Designing A Patented Innovative Battery-Powered Shovel That Generates $10K/Month

$10K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
2
Employees
product
Rotoshovel
from Fishers, IN, USA
started October 2019
$10,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
2
Employees
840K
alexa rank
186
followers
11
followers
market size
$83.3B
avg revenue (monthly)
$1.04M
starting costs
$33.3K
gross margin
44%
time to build
10 months
average product price
$5
growth channels
SEO
business model
E-Commerce
best tools
YouTube, Google Adwords, Google Analytics
time investment
Side project
pros & cons
35 Pros & Cons
tips
9 Tips
Discover what tools Rick reccommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Rick reccommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! I’m Rick Goren and I’ve started numerous successful companies over the years. The latest of which is Rotoshovel: designers and engineers of groundbreaking landscaping equipment! Our flagship product is the Rotoshovel, the world’s first and only electric shovel.

In our first 6 months, we have sold over 600 units with minimal marketing. We have been featured on state-wide television and nationally syndicated radio, and are vendors with some of the largest retailers in the US including The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco working towards a Springtime in-store launch.

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

After being fired from my corporate job on Thanksgiving weekend, I started a home theater company in 1998. I was determined to build my own brand after helping establish notable companies such as Australian Gold and OnStar. While running Technology Interiors for 24 years, I brought numerous innovative products to market. The Mobile Vision Pro laptop harness secures your workstation to your waist so you can work on your feet, and more recently, the Qube cotton swab dispenser hygienically stores your swabs for easy access.

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

The Rotoshovel is the latest product I’ve invented and produced. I’ve spared no expense in ensuring the success of the Rotoshovel brand, as it holds the most promise of any of my inventions.

I went outside to bury a speaker but wanted a faster way to dig out the dirt. I looked at the tools in the garage: shovels, post hole diggers, and augers. I got the idea for the Rotoshovel! “Why isn’t there a powered shovel?” I searched online but found nothing. I was surprised but saw this as an incredible opportunity.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

No good invention is developed alone. I immediately hired two attorneys to research patents and began finalizing the design details of the Rotoshovel product

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

Early on, I had help with the design and prototype from Patrick, a highschool student adept at 3D printing who saw the Rotoshovel’s potential. When Patrick walked into the Technology Interiors showroom, I was immediately impressed by his technical knowledge. Through our newfound business relationship, he was able to gain valuable field experience in product design and the Rotoshovel came closer to its final version. Patrick continues to help develop new inventions as we expand our lineup in the garden tool space. I then hired a company in Palo Alto, California to help engineer and prototype the original version.

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

I connected with a Chinese manufacturer and gradually refined the product. The first few iterations were either underpowered or made feature compromises that did not meet our requirements. Communicating back-and-forth to China was a time-consuming process with days of delay between replies and weeks of lead time before new changes could be implemented.

Set goals and make a vision board keep you motivated. Get up early every day and spend time actively pursuing those goals.

Fortunately, our engineering team in China was just as dedicated to manufacturing a quality product, and within 6 months, the Rotoshovel was ready to launch!

Describe the process of launching the business.

With inventory arriving from the factory, my focus turned to other components of the business: PR and sales. As I began selling units, handling Rotoshovel became more than a one-man job. It was then I brought Alexander on the team to handle the day-to-day operations.

While I focus on the finances and sales of the company, he keeps the warehouse, customer support, and PR running smoothly.

We acquired a warehouse to store and ship inventory as it arrives from overseas and began activating PR channels to sell products.

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Everything from graphics design to video production is accomplished in-house to lessen cost and allow complete control of the final media asset. The video below was produced in-house and still acts as the promotional centerpiece for the Rotoshovel.

We have experimented with numerous methods of promotion to find what methods work best to capture customer attention and generate sales. To sell directly to consumers and landscaping centers, we utilize mailers, email blasts, magazine ads, and online advertising.

For our retail partners, our sales reps constantly seek the best stores to carry Rotoshovel products. We have received and pursued interest from the biggest players in multiple markets, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, QVC, As Seen on TV, and Costco. We have already entered a vendor relationship with Home Depot, Lowe’s, As Seen on TV, and Costco. Costco intends to be our first in-store retail distributor in Spring of 2021, launching the Rotoshovel in 150 stores with a sales forecast of $5.56mm (40,000 units).

designing-a-patented-innovative-battery-powered-shovel-that-generates-10k-month

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We have only had inventory for 6 months and we already have headway with the most massive hardware stores in the world. Now, it is only a matter of time before the product is brought into stores, and customers are exposed to the world’s only electric shovel.

At this early stage, the opportunity for growth is endless!

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I feel very fortunate that the universe gave me this product. The shovel has not changed in 12,000 years of human history, dating back to the neolithic age. It is one of our oldest inventions, but it’s time for a refresh.

Shovels are dumb! But the Rotoshovel takes a boring, innovative tool and renews it with design. Look around you! You’ll find there are endless opportunities for innovation and invention. Then, you need only find the means.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Because of the company’s small size, we can minimize the tools and expense necessary for smooth operation. We use QuickBooks for accounting and Google services for communication (Gmail, Office, Drive, etc.).

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I have always relied on Nightingale Conant for audiobooks and CD programs to get me motivated. Anthony Robbins, Earl Nightingale, Dennis Waitley, and Brian Tracey were big influences in my early years.

Entrepreneurship is about whole life engagement. I can’t recommend enough the book Personal Power by Anthony Robbins, not just for business sense but to improve the way you live and reach your personal potential.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Set goals and make a vision board keep you motivated. Get up early every day and spend time actively pursuing those goals.

“It’s not aptitude but the attitude that determines your altitude in life.”

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

As the company grows I’m always keeping an eye out for intelligent individuals to bring on the team and take Rotoshovel places I never dreamed it could go!

Where can we go to learn more?

-  
Rick Goren,   Founder of Rotoshovel
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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