Author Topic: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year  (Read 1020 times)

MrSeven

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Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« on: January 16, 2019, 05:33:20 PM »
First off, starting a new product is a long haul, not easy, and takes work. I think there is a thought process floating around in some areas that you come up with a good idea and then somehow, magically, it just starts selling and making you money. I believe most worthwhile things we do takes work. It takes a good idea, a solid product, great customer service, work, more work, and TIME! The last one is important as nothing gets done in a day when it comes to launching a new product.

With all that said, I am going back and fort about a new product I launched last summer and would like some constructive feedback.

Yes, I know the site can certainly use better pictures and videos, but I would like feedback around the TV Blanket idea and concept. The good news is I have not had one return yet. Sales are slow, but December was a decent month.

https://www.tvblanket.com Blanket with a Foot Pocket

Some specific questions
  • What do you think of the idea? Is it compelling enough to buy?
  • What do you think of the price point?
  • Would you ever buy a TV Blanket? Why or Why not?



marble_faun

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 06:55:49 PM »
Congrats on launching the product!

To be honest, though, I personally wouldn't buy it.  An all-purpose, regular blanket can just be folded around the feet. Also the material looks synthetic, which I dislike the feeling of, and it probably wouldn't come out of the washing machine looking good.  (Also the shedding of microfibers from fleece is an environmental issue.)  Would prefer to stick with the wool throws I've had for 10+ years.

So basically I'm not the target audience...but maybe look into how Snuggie marketed their product? It looks to be in a similar category.

MrSeven

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 09:38:39 PM »

Congrats on launching the product!

To be honest, though, I personally wouldn't buy it.  An all-purpose, regular blanket can just be folded around the feet. Also the material looks synthetic, which I dislike the feeling of, and it probably wouldn't come out of the washing machine looking good.  (Also the shedding of microfibers from fleece is an environmental issue.)  Would prefer to stick with the wool throws I've had for 10+ years.

So basically I'm not the target audience...but maybe look into how Snuggie marketed their product? It looks to be in a similar category.

Thanks marble_faun for the feedback.

During the testing phase I had several people try the blanket. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the feel and the comfort of it. It weighs about 6 pounds. Also, I washed it and it looked and felt great afterwards.

Regarding your statement on a regular blanket can be folded around the feet. Yep, that is true, but of course it gets harder the taller you are (I am 6 feet 4 inches).

Thanks again for taking the time to check out the site and comment. I do appreciate it.

MaaS

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 07:20:29 PM »
Hmmm. I fold my blanket to make a pocket like this around my feet every night. So, I do like the concept.

With that said, I wouldn't pay $50 for an additional blanket. But, I think there's a decent amount of people who would. You're just on the wrong message board for that :)

A customer acquisition idea for you:

Create a Google display ad campaign of people reading about Reynaud's Disease. Focus on northern states. I have a couple friends who have it. They have all sorts of specialty slippers and accessories for their cold feet. Could be an interesting niche for you.

Side note: I really don't like the name. I get the attachment to it from your about section, but you need to reconsider this IMO. The name needs to reflect the uniqueness of the product.



« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:26:19 PM by MaaS »

marble_faun

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 10:17:08 AM »
@MrSeven Thanks for taking the feedback so congenially! 

I agree about the name, because it limits the product to the couch when it could also be for the bed.  Maybe choose a name that evokes a sense of warmth and coziness, like, I don't know... "The Toast Up!"  For toasty toes.

And YES, I could see your business (Toast Up, Inc.!) branching into other products to warm up the feet.  One idea would be hot-water bottles.  Several years ago I visited a house that had an old-fashioned, heavy-duty rubbery hot-water bottle.  I LOVED it but haven't been able to find anything else like it, as most of the products on the market now seem poorly made and (per reviews) prone to melting.  If you were to come up with a good-quality hot water bottle, I would be a customer for sure. :-)

MrSeven

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 04:41:37 PM »
Thanks MaaS for the feedback. I have never heard of Reynaud's Syndrome before. I researched it a little and I agree that the TV Blanket could be something that would be beneficial to those that have limited blood supply in their feet. Also interesting idea about changing the name... I have been attached to the name as the website has been around for almost 20 years, and I never thought about changing it. Definitely some food-for-thought.

Thanks marble_faun for the "Toast Up!" name suggestion and for the hot water bottle idea.




Frznrth

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 07:58:42 AM »
I might buy something like that as a gift.   What I notice after a quick look at your site:  The background colour at the top doesn't grab me.  Also I know that blankets wouldn't necessarily look neat and tidy but they seem to look messy in the pictures to me.  Not overly appealing.  The description of how the blanket folds into a pillow took me twice to read before understanding what it actually was saying.  Could this be shown with pictures - I know you have a video but I didn't bother to watch.  To me the ability to make a blanket into a pillow so it looks nice sitting out is the biggest plus.  I think for $50 I would expect something rather high end - I don't know if I really get this impression. 

Best of luck though.  Great for you to get out there and try.  Have you tied selling on Amazon?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2019, 08:02:39 AM »
Your site doesn't start with "https" and therefore it is blocked by my browser. So I can't say anything about the content of your site, because I can't reach it. Fix the https!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 08:06:06 AM by Linda_Norway »

MrSeven

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2019, 08:13:09 PM »
I might buy something like that as a gift.   What I notice after a quick look at your site:  The background colour at the top doesn't grab me.  Also I know that blankets wouldn't necessarily look neat and tidy but they seem to look messy in the pictures to me.  Not overly appealing.  The description of how the blanket folds into a pillow took me twice to read before understanding what it actually was saying.  Could this be shown with pictures - I know you have a video but I didn't bother to watch.  To me the ability to make a blanket into a pillow so it looks nice sitting out is the biggest plus.  I think for $50 I would expect something rather high end - I don't know if I really get this impression. 

Best of luck though.  Great for you to get out there and try.  Have you tied selling on Amazon?

Thanks Frznrth for the feedback. I appreciate the comments on the background color and the description on how to fold the blanket into the pillow.

No, I have not tried selling on Amazon. Right now I am mostly just trying things out to see if its worth it to put some more effort into the website and marketing.

civil4life

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 04:17:25 PM »
First the product.

Cool idea...I would not buy it, but maybe as a gift, but it would need to be at a lower price point.  Maybe in the $25 to $40 range depending on size.  I like that it folds into a pillow.  One other idea I thought of is possibly the ability to zip or button the pockets up or down.  Same with the compartments.  Then you have the duel usage as a regular blanket.  Also it may be worth selling by the typical sizes - throw, single, full, queen, and king.

I agree that the name needs some work.

Website

In general but the shopping page especially takes a long time to load.  Maybe consider showing one picture and then a sample square of the other colors.  I am not sure if this would help, but showing one picture but being able to click on it and have a "slide show" of the different options, and close up of the features.

I think this would help on the purchase page too.  Have one page that has a pull down for the color and one for size.

The 3 paragraphs under watching in style are very wordy and not quick and easy to understand.  Consider making them short bullet points.

Looking ahead at the up coming holidays.  Valentine's Day - A way to cozy up to your significant other,  Mother's and Father's Day.

I would combine the customer service and return page.  Also I think people would be more familiar with putting FAQ.  Consider adding to the FAQ washing instructions.

In general try to write everything as concisely as possible.  Less paragraphs and more bullet points.


Rictelae

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Re: Looking for feedback on a side hustle idea I started last year
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 07:04:55 AM »
As an average client, everything is fine with me. But I advise on competitors to go, look at their shortcomings and make yours better. Although the site looks very attractive. One eye cut to me - pictures with the color palette of your product. Not the same angle (if you make such photos - you need a tripod). And even better symmetrically from different angles.