American sales team of George and Mary Harper have developed a product that helps dog owners walk their dogs with ease. With its hands-free design, the Pooch Pal is truly one of a kind.
Before joining ASB, what was your experience in sales/promotional products?
George: We were born to sell branded merchandise. My father was a marketing manager for 3M and he integrated the posted note into the add specialties industry. He told me to get a college degree and I will get you an interview with a distributor. One of my last college classes featured the inventor of the real estate lock box protector. Her final advice after many sleepless nights worrying about patent and manufacturing was, “sell your idea and take the royalty check”! I have been selling promotional products since 1989. I have invented two products now, including the club scrub, a club and golf ball cleaner spray currently supplied by YM Labs.
In your own words, what is the Pooch Pal and why is it special/unique to the industry?
Basically, a fanny pack designed with a small window to dispense doggie doo bags. It has a large pocket for cell phone, cash, ID etc. It has a smaller pocket for dog treats, a small leash to hook up to a bigger leash, and a carabiner for keys or flashlight. It is specifically designed for hands-free dog walking. Click here to watch a demo video.
How did you think of this idea?
My wife inspired this item when she asked for my belt. Our rescue dog was a serious puller and she had attached her leash to the belt so she could drink coffee and keep control of Bernie, our Westie Doodle. Mary suggested we use an old fanny pack and she cut a slit on the inside pocket and put a roll of doggie doo bags and treats in the bag and it worked!
Once you had the idea, what steps did you take to get it manufactured?
We signed a royalty contract and started the spec promo process.
Why did you choose to partner with Hit Promo?
There is no affordable way to patent a new invention. I wanted to sell the Pooch Pal and I had already worked with Hit Promo on two big overseas projects. I trusted they would get this done and were large enough to launch and make a “Hit” out of the Pooch Pal.
If you could do this all over again, would you do anything differently?
We would work on pre-sales so we could have more sales sooner when product arrived during the delay in shipping.
What advice would you give to someone considering product development?
- Search all websites to see if your idea is already exists! Google the item!
- Make a prototype
- Make a Non-Compete document that you send out before you talk about your idea.
- If they do not sign, move on to next supplier
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Understand the process takes time, and remember you are used to offering many different products so don’t be offended if they reject your ‘pet project’.
To learn more about American Solutions for Business, visit http://www.americanbus.com.