2nd August, according to the planned timings, the Mocks should leave China on 12th August and be here on 17th August. Not long now.
I looked in the bank account today and it’s doing OK – I have $6,634, which is rather nice, but I do have to buy the stands, and all the mailing is adding up, but at least I don’t need to pay myself yet. I still have six months.
30th July, wow, another month gone. Time is going so fast. I went on an export course through the local business centre yesterday and picked up some tips on exporting, so I need to follow up the New Zealand distributors again and see if they are keen.
Great news, I got the list from Fone Zone of the seven stores that are going to take Mocks, three in Queensland and four in New South Wales – my first big chain.
I have been on the phone like crazy the last two days calling all the local mobile stores, and then emailing them some information. I have to do a lot of explaining. No‐one gets it the first time, which I guess is to be expected, but it can get a little repetitive for me! I think Mocks are one of those products where people need to see the product to fully understand it.
I have to send the payment to China for the Mocks I ordered: $12,000 – a huge amount. Well it seems huge to me, but if it doesn’t work out then the 24,000 Mocks will be a hell of a lot of Christmas and birthday presents for my friends!
Mocks sold this month: 0
Total stores: 0 officially, but 7 if you count Fone Zone, even though there are no Mocks in there yet!
Business bank account balance: $6,649
Mood: 🙂 🙂
26th July, woohoo! The samples arrived today. Very, very exciting … I love them! There were just three of each design, and they all look great. The designs were the ones done by Gina and her team and researched by me at the shopping mall. There is Rabbit, Monkey, Aussie Flag, Ladybirds, Sea, Devil, Bear, Barcode, Flower, Animal Skin, Candy Stripes and Bubbles. The colours have come out really well; I am really pleased.
I have a new plan today. I am going to start targeting the small independent mobile stores that I can go and visit in Sydney. The Mocks should be here next month, so I can visit the stores and take orders, then deliver the order when they arrive. I got a list of stores from the Yellow Pages, and I’ll start at the top …
I got some cool jars for the Mocks lollies from Ikea, so I sent those out to all the buyers that I have seen so far. I want to keep Mocks top of mind with them.
The EDI software that I need to take orders from Fone Zone is now under development. I know it is a big punt for me to take at $3,500 when they are only committing to seven stores stocking them, but I am positive that Mocks are going to sell well. I know if I can say Fone Zone is taking Mocks and they are selling well for them, other chains will want to come onboard.
23rd July, I followed up Sportsgirl teen clothing store and General Pants, skate/surf clothing store, today for the Zippy purses. I was hoping to get in to see the buyers. I think that they would sell really well in those stores – just the right amount of funkiness. I hope the buyers agree with me.
Still no Mocks samples … they were supposed to be here by now.
19th July, the meeting went well with Fred at Harvey Norman. Well, that is to say he was interested in the product; however, I would need a sales team on the road to service every store because they use a franchise model. Each store is owned by a different owner and I’d need to have salespeople to go into each store and stock it up with Mocks. There are over 100 stores across Australia and they don’t do the stocking themselves, which is a little bit of a problem since at the moment it is just me.
16th July, the Dell job is proving to be very cruisy. I think next week I will be able to take in some of my work to do when there are no calls. They don’t mind – fantastic!
Finally the press releases are finished. I am going to send them on Monday – hurray. I talked to Sandra, a friend of my friend Nora. Her business is product placement for TV shows, so she is going to try to get Mocks onto Neighbours and Home and Away – how cool. I’ve been watching Neighbours and Home and Away for years, so to see my product on them would be Mocktastic! These shows are the perfect audience for Mocks; it would really increase awareness for Mocks.
I finally had a meeting with Josh at Digicall yesterday. I made up a folder of all the designs and took the stand, samples and presentation I’ve done. He still wasn’t overly enthused. He showed no interest in the product or the designs or what I am planning to do. He still seems to think the Mocks won’t sell and is not willing to take a risk. I am not really sure what else I can do to persuade him.
I have finally got the meeting rearranged with the Harvey Norman buyer for Monday – I can’t wait.
12th July, great news today. Steve at Fone Zone got feedback from his sales team and is going to go with the Mocks. Hurray. A huge win. Yippee … I just need to get the EDI stuff set up now.
I have to work out my minimum order quantity for the small independent mobile stores that are run by the owners, so that at least I break even. At the moment I think I will just to get them to order 10 Mocks as a minimum. They need to try them and see how well they sell – which is going to be great, of course.
I’m still following up Josh at Digicall, but no joy there, and the other chains I am looking at are also hard to pin down. I haven’t managed to rearrange that meeting with the Harvey Norman buyer yet either.
8th July, I am still trying to get an answer from Steve at Fone Zone, I know these guys are busy, but today I was told he is away until Monday. It’s really frustrating when I just want an answer … grrr.
I have a new job, which I started yesterday, working at Dell. It’s just in the customer service team, pretty easy and regular hours. I have given up all the other jobs. The hours were so unreliable at the admin place. A couple of mornings I turned up at 9am and no‐one was there, so I sat on the doorstep for 30 minutes, plus I often finished early, which meant that I got paid less since I was paid at an hourly rate. Anyway, that’s over now. The Dell job finishes at 4pm, and pays better, for only two days per week.
I was expecting to get the Mocks samples today via FedEx, but no joy. Hopefully tomorrow … so exciting – I can’t wait!
5th July, and so the new financial year starts – this is going to be the year that it all comes together and Mocks take off!
Today I have ordered some lollies that have the Mocks logo on them and are in the Mocks colours. The plan is to send them out to people when they order from the website. To order, customers will have to print off the order form, fill it in and send it in. I can also use the lollies to promote Mocks to buyers; it is something different. I am also looking at getting some Mocks‐branded button badges made. I think it will really help increase brand awareness as people ask their friends “What are Mocks?” I can encourage people to write in for a free one; my target audience of teens love freebies.
I got my Yellow Pages Business Idea Grant application finished last week, so fingers crossed I will get it. I could really use the cash …
I have designed my own with compliments slips. I think it’s a nice touch and they are so easy to print out. I have decided that all my invoices to customers will be on pink paper, for a few reasons: a) pink is my favourite colour, b) it will make them stand out in my office, as instantly recognisable as an invoice and c) they will be easy for customers, when I call I can say “Please pay the pink one”.
My original press releases are taking forever to cut out because they’re phone shaped, and there are eight phones for each release. I think that they look great, but there are so many steps involved, it’s fortunate I only have 40 releases to do. I am getting Mr Johns to help while we are watching TV, but I wouldn’t say he is an overly enthusiastic volunteer!
30th June, the last day of the financial year. It’s been a busy few days, what with work and following up buyers. Rather annoyingly, the buyer at Digicall has changed, which means I now have to build the relationship all over again. Today I called the new guy, Josh. He is not convinced that Mocks will work. He sees it as a fad product that will leave him with lots of excess stock in the years to come. I couldn’t say anything to persuade him otherwise, so I will just have to keep in contact and prove him wrong.
I set up a goods and services tax (GST) account today with the bank. It’s free, and seems like a good idea. I am registered for GST, and I will save any GST I should be paying to the tax man in the bank account ready to pay the tax office at a later date; well, that’s what I am going to try to do.
I started designing the Mocks website yesterday in Microsoft FrontPage. It’s very basic, but it will do until I can afford to get a proper one done. It’s a pain to edit, as it is supposed to be “what you see is what you get” but it so isn’t. When I put each page up on the internet it doesn’t look the same as when I designed it. It’s very frustrating. I hope the cash starts to roll in soon, so that it doesn’t have to be up for long.
I got the details of potential mobile phone store distributors in New Zealand for Mocks. I want to achieve a lot in a short space of time, so I need to think big. There are only 4 million people in New Zealand versus 20 million in Oz, so it is never going to be a huge market. The way I see it is that I am really doing people a favour in providing them with a Mock. It’s a public service, some would say. ☺
Total stores: 0
Business bank account balance: $14,419 (includes a loan from Dad of $12,900)