If you look at most Black Owned Businesses what you see are services, not products. Products are out there and they are very important to us. Often, providing a serivce depends on one's proximity to the business. Products, however; can be sent around the world and are commonly manufactured in one part of the world and sold in another. What we need to do is develop a pipeline from concept to prototype to help people with vision and creativity bring their ideas to life. And with our Collective Marketing strategies and Online Marketplace we can feature new products being developed and provide an audience so that the creator doesn't have to worry as much about all the other stuff. They can focus on creating the best product.
Developing the pipeline will take time but its worth the investment. By pipeline we mean that we want to eventually control every step in the life of the product; from the drawing to the 3D modeling to manufacturing, labeling, distribution, shipping, store, etc. We talk about recycling the dollars but we have to do so strategically because, in our current environment, we are losing money all throughout production as well as sales. For us, we have to eventually look at building factories in Africa and possibly the Caribbean.
What are we looking for from our new product submissions? The larger percentage is about the product. Is it needed? Can it be made in a cost-effective way? Can it be produced on-demand? What are the demographics it appeals to? Does it have a niche? Is it tested? Are buyers interested? Are retailers interested? We want to be very careful about how we handle money and invest in new ideas because we are stewards of the community's money; your money. Not only does the product have to be a good one but the person(s) behind it have to be good as well, possessing a knowledge of their craft, the business, and the market. How can you support Research & Development? If you're a member you already are. BWS2.0 automatically shifts resources as needed and as our membership grows more funds will be ear-marked for R&D.
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