Monday, November 2, 2020
Escanaba Polo Mallet Company donates much of its profits to charitable causes (Right now I think all of the profits are being donated) in an effort to make the world a better place. While we are a polo mallet company we are also good actors in our communities. While mallets might be our passion each mallet represents real resources for others. This is where the last quarters revenues and profits were spent.
We are working on raising revenues so that we can donate more in the future.
1. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
2. Hoof and Heart of Southern Michigan
3. Corazon De Vida Orphanages
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Escanaba supports orphans and spends time helping this group thrive. I'm planning a trip soon in the next few weeks with profits from selling mallets. To help raise awareness of the needs of orphans I'm posting the following announcement. This is an organization I know pretty well and they really have their heart in the right place. Some of the money I raise from my small business goes to help these kids grow up to be healthy and happy neighbors.
Thursday October 29th, 2020 at 7:00 PM PST. Virtual Gala and Silent Auction "A Night in Baja".
Monday, October 19, 2020
Developing advertisement pieces is not easy. We are in a media world where people are swarmed with information and they often skip right over relevant advertisements that they may be interested in simply because they have "information overload". Breaking through that barrier isn't only about getting louder and more bold. It should include a concept of unique. If you are a small business you don't have the ability to spend a lot on advertising. Use four principles of Time or Money, Uniqueness, Movement, and Next Action.
I was trying to blend painting with "eye popping" lettering to attract reader attention. I think it might look a little more like an "eye sore" than anything. 😵 I was also thinking about making the piece look like the hooves are coming from the heavens with a Greek God sort of theme. Didn't work out as planned (Maybe I should hoof on a stone pedestal 🤔).
Think a bout a few things before you get started. Here are a few things small businesses can consider when making their own advertisement pieces.
Time or Money: You either have the time to learn to create great advertisements or you have the money to pay someone else to make it. While I have neither I still forge forward. In this case, I might spend the time building better clouds, playing with background and working with the font.
Uniqueness: What I do like about this display is that it has color. I think the painting sort of enhances what people are willing to focus on. Much of our advertisement is with pictures but there are not a lot of artistic displays that really draw attention. I will see if this works.
Sense of Movement: There is a sense of movement and action in the display. It is saying come and play polo and come and feel like a Greek God. Polo people come from a certain background (demographic) and they may appreciate some of the mythological symbolism.
Next Action: By having the name of the company for branding and then the web address I'm letting them know where they can find my mallets.
Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a good works company that crafts polo mallets for the polo market. Much of our profits go to child enrichment, orphans and other good works projects. https://www.escanabapolomallet.com/
Sunday, October 11, 2020
One of the challenging aspects of making polo mallets is the ability to find straight shafts. The crooked ones are easy to find and you can obtain them in bundles for around $1 per pole. Out of a bundle of 30 shafts there are 1 or 2 that are usable. The alternative is to buy perfect shafts that by the time you pay for the shaft with shipping it is around $40 which makes them very expensive. Because straight shafts are getting harder to come by Escanaba Polo Mallet Company went on the hunt to experiment with alternative methods of obtaining increasingly rare straight mallet shafts.
Experimentation allows for businesses to adapt and better meet market needs. We know that our customers want straight shafts and while we pick out those that are the straightest they are not perfect. While our customers accept little bends in shafts in the polo industry the experimentation lead to a much straighter shaft that many other supplies don't have.
Here are a few steps to micro-manufacturing experimentation that anyone can do for themselves.
1. Define Your Problem: Lack of availability and excessive cost of straight poles. Find a way of correcting crooked poles.
2. Understand its Value on the Market: Offering straight poles raises the value of the product from an aesthetic and performance purpose.
3. Review Current Information/Methods: Look at your library, online, and experts on ways to straighten poles. The more you know about the different methods the better you can define yours.
4. Experiment with Different Methods: I have tried a few ways such as steaming, weighting, soaking, etc... some worked but they were too slow of a process. I needed something easier without lots of bulky equipment.
5. Test the Finished Product: I found what worked and was able to straighten poles. To ensure structural quality I used and tested the poles. What I found was that there was no noticeable difference.
6. Be Open to Customer Feedback: Just because you liked what you did sometimes customers don't. I sent out my first straightened mallet and asked the buyer to let me know what they did and didn't like about the mallet. I'm opening my lines of communication and keeping in close touch with customers to build relationships.
Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a good works start-up that makes American made polo mallets and gear and supports charitable organizations for orphans and child enrichment. https://www.escanabapolomallet.com/
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Buying a horse is no joke and it takes some time to figure out what to look for and how to price compare. Price comparison allows you to take a more systematic approach. While you may trust the person selling the horse to you it is always good to know and understand price comparison. While Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a good works business that sells mallets and hopefully equestrian gear it also seeks to raise awareness on how to run a manage a micro manufacturing business. Price comparison will be a big deal and difference in better understanding what you are willing to pay and what you are not willing to pay when selling a horse.
Price is somewhat subjective and is influenced by the market (i.e. the need for a price comparison) and your personal preferences. So to understand how much you should pay you will need to sort of think of what you are looking for.
Target Market Average
Having one large pool does little unless you want a very loose and inaccurate prediction of price at say 70 different horses in the area with an average price of $3K. That includes old, young, rideable, and un-rideable horses in the same pot. Thus if you break down by your target market you might get a more accurate description. So in Bella's case I might look at the Midwest any any city within 7 hours drive. People who are interested in a particular horse may be willing to travel that far. The further you go out however, the more likely your price will drop as people are naturally going to look closer to home first to reduce effort and cost.
By Target Market avg. tm = $3K
Since Bella is an Arabian-Quarter Mix she isn't going to be in the general category and therefore we might consider looking at Arabians. Once we have looked at all of the Arabians listed in multiple sites from my target region we have an average of $8K. Many of the ones listed as Arabian appear to be mixed in my search so it will make it difficult to find Arabian-mix unless we clean the data by removing terms like "Thoroughbred".
By Breed avg. b=$8K (Likely a little lower)
It is important to remember that people don't have the time to widdle down to a finite category unless they are in the high end "horse trading" business. Most people want to give horses to their kids, take classes, have a farm, etc... Thus, they may be interested in Bella the Arabian-Quarter mix or they may be equally willing to pick another breed for pleasure riding purposes. So you will need to price based on the functional value of competing categories. For example, Bella would have to be priced in a way that is not too much over, or too much under what the average person is willing to pay to own a horse (unless you are in a specialized market).
What I also noticed from the listing sites that there are difference is price for training. Those horses that have a lot of training and functioned in a competitive capacity are worth more than those who are only partially trained. Bella has had professional training and regular riding but hasn't competed much. The plan was to compete with her this coming year. Yet all of the ground work is mastered which makes her a good ride for most people and she also has the foundation to be competitive in hunting, barrels, etc... So the higher trained horses are 10K+ while the lower trained horses are around 2K. In this case I might place Bella in the 6-7K range. She would appeal to someone who wants to ride pleasure but also perhaps move into competition as well.
By training average Low Range Training LRT = $2K and average High Range Training HRT= $6.5K
You can choose whatever differentiation and factors that you want. The problem you will face is that not all of the data is available. If you were a serious horse hunter you would look at all of the different factors and narrow yourself down to a few in your region you would seriously consider. Eventually, it will make no sense to break down the categories any more. There simply isn't enough informational value learned from the exercise.
What is Bella Worth on the Market?
We have a range that would work when we consider our target market $3K , breed $8K, and training 6.5K. This is where one has to use their strategy. I'm focusing on the younger rider that wants to do some competing but still needs to work with the horse a little to find their particular groove. I would put this value around $6K. If I was going for a different marketing I would have a price based on the needs of that market.
$6K isn't our final answer.....
4 P's Product, Price, Place Promotion
Before we list Bella for the wrong price lets weigh and balance against the 4 P's Product, Price, Place Promotion.
Product: 8 Year Old Mare Arabian Quarter, Trained, Ready-to-Ride, w/ Performance Potential.
Place: Markets that are within 6 hours drive. (I would discount our $6K by at least $1K for people who are driving. The value declines the longer they have to put effort, gas, etc... into it. So people who want to buy Bella might get a $1 K discount at time of purchase if they are over 2 hours drive away. It is hoped the incentive raises the value.
Promotion: The location is dependent on our market but in Bella's case it will be online forums as the easiest way to reach potential customers as well as local Word-of-Mouth. Bella is well liked at the stalls and there is some interest in her as she is gentle for children and still able to jump and canter making Word-of_Mouth WOM likely.
If we do a little calculation we will find........
$6K -1K (driving discount)=$5K
Our competitive price for Bella based on her offerings and worth is $5K. That price would not be out of the reach of many of the casual riders and might be just under the starting level for competitive horses. Thus, if someone want to buy for casual riding they could or one could buy to train for competition. It allows us to maximize our customer base by being close to both by understanding your product. The goal is to increase the likelihood of sales while if we raised the price we would have less sales but more profits (scarcity and value).
Trust as Essential to Sales
There is one more value component I would like to discuss and that is "trust". People want to trust that the information on the product they are considering to buy as worthwhile. Thus, being open to phone calls and allowing interested parties to discuss issues with the trainer is helpful. They can ask direct questions and obtain direct responses.
Even with an informative and positive conversation it can be difficult to trust if you have to travel or pay for a horse that may have problems a few weeks down the road. They call it "horse trading" for a reason and some of the people are not honest. I build my reputation as much as possible on being honest; even when its not in my best interest to do so. So in this case I might offer a type of guarantee.
That guarantee would come in the form of a Health Certificate from our local veterinarian. Once the potential buyer shows interest and is willing to put down a $200 deposit I will obtain a health certificate. If they fail then I eat the cost, if the horse has a positive evaluation and the buyer purchases the horse it is paid for, but if it receives a positive certificate the buyer backs out I keep the $200.
Based on our very simplified quick price comparison expect to pay $2-4K for a pleasure horse you can ride right away and over $8K for a horse you could use for competition. Bell is in between those ranges and would have a fair market value of somewhere around $5K (that is assuming I'm not missing something).
- Arabian-Quarter Mix
- 8 Years Old
- Professional Training-Starting Competition
- Easy to Ride for Beginner-Intermediate
- Light to Touch
- Talk with Trainer
- $6K -$1K (For people traveling over 100 miles).
- Health Certificate Evaluation with $200 Deposit (Optional if Both Parties Want or You can Just Make Purchase) Come and Try Her
- Murad 619-540-0501 firstname.lastname@example.org
A video I played with and created. I was actually doing it for something else but thought it turned out well. Cost me like $3.99 at ClipChamp. Not bad.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Companies have to create advertisements that will attract people and maintain a sense of a brand. Playing around with some advertisements of my own I found where some mistakes were made and vow to correct them at a future date. What I do find is that the strategy and the marketing approach should be very much aligned and sometimes there are undefined aspects of your campaign because you have not operationally understood how something functions in "real life".
Its important to remember that Escanaba Polo Mallet Company is a good works company that donates away much of its profits to charitable causes. One of the goals is to also raise awareness of micro-manufacturing needs as a viable occupational alternative that has the power to repower our nation through our innovative spirit. So the article is as much about teaching as learning and as much about learning as teaching; a mutual process.
I'm playing around with my amateur painting and thinking of ideas on making an effective advertisement. As with anything you are doing there is room for improvement. Beyond the obvious of being a better painter there are a few things I like and don't like about advertisement. The main goal was to use color to attract the eye as color in places like newspapers can give a 41% boost in median sales (Sparkman & Austin, 1980). Its a pretty old study but you get the idea on how color creates marketing impact.
What I Don't Like:
1. Sky should be brighter to give the impression of a lazy day.
2. The message could be more clear. I think it could be written a different way.
3. Confusion between water polo and horse polo. The background doesn't complement the message and it doesn't give hints on what actions the readers should take next.
4. I don't like the box in corner and should integrate the box or find a new location.
What I Do Like:
1. I like the use of colors because they attract the eye. I think a painting (at least a good one) could sell on emotion as primary and logic as secondary.
2. While I think the display lettering needs work I would say that the basic idea is there but needs greater integration of elements from font to background.
3.The picture is fairly crisp and contrasted with the background.
Sparkman Jr., R., & Austin, L. M. (1980). The Effects of Sales of Color in Newspaper Advertisements. Journal of Advertising, 9(4), 39–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.1980.10673336