3 surprising business secrets that created a Christmas smash hit

3. Know your skill gaps and partner with experts who have those skills.

I’m fairly aware of my strengths and weaknesses. It’s enormously helpful for all of us to have this self awareness because it allows us to plan accordingly. Some of my strengths include: I relish coming up with ideas, I can cook a mean chicken soup and I’m astonishingly good in bed. My weaknesses on the other hand, range from me being lacking in the areas of logistical processes (like shipping and warehousing), plus I can’t herd mountain goats or light a fire using sticks (actually, I’ve never tried the latter two – I might phenomenal at both. Possibly not though).

Realising that I only bring certain skills to the party meant I needed to find a company to help me to produce and distribute my balloons. In the past, I’ve worked with a fantastic firm called NPW who’ve collaborated on many of my products, including the Sound Machine, the YOU’RE OLD candles and the Control-A-Man & Control-A-Woman remote controls.

So, I went to NPW to pitch it to the top brass. My aim was to partner with them on the idea and get them to agree to license it from me so that they could distribute it around the world.

Because I had the actual prototype to show the decision makers, plus I’d also prepared some professional images of three gorgeous models holding it (one of which, a striking redhead, NPW eventually hired for the packaging of the finished item) I was able to pitch very effectively. I’m utterly convinced that the best way to get your ideas away is to bring them to life either as a 2D design or a 3D prototype – or even better, both at the same time.

And the proof was in the pudding. The reaction to my pitch was hugely positive. On the spot, NPW told me they loved my speech bubble balloon idea. Jackpot! I was elated. After the meeting, we swiftly hammered out a license deal and I sent Roger (the balloon genius who’d helped me get the prototype made) half of my advance as a thank you.

A few months later, the first range of speech bubble balloons arrived from China. Now, they’re in the shops being sold around the world under the brand ‘BALLOONATIC’. Not only am I delighted that to see another of my ideas come to life (hugely, hugely exciting), but also, the speech balloons are doing very well indeed.

On top of this success, I’m currently looking for a license partner to work with me on providing large and small companies with their own bespoke speech bubble balloons – so that firms like Starbucks could order their own branded speech bubble balloons that have bespoke slogans on, like ‘Fancy a coffee?’ – which would then virally spread their branding though the medium of picture messaging…

So, there you have it. Those are the three simple tricks that brought me a hit product and I hope they might work for you too. Just make sure you keep these very valuable secrets close to your chest. Remember: Mum’s the word…

His latest book, ‘Success Or Your Money Back’ is out now, published by Hay House.

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