Mike Michalowicz Answers Your Email Questions!


I recently been watching the Donny Deutsch show for about a month now, a friend of mine turn me on to the show and ever since,I've been watching it every night at 10:00pm. The show really encourages me to keep going amd make my dream come true. I have developed a product that exist already but it is an improvement to this existing product. I have been working on this for the past 8yrs, and I believe I'm close to launching what I have but still need direction and support to do this right. My product:Bobby's gourmet "Latino" dressing&marinade, original and spicy is a hot item to market, my target audience is the Latino communty which is a wide reach in our country, I have the ph test and FDA approval completed to sell product, a manufacture that will meet me half way, and a label, and the product itself. Financing is a problem and I'm quite alone in this venture. What do I do next? There's a Latino explosion going on out there!!!!!

- Robert P. from Waldorf, Maryland

Mike's Answer:

Dear Robert,

Sounds like you have a great niche product there. My mouth is already watering!

You are facing the same problem most people do when starting up and launching a product - no money! And most people either give up or go the traditional route - the bank. With lots of


people going to banks, and not enough money to go around, most people get squat-ola for funding.

It is time to think outside the box. Can you start small, possibly with specialized Latino gourmet shops and slowly build your base? How about starting a small trade shows or Latino fairs?

Still want/need money? Try you get funding from friends or family members. Lots and lots of credit cards may be a way to go too (that's how I started my first company). All possible options, but at some point you have got to pay it all back - so why not start by not borrowing in the first place.

What I am getting to here, is that I am a firm believer that it is better to start small and slow and prove (to yourself and others) you have financial discipline. If you do this, the funding down the road will be MUCH easier to get. There is always an alternative path to financing; you just need to look for it harder than anyone else.

- Mike Michalowicz, Obsidian Launch


Hi Mike, do i, should i, or/and can i patent an idea i have for a small buisness franchise. i'm afraid to tell too many people what it is. i've told a few people, but they as poor as i am, not to say they could take my idea for themselves. i not sure if it is a "patent type" idea,

Don T. from Port Norris, NJ

Mike's Answer:


I am not a big fan patenting in the very early stages of a business, but
sometimes it is necessary.

Here is when I do patents:

1. The invention is highly unique, easy to replicate and has broad market
appeal. If I was inventing the first Croc shoe, I would get that patented.

Here is why I avoid patents:

1. Many ideas aren't so unique that a patent offers significant protection.

2. A patent cost a lot of money, and defending one costs a lot more.

3. When you have barely any cash to start, it is often best used to get customers.

4. Maybe you can make a toned down version or a variant that can start getting money in the door and once you have more cash go for the full product introduction.

If I was inventing a variant of the Croc shoe, I would not get it patented.

No matter what... seek the advice of an attorney!!!!

- Mike Michalowicz


How do you develop a price point to charge consumers for your product?

Lamont A. From Brookyln, New York

Mike’s Answer:


Great question! So many people that I have met feel this is a relatively arbitrary process, but its not. I probably know you need to price your product or service to be profitable. No duh!!! But there is more to it.

Here are some of the key things you must consider:

1. The price needs to be a money maker, not a money breaker. Make sure it is profitable!

2. You can't make up for a product that loses money, by selling more of it. Each time you sell the product you need to be adding to your companies cash flow, not depleting it.

3. Does the price reflect the products differentiator? For example if you are selling a luxury item, you want to be more expensive then the alternatives.

4. Know that people buy in price increments. So, many consumers see a $123 price item, the same as a $136 item. Sell it for the higher price point in your increment.

5. Unless you compete on price, don't compete on price. If you are trying to be the bottom barrel price guy, then yes you better have the best price. But if you are selling a product that offers high quality or ultra convenience, don't focus on being price competitive.

- Mike

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Want to see Mike Michalowicz and Amilya Antonetti present LIVE? Both former guests of The Big Idea will be speaking at the upcoming Lucky Napkin Live event in Phoenix, AZ on March 20th. They will be sharing all their Big Ideas! Registration information can be found at http://www.luckynapkin.com/welcome use Lucky Code “obsidian” to get a discount.