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Amilya Antonetti Answers Your Email Questions!

Question:

Dear Amilya,

I want to put my products in stores like Target. I have no idea how to contact them. Any advice?

Thank you!


- DeeDee from Carson City, Nevada

Amilya's Answer:

DeeDee,

Thank you for your email and reaching out to me.

I think the question may not be how do you contact them but more are you ready for them.

Big Box companies like Target, Wal-Mart, and Kmart, Sears and so on... all have BIG requirements to do business with them, from 5 million insurance policies, strict Q&A standards

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and claims & compliance standards. Nothing is more heartbreaking to work so hard and for so ling to get a meeting with the "right" team inside one of these outlets and then get their general interest to find out that your miles away from a deal because your idea/business is not in order with all their requirements.

Let alone after you get a "green light" all the details and requirements needed to interact with theme to do business... like their systems for EDI for invoicing and RFID for packaging and
tracking to name just a few........ Needless to say its not "a walk in the park" to do business with the big boys on the front or the back end.

If you have all this in place, then the answer to your question "how you contact them" from my experience is 1) use a broker who serves these accounts .. normally brokers visit the same series of stores each month representing a big handful of products. They get paid a
commission on to deals/product they sell 2) many consultants and firms offer a service to may these introductions for a fee or some monetary benefit ... often times retired executives that worked with or for these companies 3) let your creativity explode... you can reach out to them in numerous creative ways to get their attention. You need the attention or ear of someone inside to help you facilitate getting the "right" person to hear and meet with you.

I hope that this information was helpful in some way. Please let us hear from you... i do my very best to bring "real" informations and resources with tips and tools to todays entrepreneurs.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey :)

Amilya


Question:

Amilya,

I'm sure you've had this question before, but I've never had a need to think of an invention of a product so I'm new to this. I have an idea for a product (baby gear) and have not had success contacting the big corporations. Should I continue to try to make contact with the corporations to make this product or should I find a smaller manufacturer to make one for me and go from there?

Thanks so much,


- Kelly H. from Springfield, Mo


Amilya's Answer:

Kelly,

Thank you for your email and for watching " the big idea"

When you speak about reaching out to big corporation you have to keep in mind that most big corporation will not engage in conversation with inventors because of liability issues. Big corporation have a long list of "ideas" in R&D. The are very careful to not open up a dialogue with someone who can "claim" they brought their idea to them without realizing that they are already working on that "idea" or similar idea.

Please know that I am not saying you cant reach out to big corporations with ideas... we do it all the time. It just takes a different approach and helps if their is already a trusted relationship established to champion in the idea. Furthermore, if you have any intentions of working or speaking with the "big boys" then you need to have all your ducks in a row before that "one shot" meeting. Having a working prototype is just one of the many things you will need to have in your presentation... based on my experience working with everyone from Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, QVC, HSN and many many more in both the private label and mass market arenas.

With that being said, it is often much easier to work with smaller manufactures and more mid level outlets who can help you and guide you in this category, share knowledge they may have that you dont and some can even become your champion for you since manufactures usually have relationship with their vendors, clients and customers. But again since most of us are burning the candle at both ends you need to have as much done and as much knowledge as possible so that they can see an easer turn key relationship.

I find it very helpful when entering into a new venture or area to learn learn learn as much as you can about who the players are. Where they came up through the ranks from. Who the influencers are in the industry. Much of this can be learned through trade shows and the industry trade magazines and literature. The internet is also a great tool once you have some of the brink and mortar leg work done.

I do not want to make this sound overwhelming or daunting just trying to help you get your hands around the scope of what your trying to do so 1) you dont get taken advantage of 2) you can be as prepared as possible when opportunity knocks 3) you think into areas you many have not thought about.

I hope something I have said is useful :) I will continue to try to provide tips and tools to help people get from mind to market and from concept to cashflow.

Thank you for inviting me on your journey!

- Amilya


You can learn more about Amilya on her web site, http://www.Amilya.com. And when you are ready to make the entrepreneurial jump, make sure you check out some of the priceless information and inspiration at http://www.LuckyNapkin.com, or plan to attend our Lucky Napkin Live Event, March 20, 2008 in Scottsdale AZ. Lucky Napkin is the country’s premiere “Venture Catalyst” company, an entrepreneurial catapult “Where Great Ideas Launch.”


Click here to ask Amilya your own question!


Want to see Amilya Antonetti and Mike Michalowicz 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.