One Startup. 30 Days. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.
We continually kick ourselves in the ass for committing to a 30-day launch timeline. Nothing has felt as ready as it should, it seems like we are miles away from shipping a product we’ve committed to ship this week, we have a miles long To-Do list and I accidentally planned a ski trip during our first week of production and shipping product – whoops!
Despite the frustrations, we’ve made progress. In 30 days:
- 1 Idea turned into a marketable product
- 1 Company established: MixedMade LLC
- 3 Domains registered
- 1 Website set up on Shopify
- 9 revisions for website to look “good enough” and reflect better SEO (images below)
- 6 Systems implemented: payments, accounting, inventory, email (Google Docs), email marketing and shipment
- 18 recipe variants that led to the most kick-ass (in our humble opinion) spicy honey recipe
- 60 Pounds of honey purchased from an off-the-grid natural beekeeper in the Hudson Valley
- 11 Branding options considered to reach our final design
- $1100 spent on key items including LLC filing, ingredients, packaging, and supplies
- $525 in pre-order revenue
- 21 pre-orders received with very little outreach or marketing
- 27 Bottles of Bees Knees Spicy Honey sold
- 9 Blog posts written (admittedly adding 3 more since day 30 as we’ve been posting with a 2-7 day lag)
- 560 unique visitors to www.mixedmade.com
So, was it worth it? We haven’t created an overnight success. But, we do feel that we are in a great position to create awareness and growth.
We certainly had some moments of stress elevated by our timeline:
“The product images show a chili in the bottle, but I don’t think we can find one that will fit in the bottle without going out of control on the spice.”
“We’re three days behind our projected date for sourcing our honey!”
“Shit, we are supposed to ship product next week and I just realized I will be in Montana the entire week”
“Orders ship next week and I still don’t have a final recipe. Or honey.”
“We can’t get screen-printed bottles fast enough, so we need to make and print labels in two days. But it is Thursday evening, so really one day”
Despite the stress, it was an overwhelmingly positive learning experience. AND, we found the right chili for the bottle.
Morgen: I feel like the impending timeline actually worked to our advantage – forcing us to take action, make decisions with imperfect information, avoid wasting time when not driving towards immediate goals and giving little excuse for excuses. In fact, without the 30-day timeline, I think it would have taken us two or three months to make the same progress we have made as of today.
Further, If I was to do it again I might make the timeline even tighter now that I know what systems and tools I would rely on and implement.
Casey: It’s very easy to talk about starting a company, to say we’ll do it in the spring or once summer is over or when my tax return comes in. It’s another thing to look at a calendar on your first night and immediately set dates for domain registration, final brand design, and product shipment. Standing here, on Day 30, we’re equally ahead of and behind where I thought we’d be. I’m proud of the company, brand, and product we’re presenting today, and I’m proud of the commitment we’re made to meeting our goal. But I understand now that Day 30 was never an end game. We built a great foundation and now the real work begins are we grow and develop Bees Knees and the MixedMade brand. To the next 30!
We believe today more than ever that MixedMade and Bees Knees Spicy Honey appeal to a lot of people – hot sauce lovers, honey lovers, food lovers, and people interested in interesting things. With that belief, our next efforts will be to grow awareness and outreach, generate press, refine our content and processes and ultimately grow sales. We’re excited to have you along for the continuing journey!
Action: Comment if you have any questions about our process, decisions we made so far, or information you’re curious to know.