Our team member consists of three entrepreneurs Lauren Janus, Kyle Barker, and Arpan Sarkar. Together we are the Golden Ones!
Hi I’m Lauren Janus I’m a business management student at JMU and am expected to graduate May 2013. I have worked at Carrabba’s Italian Grill for five years and held the position of Head hostess in this position I have had the opportunity to train new employees and work directly with customers. Also, I am a member of Habitat for Humanity at JMU and enjoy giving back to the community.
Hey guys my name is Kyle Barker and I am a senior management major at JMU. I recently interned with Northrop Grumman this past summer where I looked after government property. I like to make things with my hands, the outdoors, and I love hanging out with my friends! I am really excited to start a small business, and I'm ready to collaborate with my new business partners.
My name is Arpan Sarkar. I am currently double majoring in Business Management and Computer Information Systems at James Madison University and am set to graduate in May of 2013. After I graduate I plan on getting a CIS related job in the Washington D.C. area. Currently at JMU I am involved in two clubs, the Society of Human Resource Management and the Association of Technology Professionals. I joined these clubs because I wanted to get to know other people involved in the same interests as me and acquire some network connections with big companies. I also have a job right now as a Community Assistant at Stone Gate Apartments. In addition to this, my previous jobs have included working as a Camp Counselor at St. Lukes Kids Kamp in Houston, TX, a Dining Services employee at the East Campus Dining Hall, and in the past summer interning in McLean, VA in a company called Dwellworks which helped relocate employees of big U.S. corporations from foreign countries to the United States. I feel as though I am always motivated and try to seize on new opportunities, which is why I am excited to start a new venture with my two team members Kyle and Lauren.
Our MVP Evolution for The ladder Ball Sets
Together we came up with the idea create and sell JMU colored ladders ball sets to the JMU community during tailgating events. The innovation of our idea came from the fact that our ladder ball sets were JMU themed. As you can see on the picure on the lower right, our sets and the balls were colored purple and gold. The sets could be split into three pieces for easy portablity and assembly which also added to th. In greater detail, the base could be split in half into two pieces and could be seperated from the ladder which was the third piece. The easy accessibility of taking the sets apart was our competitive edge against current ladder ball sets that are currently in the market.
From Lowes, we purchased 5- 10 foot long sticks of 3/4″ PVC pipe, 12- 3/4″ PVC “T” fittings, 12- 3/4″ PVC 90 degree fitting, cement glue, spray paint, string, pipe cutter. We used the following items to build the the two ladder sets.
Using these items we cut the PVC pipe into 9- 2 foot long pieces and 6- 1 foot long pieces with the pipe cutter. After all the pipes were cut, we glued all the pipes together to create the product.
Once we glued the product we spray pained the ladder and the base purple and gold.
After creating our first three sets, we came to realize that spray painting took too much time so we decided to use purple and gold duct tape to cover up the PvC pipes to make our 2nd MVP. We felt that the duct tape looked more appealing because the paint chipped off. Also the tape made the sets more sturdier.
Early AdoptersOur initial idea was to sell ladder ball sets to JMU students who would play at tailgating events. Though, after some customer discovery interviews we learned that selling our product at $45 would be too expensive. So after much thought, we believed it woul
d be a better idea to to sell our product to JMU parents since they would have the money to buy our product for their kids. Our biggest target market, however as we soon came to realize would be JMU alumni!
Sales and Critical Success!!!Edit
We planned on selling the sets for $45 and as mentioned above we decided to target JMU parents who would purchase the ladder ball sets for the JMU sons and/or daughters. Initially our sales were not looking too good. We sold one set during our first tailgate and one set during parent’s weekend. However, on alumni weekend our luck had changed for the better and we were successful in selling 3 ladder ball sets on that weekend! We found out that we were all struggling to go out and reach our customers so for that weekend we all gained a bit of courage and go out and market hard, directly talking to customers and interacting with them. We walked around with our sign and barely made it 200 yards from our cars, and sold all three sets in less than 15 minutes.
Our Newest MVP
With the weather changing and our ladder ball sets sold, we decided to pivot to a new idea. Our idea was to sell "Oh Sandy" t-shirts for $15 a shirt and donate half the profits to the American Red Cross to support the victims of Hurrican Sandy. We purchased the T-shirts from Daniels.
Lowes: Pvc Pipe, String, Spray Paint, Fittings
Michaels: Duct Tape
Walmart: Duct Tape, Golf Balls
Daniels Promotional Product : Oh- Sandy T-shirts
Jennifer Spruhan: Jennifer@pro-ad.com, 540-437-7618
Commonwealth One: Setting Up Bank Account
Deon Mays (Branch Manager): email@example.com, 800-424-3334
Business Model Canvass Edit
Youtube Videos and Weebly LinkEdit
Advice to Future StudentsEdit
1) Don't be afraid to talk and reach out to people when selling your product. Our initial sales were not as we expected because we were too shy to reach to our customers. So get out of your comfort zone!
2) Be motivated to sell your product and be passionate about what you want to sell.
3) When making or building a product from scratch, consider factors such as how much time each member of the group can dedidate to building. If time is more of an issue, think outsourcing.
4) If possible try to sell a product that a has a main target maket of JMU students. Reaching out to target markets outside of JMU can prove to be difficult