Our experience goes beyond farming, crafts and cats. We have over 40 years experience running a variety of businesses between us. Eric has been a national top sale producer and regional top manager as well as software innovator with well over a million users and two very popular open source projects. Julie has managed as many as 300+ people in various capacities. Vision is building strength and minimizing weaknesses. Here are some of the things we have learned over the years.

  • Selling inferior product because you need the money is a dehumanizing dilemma of conscience.
  • If you can't establish distinctiveness you have no control and are at the back of the pack.
  • It is 100 times more enjoyable to sell a fun product as one that is needed.
  • If a product designer doesn't have manufacturing control quality and design both become issues.
  • In a world full of mimics there is always opportunity for innovation.
  • Commodity marketing is a race to get the least profit. Unassailable niche products as a consumable part of a service relationship is a forward thinking focus on profit and longevity.

Breaking New Ground

From the beginning we were advancing products we didn't know if there was a market for because we had no model to follow. In the process we had to do a lot of self education. The reason? People came to us hoping we could answer their questions about cats. They also gave us feedback that built our confidence and helped us to develop specifications for new products. It was at this time we began to see our relationship with our customers as an advocate for their cats and a resource as well as a supplier of premium products. What happened next was a transformation of our business. In a very organic way we developed relationships with encouraging customers who not only didn't complain about us raising prices, but encouraged us to do so and profit. Who would have imagined this kind of customer relationship?

Distinguishing Our Wholesale Efforts

We wanted to break new ground in wholesale too. Rather than find a distribution channel we chose to take our sales skills and software programming experience and extend our business. We encounter some stores that have a solid vision of how to achieve distinctiveness and customer desirability and they are a pleasure to deal with. Conversely other stores are suffering diffused focus of even outright anxiety, confusion and fear. Having run both successful and failed businesses in the past it is heart breaking. Moreover our frustration is compounded by the fact that many stores take months to move as much product as we do in a single day at the Saturday Market. If we could help stores to leverage our products and knowledge we might be able to make a difference.

New Concepts in Wholesale

We chose to believe we can do more. It's a simple idea. There are things you can give away that don't really cost you money but have a very high perceive value as a package to those receiving them. Our objective is in stark contrast to the sales mentality of unloading unwanted stock on the next sucker. Our thinking is that if we help our client stores to be more successful with our products we will be rewarded with larger dollar volume per client. We also may be able to have a few less heart breaking call backs to stores going out of business. Make no mistake. Marketing is life and death.

We always follow up
We check back with our customers to make sure they got their merchandise alright. We check back when we expect you might want to reorder too, but we also check back on first orders after you have had a few weeks. We want to make sure to answer any questions and help you to make marketing our products a success.
Products you can promote
Let's be candid here. If you don't believe a given product is all that good or any better than any other product why promote it. Customers know what they want, right? Not exactly. Many customers think their cats don't like catnip because they have never experienced good catnip. Retail tends to be passive. Don't get stuck in old habits. Promote our products with confidence.
Samples, coaching and training
You can get free samples for any employee to build their confidence and knowledge in the product. Eric has conducted sales training and motivational seminars and been a regional top sales manager. We can't devote a lot of one on one time and it's likely you can't either. We can however leverage our time through web tools, videos, information, scripts and such.
Always available help
Where else can you get the manufacturer on the phone to answer questions or get sales advice from the founder of the company?
Tools for your business
I doubt most pet store owners have much experience with web development. We can easily incorporate internal bulletin boards and training tools into our password accessed site and offer these features simply because they are easy for us to do. Our compensation is your business being successful and ordering from us.
Mentoring and information exchange
Where do you turn for help and ideas? We don't have all the answers. We know how to sell our products. We also encounter a lot of success stories and useful information from other stores. We're exploring ideas on how to create an info exchange because it won't hurt one store to share ideas with another. We think it will help everyone if we help each other.

Seizing the prize

One of the things we remind store owners of is that in 2009 most people have more disposable income than they did in 2008. It's just that people are more cautious and less likely to make an impulse buy. That means when they do spend their money it will be on value. We are seeing 30% higher sales in 2009 than we did in the same venues and time frames in 2008. When we talk with you we don't want to hear how tough things are. We want to hear that you too are having the same experience. Most of all we want to hear that we made a difference, and it doesn't have to be all our products. We hope it's the synergy of our products and the ideas, services and the leverage of customer loyalty that our products engender that enables you creative solutions and growth. Together we can make a difference!

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