5/20/16

Inventors and Entrepreneurs Should Test New Products on Amazon and eBay

When inventors create a product and bring it to market, they’ve done something that 99% of people never will. Bringing any idea to market requires the ultimate backbone with equal parts tenacity, creativity, humility and Sacrifice.

While millions of aspiring entrepreneurs promote their ideas across the social virtual web, very few actually take their ideas to market. These days, many aspiring start-ups turn to crowdfunding sites for easy cash, but most of them fail in the end. While you can find lots of stories about entrepreneurs raising capital on crowdfunding sites, their successes are less than 2%, and 50% of those companies fail within 18 months after the crowdfunding campaign is over. 

The truth is money doesn’t make up for a bad product. Don’t get me wrong – your product may work great, but if it doesn’t sell  then it’s still a bad product. There is only one way to find out if a new product is good and that means testing it with unbiased consumers on the web. If it sells then it’s good and if it doesn’t sell, then it’s bad. It’s really that simple.

It may sound stupid, but many aspiring entrepreneurs still need to be coaxed to the web when it comes to product testing. I get dozens of emails each month from aspiring entrepreneurs asking me for some magic bullet to get their products noticed, but there is no magic bullet except for publicity. And you can’t get publicity unless your product is on the market. So you just have to get out there and do it and that means testing your product with consumers on the web.

If your company or product is completely new, don’t bother wasting time trying to secure stores or distributors until you first prove some sales. Not only will this data help you get retailers, but it will also help you perfect your product. Amazon customers provide direct feedback (good, bad and ugly) for your products and eBay now offers product reviews as well. Both Amazon and eBay are great places to start when it comes to launching a legitimate product.

Start by securing a seller account on Amazon and eBay and of course your own website. There are also other third party selling platforms, but Amazon and eBay are still the most important. Make sure your product has a UPC code. (Search Google to find out how)

Be patient when it comes to sales – especially with your own website. Without publicity – it’s doubtful you’ll get any sales the first few months. Amazon and eBay will be your best bet for sales of any new product. If your ebay and Amazon account are new, it may take more time to gain sales traction. Give it at least 24 weeks (6 months) before you make any decision about the product based on sales momentum.

If your product is a flop – there will be less than 4 units sold per month. Even sales for a top selling product start out slow unless you get publicity, but you need to get at least one sale per week to be a potentially viable product. As long as you sell at least one unit per week on any given online sales platform, the product has legs. 

Here's an example of a "Hero Product":
We launched Cocodent Coconut Oil Toothpaste in March of 2015 on Amazon and by May we were selling 20 units per week. By August we were selling 50 weekly and today we sell more than 100 weekly on Amazon alone. Cocodent is also a strong seller on eBay, iHerb and our own website at Greensations.com.

Here’s a quick way to calculate the popularity of a product on Amazon and eBay:
1: (1 unit) weekly – Minimal allowed sales - product could grow.
2: (2-4 units) weekly – Okay product that is growing.
3: (4-10 units) weekly – Good product with excellent growth potential.
4: (10- 50 units) weekly – Great product (Potential Hero) with guaranteed growth.
5: (Over 50 units) weekly – Hero Product that will make you a millionaire if you’re lucky.

Finally, be prepared for the reviews. The more your product sells, the more reviews you will get and that means the good, the bad and the ugly. Your product will never please everyone, but if 75% of customers give it above a 3 star review - you're golden. Good luck with your invention.......you;re gonna need it.

5/17/16

Not All Coconut Oil is Created Equal for Teeth Whitening


Greensations makes the world's first and only true commercial Coconut Oil toothpaste using the finest organic virgin coconut oil with baking soda and organic spearmint oil. Thanks to our success, copycats have started coming out with so-called coconut oil toothpaste that is truly a fake. They used fractionated coconut oil which does not have the lauric acid and other compounds that are found in virgin unrefined coconut oil. Hence, these fake coconut oil toothpastes do not contain the proven ingredients that fight tooth decay and gum disease. Only virgin coconut oil can do that - so know what you're buying and don't fall for the coconut oil frauds. Whether you're brushing your teeth or oil pulling - make it yourself or buy Cocodent at www.CocodentToothpaste.com

12/20/15

Donald Trump Is Unfairly Demonized by Both Parties and The Media

Donald Trump is a polarizing character to say the least, but he's certainly being treated unfairly by the mainstream media on both the left and right. He may have gotten a loan from his successful father in his early life, but he turned that into billions and he also took his father's business to the next level against his father's advice. Until Donald took over, the Trump name meant nothing beyond Queens. If his father were alive today, Fredrick Trump would tell us all that Donald did what he could never have done. Donald took his father's American Dream and turned it into an American Fantasy!

Donald Trump took chances his father would never have taken, but he always took calculated risks. He may have a lost a few, but he won most and he helped change New York City from a nearly bankrupt failure of 1970s politics back into the jewel of America.

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I have followed "The Donald" for years. It was his promotion of the famous book, "The Power of Positive Thinking," that started my long trip as an entrepreneur. The book was written by Norman Vincent Peale, a Methodist minister who Trump had heard in sermons during his early life. Trump got to hear the message of this book in person and he took it to heart, eventually writing his own book, "The Art of the Deal".

Many people don't realize that Trump's presidential slogan, "Lets Make America Great Again", was actually the slogan of Ronald Regan in his 1980 campaign - which Trump publicly supported. Trump was a registered Republican until 1999 when he became an Independent after showing lots of support for Bill Clinton. Then in 2001, he changed to Democrat, but in 2009 Donald went back to Republican in reaction to his dismay with the Obama administration.

I believe Donald Trump is a "real guy" who really cares although he may say things that freak some people out. That's merely because he's not one of them - The Powers That Be. I believe his heart is in the right place and he has the brain power and empathy to help make America great again. Lets hope he can beat the powers that be who run both sides - Democrats and Republicans. Either way, the last thing we need is another Clinton, Bush or pre-registered politician who makes side deals at every turn.

As a small business owner, I believe Donald Trump can bring jobs back to America and he'll be more inclusive than politicians from either side because he is not a politician. Donald Trump is simply an American just like the rest of us. Just like Regan, Trump has switched parties several times because he's frustrated like the rest of us. He's also 69 years old just like Regan was when he was elected as president, which means he's wise and experienced in this world of political games. I really believe that Trump is closer to Ronald Regan than any other politician has ever been and regardless of his bombastic nature, Donald Trump could be America's best option in the toughest times since World War 2.

One more thing - the media on both sides should be very ashamed of themselves and all Americans should disregard anything the media tells them regardless of your political affiliation. Vote with your hearts as Americans and it will all be good. Together we can make America great again. 

12/10/15

When I sold a controlling interest in my first company way back in 2008, I ended up partnering with Wall Street sharks from corporate America and oh what lessons I learned as a streetwise entrepreneur. I went from creating a million dollar company from $350 at my kitchen table to watching so-called business experts wasting $10 Million to make $2 Million. These people spent money like it was water from the tap and they spent it on all the wrong things.

The venture capital group that took over my company hired a bunch of corporate hacks from large corporations based on their resumes and college degrees. None of these corporate robots ever started a business from scratch and their knowledge came from reading books and spending other people's money. Within months of working within their corporate circle, I jumped ship, but I learned lots of lingo that MBAs use to sound important in a corporately constipated environment. I call it the Corporate Constipation Dictionary...

FYI - I did start a second company called Greensations and we're kicking the ass of my old company with Sinus Plumber capsaicin nasal spray....


Corporate Constipation Dictionary:
1: Teeing Up
Example: “Can you tee that up for me?”
Corporate Meaning: To get a project ready for your manager
True Meaning: To do all the hard work on a project so your boss can take credit for it.

2: Working Remotely
Example: “I won’t be in the office today because I’m working remotely.”
Corporate Meaning: Working from home.
True Meaning: Taking the day off.

3: Action Items
Example: “Give me an excell sheet action items for the project.”
Corporate Meaning: Steps necessary to completing a project.
True Meaning: Ways to pretend you’re actually getting something done.

4: Proposal
Example: “We’ll need a detailed proposal for your idea.”
Corporate Meaning: A plan of action filled with data.
True Meaning: A sure fire way to kill any project before it even gets started.

5: Projections
Example: “Here are the sales projections for Q4.”
Corporate Meaning: Likely scenario based on data.
True Meaning: A guess based mainly on bull shit.

6: Push Back
Example: “Let me push you back on that.”
Corporate Meaning: A sign of disagreement.
True Meaning: To squash an idea forever.

7: Sub-Optimal
Example: “That package is sub-optimal, don’t you think?”
Corporate Meaning: Less than perfect.
True Meaning: Really sucks.

8: Thinking Outside the Box
Example: “We’ve got to think outside the box on this one.”
Corporate Meaning: Coming up with new innovative ideas.
True Meaning: Recycling old ideas and stealing ideas from competitors.

9: In The Know
Example: “You’re in the know on this one.”
Corporate Meaning: To know things only a select group knows.
True Meaning: To know things that really don’t matter.

10: Conference Call
Example: “We’ve got a conference call monday.”
Corporate Meaning: A call in which interested parties discuss important subjects.
True Meaning: A way for management to talk about doing things instead of actually doing them.

11: Learning
Example: “We’d like to get some learning from this venture.”
Corporate Meaning: Using performance data to learn important lessons.
True Meaning: To learn by making lots of mistakes due to past learning.

12: Focus Group
Example: “Lets put together a focus group on this project.”
Corporate Meaning: A group of random consumers used to critique products and concepts without being influenced.
True Meaning: A group of carefully chosen consumers who are questioned in a way that influences the answers.

13: Board Meeting
Example: “We’ll present this at the next board meeting.”
Corporate Meaning: A regularly scheduled meeting to decide the future of a company and review past performance.
True Meaning: A regularly scheduled meeting during which the CEO presents a fictional account of the company’s progress in a colorful power point presentation.

14: Bonus Plan
Example: “The year end bonus will be based on your team goals and company performance.”
Corporate Meaning: A lump sum payment added to salary and based on performance.
True Meaning: A lump sum payment added to salary and based on a bunch of guesses and over complicated hypothetical scenarios.

15: 90 Day Net
Example: “We pay all our bills on 90 day net.”
Corporate Meaning: Official corporate terms of payment.
True Meaning: An unnecessary hold on payment in order to make the company look more profitable in the prior quarter at the next board meeting.

16: Net - Net
Example: “So is that final number, net net?”
Corporate Meaning: Final result.
True Meaning: Final result including all information previously withheld from the rest of the team and the Board of Directors. This also includes lies you’ve made yourself believe.

17: Consultant
Example: “We need to pull a consultant in on this to see what we can improve.”
Corporate Meaning: An outside expert.
True Meaning: An outside expert who does the job top management is supposed to be doing.

18: Agency
Example: “We’re interviewing three agencies to redesign our packaging.”
Corporate Meaning: An outside company used to develop creative concepts around sales and marketing.
True Meaning: An outside company used to keep your team members from actually thinking on their own.

19: Data
Example: “We’ll review the data and decide how to move forward.”
Corporate Meaning: Facts and figures compiled by experts to be used for expanding company growth.
True Meaning: Numbers manipulated by frustrated statistical research grads who sit in a cubicle all day.

20: Incubator
Example: “Lets establish an incubator to get new products on the market.”
Corporate Meaning: A department of creative engineering talent used to develop innovative products.
True Meaning: A department of creative engineering talent used to develop innovative products that will eventually be ruined by middle management and consultants.

21: Email
Example: “I thought your last email said the project would be done today?”
Corporate Meaning: An electronic memo designed to share important information and increase productivity.
True Meaning: An electronic memo designed to spread rumors and misinformation.

22: Miscommunication
Example: “Sorry you got it wrong. There must have been a miscommunication.”
Corporate Meaning: The accidental sharing of inaccurate information.
True Meaning: Getting caught in a lie or sharing information that was never verified.

23: EOB
Example: “We need that by EOB tomorrow.”
Corporate Meaning: The end of the business day.
True Meaning: An unreasonably tight deadline imposed on a project that won’t actually be reviewed for months.

24: Business Lunch
Example: “I’ll be working remotely this afternoon. I have a business lunch with clients.”
Corporate Meaning: A lunch to discuss important business.
True Meaning: A way to waste company money and time to shoot the shit with former colleagues.

25: A Face To Face
Example: “We’re flying to Chicago for a face to face with that agency.”
Corporate Meaning: A meeting help in person to discuss business.
True Meaning: An excuse to take another company paid trip and play the big businessman role to meet about something you can accomplish on the phone.

26: Broker
Example: “The broker will take 8% of every sale.”
Corporate Meaning: A company that distributes manufacturer’s products to stores.
True Meaning: An unnecessary middle-man who drives up consumer pricing by taking commission simply because they play golf with chain store retail buyers.

27: Metrics
Example: “Lets review the metrics to see how we should proceed with that product line.”
Corporate Meaning: Data compiled from specific programs to explain performance results.
True Meaning: A sure fire way to slow progress and over complicate successful sales.

11/14/15

Greesations Exposes Hidden Gluten in Skin Care and Beauty Products


Personal care product manufacturers get away with not informing consumers by hiding the gluten inside ingredients with fancy sounding names. Some are easily spotted and others – not so much. Greensations Skin Care has launched a campaign to inform consumers about hidden gluten in order to educate the public.

As a natural health and beauty manufacturer, Greensations is committed to developing gluten free skin care products with honest detailed labeling. The goal is to force personal care companies to properly inform consumers about hidden gluten and other potential hazards, allowing consumers to make educated decisions when purchasing skin care products.

People who are sensitive to Gluten quickly become pros at avoiding the foods that cause their allergic reactions, but most consumers don’t realize that gluten is also hidden in the majority of skin care and beauty products. Aside from the normal bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea, other symptoms include headaches, edema, fatigue, hyperactivity, muscular problems and joint pain. When applied topically, gluten is carried through the epidermis and absorbed into the body. So skin care products with gluten can cause the same symptoms as food, which can worsen chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.

People who have Celiac Disease and various wheat allergies often have reactions to gluten in skin care products without ever pinpointing the source. Most sufferers chalk it up to mislabeled food they ate because they just don’t make the connection with personal care products. All the famous brands use hidden gluten ingredients in many of their most popular products. Certain products almost always have gluten; such as topical serums and creams that use binders.


TIPS TO FIND HIDDEN GLUTEN
Look for descriptions that contain keywords like (wheat or grain). Look for terms such as; fermented grain extract, hydrolized wheat starch, hydrolized wheat gluten, amp-isostearoyl protein and triticum vulgar. Be wary of Vitamin E that doesn’t explain what it was derived from since much of it comes from wheat germ oil, a gluten filled base. Gluten can also be found in oat products such as oat (avena sativa) and in products that contain bran, rye, millet and barley. While all these ingredients sound natural and safe, they are all prone to containing gluten.

List of Hidden Gluten Ingredients:

  • Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour
  • Barley extract
  • Cyclodextrin
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrin Palmitate
  • Fermented grain extract
  • Hydrolyzed Malt Extract
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
  • Maltodextrin
  • Phytosphingosine extract
  • Samino peptide complex
  • Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Flour
  • Sodium C8-16 Isoalkylsuccinyl
  • Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
  • Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
  • Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten
  • Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch
  • Vitamin E (MAY have wheat germ as the source of the vitamin E) -
  • Wheat Amino Acids
  • Wheat Germ Glycerides
  • Wheat Germamidopropalkonium Chloride
  • Wheat Protein Sulfonate
  • Wheatgermamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate
  • Yeast Extract