Anyone else running their own business?

appleaddiction

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 3, 2010
16
0
Minneapolis, MN
Hey guys,

It's been about a year and a half since I officially opened my online doors. I've gone from $0 to $900/month in that time. Up until this point I have been running the business entirely by myself (web design,packaging,marketing,product design,seo,etc) mostly to keep costs down.

But now I feel that I am at a point where I must find at least one other person to begin helping me. Not necessarily with the day to day stuff, but more so someone who I can discuss business with, someone I can bounce ideas off of.

If you are interested, pm me and I'll tell you more about my business.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,012
1,291
I can tell you that you need to have more than one product in your website.

You are making almost $900 a month gross? How many are you selling 4-5 a month? Is an interesting idea, but is a very small niche market and the solar panels are a bunch and might scare a first time solar buyer.

I see smaller ones that can charge iPhones and other phones at Costco which I think is were you need to expand your solar chargers. Less overhead and maybe more sells since people would be more open to spending money on it.

Renewable energy for devices is a small niche market so you should be careful on how and if you want to expand. GL
 

appleaddiction

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 3, 2010
16
0
Minneapolis, MN
Unfortunately those smaller ones don't actually work all that well. I tried a smaller unit just for iPhone about a year ago, but it simply couldn't put out enough power to charge the iPhone. It would have to bank the energy in a battery first. None the less, my target market is actually iPad users. It might seem silly, but many people, especially those setting up a base camp like to bring electronics with. Many customers take my product to Nepal and Mt.Everest.

I'm getting about 15-20 sales a month. I've been running it mostly as a hobby but now I'm ready to start looking into more earning potential.
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
4,721
0
Northern VA
I can tell you that you need to have more than one product in your website.

You are making almost $900 a month gross? How many are you selling 4-5 a month? Is an interesting idea, but is a very small niche market and the solar panels are a bunch and might scare a first time solar buyer.

I see smaller ones that can charge iPhones and other phones at Costco which I think is were you need to expand your solar chargers. Less overhead and maybe more sells since people would be more open to spending money on it.

Renewable energy for devices is a small niche market so you should be careful on how and if you want to expand. GL

How exactly do you know that he's in the solar-panel business?

I can't see it anywhere in the OP..
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Unfortunately those smaller ones don't actually work all that well. I tried a smaller unit just for iPhone about a year ago, but it simply couldn't put out enough power to charge the iPhone. It would have to bank the energy in a battery first. None the less, my target market is actually iPad users. It might seem silly, but many people, especially those setting up a base camp like to bring electronics with. Many customers take my product to Nepal and Mt.Everest.
So make a larger model that does put out enough juice to charge the iPhone. Was that too obvious...?
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,012
1,291
Unfortunately those smaller ones don't actually work all that well. I tried a smaller unit just for iPhone about a year ago, but it simply couldn't put out enough power to charge the iPhone. It would have to bank the energy in a battery first. None the less, my target market is actually iPad users. It might seem silly, but many people, especially those setting up a base camp like to bring electronics with. Many customers take my product to Nepal and Mt.Everest.

I'm getting about 15-20 sales a month. I've been running it mostly as a hobby but now I'm ready to start looking into more earning potential.
Nice, so you are selling a good chunk of them. The earning then I would assume is low for that many a month, basically only earning ~30% of actual sales unless you are already giving us the number minus cost of all S&H things, rent of webpage, telephone, etc like your paycheck.

Of course, we don't know if you are the one making them ala kickstarter or you have it made in China? Maybe if you are seeing the product in a plateu of orders you can reconsider +/- of production (prob. less cost to produce more due to bigger bulk order) or expansion of product lines or a marketing expansion to specific websites, tourist outdoor locations that might recommend your product and they get a small fee, etc. You can also expand into kickstarter w/ some type of special promo/price if you put a high $ number for donations so you can buy the materials in bulk. Say $250k in sales in kickstarter and you give them the iPad solar charger for like $170 or add dif colors to increase donation price? You can say: An actual solar charge that truly works! and then you show some pics of your costumer in Mount Everest and such (I HAVE A SIDE QUESTION: doesn't the iPad freeze or get really humid using it in Mt. Everest when recharging w/ the panels?) . The kickstarter would be to start a mass production of the company since you want to take it to every outdoor store in the US and need the start up money or something in that reasoning.

I just went to Costco today and they had one of those small ones w/ two solar panels & some rechargeable batteries and it's charger for $99. I didn't see the details inside, just glimpsed the box though. Here is the link: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11678541#ProductInfoTabs_ProductDetailsTab
Maybe you can do something similar either for phones or just keep w/ the iPads and call it the everyday whenever boost iPad charger case: for the long work days. or something like that.

How exactly do you know that he's in the solar-panel business?
I can't see it anywhere in the OP..
Because the page of his site is in his profile of MR. :cool:
 
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