How to get your bits out there??

darwinius
darwinius Posts: 12
edited July 2009 in MTB general
I've set up a business developing bits 'n' bobs for the biking community. I have some samples, a website and so on and have placed a few bits on the internet auctions, been to see shop managers, been to one or two events, etc, etc. Result - not even a sniff!!!! Maybe the stuff is naff? Maybe we're just not selling / marketing them effectively? It is still early days but go on......

.....I wondered if anyone has tried, successfully or unsuccessfully, to do something similar? If so do you have any do's or don't's that you'd freely share, 'cos I feel a different approach is needed.
Ta
Stuff we're working on........
www.muckynutz.com

Comments

  • Dirtydog11
    Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    edited July 2009
    I think you need to get your name out there.

    Everybody knows Thompson, Easton, Hope etc but they will never of heard of Muckynutz.

    I think a Magazine review would do you the world of good, how you would go about getting one I'm not sure.

    Fenwicks for example only used to make caravan cleaner until some bright spark wrote into MBR and told eveyone what good value for money it was. The letter was published on the readers tips page. Now they have a line of products catering for the Mountain Biker. The point is I dont think they would have been as succesful if it hadn't of been for the Magazine article.

    I had a look on your site. I am not to keen on the bottle cap idea but thats just me, as for the rotors, well there's a lot of established companys already making them.

    The question is why would I choose a Muckynutz rotor over a Hope or Formula? Your not really offering anything I couldn't get from an already trusted and established manufacturer.

    On the other hand that emergency Mech hanger you have under development looks like a good idea and as far as I am aware no one else is making them (I could be wrong). There could well be a niche in the market for something like that.

    Basically I think you need to promote the brand and the sales will follow.

    Duncan Bannatyne
  • send some free samples to all the biking mags.
  • kitenski
    kitenski Posts: 218
    Have you spent any time working on your Google rankings so when people search google for 'bar ends' they find your page?

    Google webmaster tools & google analytics may be a good starting point so you can see how peope find your page and start to track usage etc.


    Regards,

    greg
  • mikeage
    mikeage Posts: 150
    edited July 2009
    try taking a few round the local bike shops in your surrounding area, showing them your product and see if they will take a small run off you. maybe with the bar plugs, knock up a little 'display' type thing so they can have maybe 5 sets in the mini-display just sat on the counter or something. not something I'd buy personally but I can see them selling, just a little thing that might catch someones eye at the till like.

    I think with shops, the boss has a range of products that sell, and doesnt want to be putting effort into pushing a new product, so you have to go to them with a full solution, hence the idea for packaging/display type thing. give them the full works so selling them is an easy job for their staff!
  • BlackSpur
    BlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    Have a look at Superstar Components - this is a new, internet based company run by one guy, yet they are already a pretty big name.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • Dirtydog11
    Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    BlackSpur wrote:
    Have a look at Superstar Components - this is a new, internet based company run by one guy, yet they are already a pretty big name.


    Mmm yeah................. but they also do a lot of magazine advertising.

    I reckon the OP could drop them a E -Mail though, you never know they may be able to offer some advise. Its not like they're going to be competing as they have a different product line up.
  • adb1006
    adb1006 Posts: 938
    Send me some freebies and i'll spread the word :wink:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    some samples to fellow riders who in return will take loads of pics and talk about your stuff on the trails to other riders...
  • amt27
    amt27 Posts: 320
    this may sound harsh, sorry in advance,

    but I could download a knock off copy of Solidworks and could design and FEA test all the parts you have made and build a website to go with it, within about 4 hours,

    a few points:
    1. you have no pictures of the real products on your website, just CAD renderings,
    2. is there anything innovative about your products? why are your rotors better than others or aren't they? - if you are not innovative you are going to have to perform on price, are you the cheapest?
    3. who are you? you say you have worked in industry, for who? what skills do you have?

    get yourself an agent or distributor, sales is an important skill built up over time, you cant do both, design and sell, either employ someone to do it or contract it out to someone, business is pretty much about building up contacts and relationships, sponsor someone to use your product,
  • Flenser
    Flenser Posts: 372
    adb1006 wrote:
    Send me some freebies and i'll spread the word :wink:

    Same here. :lol:
    Claud Bulter Cape Wrath D27 (2009)
    Raleigh MaxLite FS1 (2001)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    personally, i like the bar ends, i think they are an interesting way of doing something so simple. i would buy some if i happened across them. definately.

    if i have read it correctly, your brands are all british? play on this one big time, loads of folk will be happy to support british manufacturing and if you can do it without taking the pi55 on pricing, you will b golden.

    honest truth is that nowt will get done without advertising.

    maybe tip up to some events and dish out freebies, this will get the tintrnet forums talking and before you know it, you will be a millionaire.

    ps, send me some freebies.
  • Harry182
    Harry182 Posts: 1,169
    Try posting on bike related forums. :wink:
  • darwinius
    darwinius Posts: 12
    Right, all comments have been constructive so far, positive and negative, so thank you to all.

    To be honest to ourselves as much as everyone else; this is all a bit of fun that we hope will take off to be something more but are not naive enough to think we're gonna be millionaires overnight.

    Don't get me wrong! It would obviously be nice to sell products because then we know our ideas are recognised and justified and we can throw any money back into developng more ideas and messing about even more.

    Picking up on some of the points made:
      I have someone who is prepared to do some direct sales for us. He's experienced in sales if not cycling, converse to the rest of us. This will free the rest of us up to come up with more ideas and muck about.
      We have handed a few out to freinds and fellow cyclists for them to review and feedback comments directly.
      We had thought about sending a few sampes to magazines for them to review. Whether they do or not is another thing. I don't expect it to be as simple as that but go on! If you don't try it won't happen.
      Regarding the website - we're going to change the imaging to include more photos, in place of CAD images. This was done before we had bits made but can now be changed
      The text will be edited to focus on the selling points, including the UK theme, of each product more and less of the boring technical stuff
      The website will be edited to be less structured and more informal / personal. It reads too clinical to me
      Lastly; we're going to add a couple more products and include a store page on the website for direct purchases, to allow fellow cyclists to buy the stuff at heavily reduced rates. This'll blow the potential for getting a retailer on board for now, but fact is we haven't got one yet so no harm there
    Well thanks for your comments, once again, and if you've got any more ideas / advice keep it coming, cheers.

    Final note; if you're at the Singletrack event this weekend you might see a couple of us there. We'll be the ones with 'dodgy' looking rotors and 'Bartabs'. Don't be shy!

    Enjoy!!!

    Shane (I mean darwinius)[/list]
    Stuff we're working on........
    www.muckynutz.com
  • snotty badger
    snotty badger Posts: 1,593
    May just be me but i struggled to see the tabs to different pages on your site.

    :?

    How much do the the bottle cap barend things go for? Quite like the look of them 8)
    08 Pitch Pro
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  • darwinius
    darwinius Posts: 12
    Harry182 wrote:
    Try posting on bike related forums. :wink:

    I might just do that, thanks. :oops:
    Stuff we're working on........
    www.muckynutz.com
  • darwinius
    darwinius Posts: 12
    May just be me but i struggled to see the tabs to different pages on your site.

    :?

    How much do the the bottle cap barend things go for? Quite like the look of them 8)

    You're not the only one to have mentioned that about the tabs......bu&&er!!!!

    Sorry, I can't answer your other question due to forum rules. I may be pushing it by saying the website changes I mentioned in my previous post will be completed in a few days time.

    Thanks for the interest though.
    Stuff we're working on........
    www.muckynutz.com
  • Hi - good to see some entrepreneurial spirit!

    I've run my own (not bike-related) small business for years now, and here's some of what I've learned, hopefully it will help you.

    1: Shamelessly plug your business at EVERY opportunity, and I mean EVERY. You really need to do this. Get some stickers made up, plaster your van, car, bike, everything with them. Give them out to the kids on the trail, they'll stick them on their bikes too. Don't miss ANY opportunity to advertise. Wear a t-shirt with your brand on it, 24/7. Constantly talk about your products. Exposure is key.

    2: If one of your selling points is that you're a local bloke in a local shed, making local goods for local riders, ditch the 0845 number. You can get a local number pointed to your mobile for about £4 a month - search for "gradwell voip" on the internet. Also have your physical address on the website. People want to be able to get hold of you.

    2a: Get a Blackberry - this has been THE most useful tool I have ever used. I can answer customer queries all day every day no matter where I am.

    3: Personally I'd drop the "z" and have an "s" - muckynuts instead of muckynutz - if nothing else this means you'll never have to spell the name of the company (no no, thats muckynutZ not muckynutS) - I made the mistake of producing a product that no-one knew how to spell, it was a nightmare.

    3a: Don't listen to people who say you have no USP - you don't need one. If you have a good product, and more importantly good customer service, you're halfway there. You'll get loads of knocks from people claiming "I can do exactly what you're doing" - the difference is that you ARE doing it :)

    loco!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    You'll get loads of knocks from people claiming "I can do exactly what you're doing" - the difference is that you ARE doing it :)

    good point well made. i do think the bar ends are a brill idea and if they were available, i would definately buy some.
  • bramstoker
    bramstoker Posts: 250
    Just a imo, no real products except for the bar ends or rotors, so unless im in the market for these you dont offer a lot :? Maybe a bit more of a range of products then do some advertising?
    A feather is kinky, a whole chicken is just perverse.
  • XxxBFGxxX
    XxxBFGxxX Posts: 1,355
    deffo a good idea the bar ends. stella me up butter cup. the amount of times i have come of and either lost my ends or buggered the. defo think its a good idea mate.
  • CommandoBoy
    CommandoBoy Posts: 173
    You only have a few products which arent anything great or cutting edge. Thats what you need.

    Another reason i dont think i would buy from you is because it sounds like you are trying to make money and become a big name. Id prefer a company who wants to help the rider and make riding a better experince. Jack taylor was offerd alot of money for the name but turned it down as they were all going to be mass produced. He was looking out for the rider there not himself. This guy still to this day sells tandem frames for £1k.
  • darwinius
    darwinius Posts: 12
    Just a quick one 'cos I'm knackered....
    ....I've made some updates to the website to reflect some of the comments made in this thread. I couldn't cater for all with the time at hand. C'est la vie. It's obviously a dynamic thing so any time consuming updates will get done on a major update later on.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to read, review and reply with comments. It's very much appreciated, by all of us here.

    We're even thinking about getting Mucky Nutz tattoed on our foreheads but I don't think the wives would approve.

    Anyway we better get on with banging out more products 'cos the site is looking a little bare at the minute.

    Night to all.
    Stuff we're working on........
    www.muckynutz.com
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    well, the clock is ticking, ive just orderred some bartabs so look forward to them tipping up.
  • projectsome
    projectsome Posts: 4,478
    fit some of the products to your bike. people will notice and ask.
    bring it up in conversation on the trails.


    also the bar end lights, if they're bright enough for night use and you can make an indicator type version along with something visible from the rear for a reasonable price I might be interested :wink:
    FARKBOOK TWATTER Happiness is my fucking mood!
  • darwinius
    darwinius Posts: 12
    We seem to be getting somewhere: -

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/2009/07/fresh-goods-15/. The last item.

    A couple of us went to the Singtrack Weekender and spotted a familiar face, so handed a pair of the Bar Tabs to him.

    Cheers to all for the interest.
    Stuff we're working on........
    www.muckynutz.com
  • M6TTF
    M6TTF Posts: 602
    You only have a few products which arent anything great or cutting edge. Thats what you need.

    Another reason i dont think i would buy from you is because it sounds like you are trying to make money and become a big name. Id prefer a company who wants to help the rider and make riding a better experince. Jack taylor was offerd alot of money for the name but turned it down as they were all going to be mass produced. He was looking out for the rider there not himself. This guy still to this day sells tandem frames for £1k.

    such a lame thing to say - marketing is a clever ploy. I can almost guarantee he's not in business for the riders, if he was he'd be doing it for free.
  • Clarkii
    Clarkii Posts: 48
    I find the name hard to take seriously to be honest.

    Some good ideas and I think its great to see someone make the effort but with the name muckynuts I think you will automatically cause some of your prospect clients to look elsewhere.

    I am not put off by it I might add but I think some people will be.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    mine arrived yesterday so im gonna drink some beer later and fit them. cheers for the quick post.