(Continued from Toilet Alarm Clock – Part 1)
The internet is full of information. And a lot of it is useless. It’s almost a science to know how to find helpful information. You would think you could type __________ manufacturing into the mighty Google and a plethora of useful links would pop up. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many of the search results that show up at the top are the companies that pay top dollar to get that position. These companies can pay big bucks to get there because they are hauling in big bucks. They do business with well established brands that have deep pockets. Developing a product for a complete amateur isn’t exactly on their to do list. In fact, it’s not on it at all. Manufacturers, especially oversees ones, deal in minimum orders. They usually require you to purchase at least 2,000 units. So, let’s say each unit is $10 from the factory. You’re in $20,000 deep for just the first order.
Not to mention, oversees manufacturers are in foreign countries. Slight problem; they speak a foreign language. How the heck am I supposed to communicate with them? I don’t even know any of the important terms for this type of industry. I was ready to give up and roll back onto the ground.
I stuck it out for a couple more searches and struck gold. So I thought. Here we go, a manufacturer that is only about 5 hours away and works with start ups. How lucky am I . . . they do consulting and construct prototypes. Everything on their website looked good and I liked what I was seeing. I did a little research about the company in a couple forums and everything check out alright. I decided to email them to see if they could help me out.
It’s kind of amazing now a days with social media and information overload that everyone has to have some comedian in them. You’ve got to stand out a little if you want to get someone’s attention. (It’s too bad because it creates the annoying “one-upper” type person.) I realized that this manufacturing company probably got hundreds of emails a day from people like me that thought they had a fantastic idea. They were pretty much the only company I found after hours of research that stated they work with amateurs.
So, the subject line of an email becomes your audition. You’ve got to pass the eye test and compel them to click on it. I went with “College student with an idea so good I will no longer have to sleep my way to the top.” A little long? Absolutely. But, they responded. And God, how I now wish they didn’t . . .
It’s funny how sometimes you think you caught a lucky break and it really turns out to a shitty situation. Kind of like having a toilet siren for an alarm clock . . .
Lets hear from you . . . do you get frustrated with researching on the internet? When you really want a response from someone via email, how do you prepare your subject line?
Cheers to sharing!