Find a Need
I never thought of how much work was involved when thinking/developing an idea, to finally launching my product to market. A bag created out of my need for independence and freedom. I can recall my relentless searches on the Internet, looking for a wheelchair bag that was similar to the vision in my head. This bag didn't exist online or in stores, my excitement grew as I pondered this.
Find Your Passion
Finding a need is one thing but you need to be passionate about what you are doing because starting a business is hard work and all consuming.
Although my situation prevented me from doing physical work, my thoughts were ongoing and strong. I now had a goal to work towards, something I could truly call my own. This gave me purpose, passion and determination. I was going to find a way to make this happen regardless of my mobility needs. I was never one to fear the unknown, or shy away from completing a project. The past two years have shown that my perseverance and hard work is starting to show.
Seek Individuals with Experience in the Industry
|Bill and Louise collaborating over lunch.|
So my next step was to find someone who could turn my vision which is now known as the Handi-Pac, into reality. Through a complete fluke, I was able to find Bill Ostrom of Ostrom Packs, who would grow to be my mentor and friend. He constructed my prototypes that mirrored my vision as to what I needed to the Handi Pac to be. Due to his extensive experience and unparalleled attention to detail, I was able to explain my concept, which became my first working prototype.
Become a Sponge
Bill and I spoke on the phone and I drank in any wisdom that he was willing to share. After countless hours on the telephone, we have created something that is truly unique and needed for wheelchair users. Without Bill's support/guidance, I couldn't imagine where I'd be today. I can't stress enough Bill’s belief in me which was an integral piece of this puzzle. All you really need is a great person, such as Bill, to turn dreams into reality but you also need to listen.
Adapt and Evolve
Sometimes you are going to hear information that is not necessarily in line with your vision and you will need to adapt your plan. This is not always easy to do but is paramount to be successful.
Bill suggested ideas which I was able to follow to establish branding for my product, and without his business savvy, I would still be learning the ins and outs on how to create a successful business strategy. I’m not sure how I found him but I'm so glad I did!
Create a Business Plan
Exploring the feasibility by creating a business plan with a thorough financial budget, is imperative.
There is a wealth of knowledge online that even includes templates for you to follow during this phase. Once again, find a mentor to review and get feedback or connect with a program such as SCORE which will link you with a volunteer entrepreneur to help guide you through the process.
Partner with a Like Minded Go-Getter
|Samanta Bullock with her Handi-Pac|
Don’t Give Up
My biggest hurdle to date has always been the lack of funding hence why I decided to create a kickstarter starter campaign. If successful, I will be able to order my first allotment of bags. I will be able to be a contributing member of society, which is beyond important for me. I wasted so many precious years, feeling sorry for myself and my situation. Today's a new day and I’m trying to make other wheelchair users lives better by giving the gift of independence. See my latest news coverage on CTV here! My kickstarter will offer the Handi Pac at a promotional price vs my website. Please be sure to visit my website at advancedfreedom.com and leave your email so I can contact you when my campaign is live.
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