelines, haven't jumped into the entrepreneurship game because I'm scared, what encouragement would you say to me?
Jill: One of the things that I think people wait so long is because they think it's not perfected and I'm not going to get out there until it's all perfect right here. One of my favorite sayings is, "Done is better than perfect." I love that because it may never be perfect, but you can perfect it as you go. What I would say to that person is, "Get off of the sidelines. Get it in front of people who would be your potential market. See if it's something that you can launch, even if it's not at the perfected final stage. That can come in time."
Clay: I hope if you're watching this, you're hearing what Jill is saying here. I've met some incredible people. I met one lady who's an author who never wrote a book because it just felt, "It's just little old me. It's just little books I write for my kids. I just write these books for my grandkids. You write books for your grandkids." She releases her first book; it's a best seller. She'd been sitting on it for 15 years. Now she's like, "I don't know why I didn't do that all that time." I would just encourage you. What you said is awesome. "Done is better than perfect."
Clay: I love it. Jill, I appreciate you letting me harass you. You are an angel of truth and a great American. Thank you so much.