Frequently Asked Questions & Product Instructions

General FAQ

We know that time is your greatest and most valued asset, so we built Basecamp InQb8r to give you want you need and quickly.  You don’t have to pop in to constantly monitor information feeds and remember what you already reviewed.

We send out emails two times per month with new content updates so you do not have to always be checking. We build the updates in a blog post and then at the end of the two-week period, we copy and paste that into an email (which you can unsubscribe from at any time).  If something in the email looks helpful to you,  you can pop in to access the content. Platform updates are located here: https://basecampinqb8r.com/category/updates/

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We also include filtering of information and data on the platform by date added/updated so you do not have to remember if you reviewed something already or not.

University Curriculum

Basecamp InQb8r University is a knowledgebase of content, methodologies, processes, tools, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data and software, organized to take a startup from idea to $50 million in annual sales.  Regardless of whether you want to stay small and private or grow large with investor participation, University teaches the fundamentals that matter regardless of size. It includes:

  • The Growth Stack, which is a road map for developing, launching and growing a consumer product company through methods that can lead to more sales – faster – and can make a company and its products more appealing to consumers, resellers and investors, with less risk.
  • The Lean & Agile Framework, which is the operating manual to help support executing on the Growth Stack. It is organized into eight core sections.  There are more than 40 tools in the forms of models, spreadsheets, standard operating procedures and diagrams

We see so many startups and product launches that waste money, time or outright fail because they use the wrong growth strategy.

In our experience, the Growth Stack requires the least amount of investment and the least amount of risk, and has the potential to provide much faster, more robust and sustainable growth.

It will work for any size company. If you want to stay small, it will work, if you want to grow big, it will work.

Learn three key things:

  1. How to have very profitable products and without having to sell a lot;
  2. How to get FREE marketing, so you can run a lot of it;
  3. How to get resellers and retailers and investors to chase you, not the other way around

Before starting your company, achieve alignment and fit between your goals, brand pillars, category/product selection and target market.

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • What is strategy vs tactics, how they are different and why they are important
  • Why everyone should complete this strategy section, regardless of how small or big you want to grow your company;
  • How to determine your interest, passions and talents and why these should be aligned with your business;
  • Why it is important to have deep joy in building your company and how to make sure you build that into your company;
  • A list of resources and tools to help you determine your interest, passions and talents;
  • The difference between interests, passions and talents and what stays the same and what changes;
  • How to come up with the best business idea for you;
  • Why you should work on your strengths and not your weaknesses, but when it is important to work on your weaknesses;
  • What is a backstory and why it is important for your business idea;
  • Examples of backstories that you can find to learn from;
  • What is a company vision;
  • What is a company mission or values;
    What is company culture;
  • What are goals;
  • How vision, mission, values/culture and goals fit together;
  • How to align your interest, passions and talents with your company vision, mission/values and culture;
  • What are customer personas;
  • Why it is important to think about your target market in terms of customer personas;
  • What are brand pillars, why they are important and how to develop them;
  • One way to stand out in your business that you build into your brand pillars;
  • How to determine the viability of your business idea;
  • Characteristics for a great product (or business idea)
  • Which are you: product centric, marketing centric, sales centric and what are the differences and how do they impact your growth strategy;
  • What are the predominant marketing influencing factors, how are they different and why timing of their use is important;
  • What are the major sales models for consumer products, how are they different, what is their relative cost to execute and risk factors;
  • Which sales models might you pick and why;
  • The major consumer product growth strategies and why the framework emphasizes certain ones over others;
  • Why having a lot of cash is often your most dangerous resource that can kill your company;
  • What is a scorecard and how to start using this tool;
  • Why it is important to measure, track and report;
  • How having to make fewer decisions can make you more successful;
  • How to manage strategic, tactical and day-to-day distractions in growing your company;
  • What is strategic alignment in your company;
  • Why you need strategic alignment;
  • When I ask people who are successful what is the one thing that they owe to their success, most say it comes down to this one thing;
  • How to use my worksheet to achieve alignment in your company’s strategy, vision, missi

Implement the right technology and processes so that growth is easier to manage and scale.

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • Why data and information is power;
  • Goals for the technology I use;
  • How systems can help you attain success;
  • My systems, processes and technology for productivity;
  • What are dashboards and KPIs;
  • Key KPIs I like;
  • Supply chain tools I use;
  • Production tools I use;
  • Logistics/Shipping-Warehouse/Inventory tools I use;
  • My main website infrastructure platforms I use and why;
  • WordPress plugins I use;
  • Woocommerce add-ons I use;
  • My website customizations and why I developed them;
  • My ecommerce sales funnel, why I developed it, and how the rules engine works to power it;
  • The email list infrastructure I use;
  • The social media tools I use;
  • The web analytics tools I use;
  • Systems I no longer use and why;
  • The database I use and why I developed it;
  • Other database alternatives;
  • Sales tools I use;
  • Customer service tools I use;
  • Finance tools I use;
  • What I use to run my finance and accounting;
  • Systems to manage contractors and human resources;
  • My technology costs.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Business Organizer;
  2. Growth Plan & Timeline;
  3. Calendars;
  4. Task List;
  5. Dashboard-KPIs-Metrics;
  6. Email SOP;
  7. Mailchimp SOP;
  8. Website Development/Changes SOP;
  9. Consumer Product Ecommerce Sales Funnel (purchase required as a separate add-on);
  10. Database SOP;
  11. Consumer Product Customer-Ecommerce-Marketing Database (purchase required as a separate add-on);
  12. System Costs;
  13. Operations Database.

Develop “WOW” products that capture attention, perform competitive research, determine positioning, overcome sales objections, determine value propositions and document risks

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • How to develop products in context of value ladders and sales funnels;
  • How to develop products for a traditional reseller/retail approach;
  • What is rapid-prototyping and why you need to develop products this way;
  • What are WOW products and why you need them;
  • What things cause people to talk about and share;
  • Classic direct response marketing elements for blockbuster products;
  • Ten elements that make up WOW;
  • WOW products can be a combination of things;
  • A WOW product is relative to the target market;
  • Validate the existence of buyers;
  • Passive Consumer Voice Mining;
  • Use neuromarketing in place of surveys;
  • How to research and secure names for your company and products;
  • Resources for names keyword & search phrases;
  • Why I am not a fan of traditional surveys;
  • Tools if you want to conduct surveys;
  • Key industry research questions to answer;
  • Key competitor research questions to answer;
  • Competitor research tools to use;
  • Key reseller/retail research questions to answer;
  • Key questions to help determine your competitive advantages;
  • Key questions to help determine your dream customers;
  • How to improve customer personas with affinities research;
  • How to determine your product positioning;
  • How to document sales objections;
  • Document risks with your product;
  • Document constraints to working with your product, category and industry;
  • Get UPC and GTIN numbers.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  • Specifications & Price List.

Pricing, cost of goods sold (COGS), accounting, budgeting, forecasting, fundraising and all things finance-related

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • The ultimate goal in any company is to acquire AND retain customers where costs to acquire and retain are less than expenses, which leads to profits;
  • Lay out best practices in accounting and finance that will tell the business what activities are most successful for acquiring and retaining customers, so the business can do more of that, and where they are less successful (or not at all), and stop doing that;
  • The flow of money and key financial metrics that underpin the use of direct marketing to sell products;
  • The main profit and loss buckets;
  • The million dollar question: how much to spend on marketing & sales;
  • Why the common rule of thumb on marketing spend is wrong;
  • What is marketing efficiency and why do you want it;
  • Where to obtain the key data for building the key financial models;
  • The right way to track and categorize expenses;
  • Why you want to separate investment costs from all other costs in the profit and loss statement;
  • What is cost of goods sold (COGS) and what expenses make up this bucket;
  • The important questions to consider in determining and managing COGS;
  • A rule of thumb for COGS;
  • How to create profit & loss statements by product and sales channel and why you want to do that;
  • How to determine marketing costs by product and sales channel and why you want to do that;
  • How to determine return on ad spend (ROAS) contribution margin, and return on investment (ROI) and how to use these ratios;
  • How to determine average customer value and why you want to know that;
  • How to determine average order value in context of a product sales funnel and why you want to know that;
  • How to drill down and determine your suggested retail price (MSRP);
  • How to eliminate channel conflict in pricing;
  • How to set pricing based on profitability goals;
  • How to set pricing in context of discounts and special offers;
  • The right way to build a sales forecast model that is based not just on end consumer sales, but what you ship out;
  • How to use a resellers target weeks on hand inventory to manage your sales forecast;
  • How to use prior year data to help in your sales forecasting;
  • How to use promotions and seasonal spikes to help in your sales forecasting;
  • How to create profit & loss statements with actual results and forecasted numbers;
  • Why you want to avoid equity fundraising for your company;
  • The key questions your finances need to answer with respect to your company;
  • How to set marketing spend based on specific growth strategies;
  • Why sell direct-to-consumer and not use resellers;
  • Pricing after you have acquired a customer;
  • How to increase revenue;
  • A case for using resellers before direct-to-consumer.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Accounting General Ledger;
  2. Simulation P&L;
  3. Traffic & Funnel Model;
  4. SRP Pricing Model;
  5. Sales Forecast Model;
  6. Standard Ownership/Fundraising Capitalization Model;
  7. Operations Database.

Supply chain, production, logistics and warehousing

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • How production and logistics is entirely driven off of your inventory management tool;
  • The different subsections of production and logistics and how to think about them in sequence;
  • What happens to finished goods in context of direct-to-consumer shipments and retail shipments and why;
  • What you need to do daily to manage your inventory;
  • What you need to do weekly to manage your inventory;
  • Sample SOP’s for managing direct-to-consumer shipments in-house or using a third party provider;
  • My Amazon FBA SOP (standard operating procedures);
  • Additional items related to production and logistics to think through.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Amazon Marketplace-FBA-Pay SOP.
  2. Product Production Log;
  3. Operations Database.

Organize marketing so you have a detailed framework to know what kind of marketing to create, why, when to deploy it, and where to deploy it.

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • Why you need a framework for marketing;
  • The one secret to success in marketing;
  • Why marketing is about trust and relationship;
  • The 1000 true fans concept and how it can work in growing your company;
  • The two broad categories of marketing and why you need to focus on both;
  • Hot vs warm vs cold prospects and how to market to them;
  • Direct marketing vs brand marketing vs grass roots marketing;
  • Paid vs owned vs earned media;
  • Awareness vs engagement vs conversion;
  • Active vs passive media;
  • How to organize the above marketing concepts into a framework to know what kind of marketing to create, why, when to deploy it, and where to deploy it;
  • How to get marketing to pay for itself (so you can spend a lot on it);
  • How to test marketing before you invest in more marketing;
  • How to visually organize the marketing framework into a useful tool;
  • Understanding basic and advanced concepts in behavior and psychology for use in marketing;
  • What is brand identity and how to create it for your products and company;
  • Understanding marketing creative & copy;
  • Using storytelling to market your products;
  • Understanding value propositions;
  • Product pricing from a financial vs marketing context;
  • Building landing pages, funnels, using conversion rate optimization (CRO) and UX/UI;
  • Basic analytics tools you want to have in place to capture marketing data;
  • Targeting your marketing to behaviors vs interests;
  • Marketing strategy vs tactics vs ideas;  what is the difference and why;
  • How to keep track of your marketing ideas;
  • Marketing channels & tactics list;
  • Diagnose marketing failures.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Blog Posts and Social Posting SOP;
  2. Business Organizer;
  3. UTM Formula Tool;
  4. Marketing Campaigns & Ideas Tracking Tool;
  5. Marketing Channels List.
  6. Customer support cost and comparison model

Sell through retailers, distributors, drop shippers, affiliates and others

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • What does sales do?
  • A product vs a product line;
  • How the category buyer sees your product;
  • Why your product may not be of interest to a category buyer;
  • Questions you need to answer before selling through resellers;
  • Why you have to forecast tradespend and reseller ROI ahead of time;
  • What is pricing from financial and marketplace contexts;
  • How to account for tradespend in a P&L;
  • How to look at SRP, wholesale cost, product size by channel, retailer margin and distributor pricing in an example;
  • One method for determining channel margins when you are not able to talk with industry insiders;
  • How to get into resellers and grow;
  • A process and checklist to sell to resellers;
  • Working with brokers;
  • How to handle annual reviews with resellers;
  • What is sales operations what does it do and why;
  • SOP for setting up new resellers;
    Purchase order receiving and fulfillment SOP;
  • What is merchandising and how to do it;
  • What is account marketing and how to do it;
  • The best way to manage forecasting to keep you sane;
  • A complete diagram on all the components and activities of a sales department and how they interact;
  • List of qualified market of retailers for food, outdoor, home & garden and general merchandise, and toy & educational products.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Retail Terms Sheet And Setup Checklist;
  2. Simplified Retailer ROI Model;
  3. Complex Retailer ROI Model;
  4. Model and sequence determining margins;
  5. New Account Setup Checklist;
  6. Master Account Summary Tool;
  7. Daily Ship vs. Open Tool;
  8. New Reseller Setup SOP;
  9. Post-reseller account setup SOP;
  10. Purchase order receiving and fulfillment SOP;
  11. Graphical layout of a Sales Department.

This section is a basic high level checklist for support areas to build out the company

Here is what is covered in this section:

  • Human Resources;
  • Legal;
  • Insurance;
  • Regulatory;
  • Finance;
  • Facilities.

Specific models and tools I have created for this section:

  1. Operations Database.

Orientation for new members: PLEASE START HERE

This is the main account dashboard page.  Please bookmark it as the login page.

We suggest the following to help you get started quickly:

  1. Start with a quick review of the University Section and how it is organized.
  2. Following that, jump into the Growth Stack, because it is a powerful growth approach and might give orientation on where to go with your company.
  3. From there, you can access the University Sections in the sequence laid out (which mirrors the Growth Stack roadmap) or access specific sections as you need.
  4. We post content to the Knowledge Boards constantly based on what we see going on in the marketplace and what is working that you might be able to apply to your company. It is organized by section that mirrors how University is organized.
  5. The Calendar includes online events that we hold for members.

Data Platform Overview & Reports: Review each dataset contained in this section for which you have access.

Data Platform Overview & Reports: Review each dataset contained in this section for which you have access.

You will be subscribed to our newsletter that goes out 2-times per month with content and platform updates.

Please whitelist [email protected] in your email account.

We designed our emails to be quick reads so you can easily grasp what has been added or changed in the platform to see if it is relevant for you.

Our emails are blog posts first, which we build through the course of each 2-week period, then copy and paste that into an email which goes out at the end of the period.  See those update posts here.

Data Platform Use Instructions

To scroll left/right, click into any cell and use the left/right arrow keys.

To view details on each resource on one screen, click “view”.

You can filter the table in this view or export the entire table and work with it in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.

We suggest checking the dataset monthly and filtering by date added/updated so you only see what has been added/updated and you do not have to review the entire dataset again.

If you cannot scroll down to the bottom of the page (where you see the footer), try resizing your browser window by selecting the Maximize/Restore down button on the top right of the browser window.  Doing this once should correct the view and then you can resize your browser as you desire.  Sometimes the embedded table distorts formatting that should fix itself with this action.

The Company Dataset includes companies we submit based on our research.  They could be category leaders or are doing something interesting that we want to make note of and follow.

But just because they are on this list does not mean they are profitable or succeeding.  But they have captured mindshare so are important to potentially follow for your product category.

You can use this list to research companies in your category that might give you ideas to model in your own company (such as how they market their products). Even if a company on this list is not in your category, you might still consider tracking them as ideas can easily cross-pollinate from one category to another.

We curate this list even further by summarizing strategies and tactics that we find interesting from selected companies in our dataset.  View our Strategy Teardown posts on the Data Platform Overview & Reports Page.

Not all records are complete.  Some have significant information while others do not. The information may depend on what we can obtain, what assumptions we can make and what level of research we are doing into a particular company or category.

The qualitative and quantitative data points on each company that we track are listed below.

Company Name

Address

Website address

STRATEGY: This section has fields to help understand products and categories, how a company makes money and from where, competitive advantages/staying power, and risks to your success.

Projected/Actual:  If not yet launched and selling in the marketplace, then select projected, as the information below is projected and may change post-launch. Fill in information below based on projections or plans over the next 12-months. If launched and selling, select actual, as the information below should reflect your current state. Fill in information using the last 12-months data.

Company Status: Idea Stage: an idea for a company.

  1. Pre-launch Stage: have product samples and getting close to launch.
  2. Post Launch Stage: launched and selling in the marketplace but still figuring out what works and not trying to scale.
  3. Scale Stage: know what works and are ready to or are scaling the business.
  4. Mature Stage: in widespread distribution and growth rate is reduced or leveling off.

Product Description: Keep it short and simple.

Product Categories: Select all that apply.

Product Sub-categories: Select all that apply.

Date Started: Date started the company. If not started yet (idea stage), then include date first started to earnestly work on the idea.

Patents: Patents (either awarded, pending, or provisionally filed), or plan to patent? Provide short description of patent or potential patent.

Patents History: We have two additional fields displayed in the database from a child object with patent data. The most recent patent record entry in the database is displayed in the field above, while the history by date entered is displayed in the fields below. Values are separated by commas.

Unique Selling Proposition/”WOW” Factors: We look at the following dimensions for this question:

  1. List out what is special about the product(s) or company that captures attention. What causes a prospective customer to think “WOW” about the product(s) or company. Think in terms of benefits or outcomes the product provides (not features).
  2. What is the revenue model – sell products, sell services, sell subscriptions, collect data and use it to tailor products/services?
  3. Are there additional products to sell to compliment an existing product a customers is purchasing (for example: the hamburger is the core product, but offer fries to compliment it, which gives the customer more value and increases revenue).
  4. What are the competitive advantages?
  5. Is the company: (a) Global — a product that leaps geographic boundaries; (b) utilize AI/machine learning that allows products to improve with use; (c) Likable — seen as friendly to customers and your industry; (d) Citizenship — perceived as doing good in the world; (e) Accelerant — being able to attract top talent to help grow?

Distribution Channels: Select all the apply.

Distribution Categories: If planning to sell through online or offline resellers/retailers, select all that apply.

Distribution Companies: Select the named companies distributed through (i.e. Amazon, Kroger, CVS, Joe’s Corner Grocery Store, etc).

Number of Distribution Points: Add up the total number of distribution points for the business that reach the end consumer through the distribution channels previously selected. If sell direct to consumer from a website, that is 1 distribution point. If  sell on Amazon and Target.com, that is 2 distribution points. If have 3 resellers that purchase wholesale and sell product(s), that is 3 distribution points. If sell through retail, add up the total number of stores sold through. If have 10 affiliates, that is 10 distribution points. Leave blank if you are not yet selling.

E-commerce Stack: Select the e-commerce cart used to transact sales.

Marketing Strategies and Channels: We look at the following dimensions for this question:

  1. List high level marketing strategies. For example, direct marketing, brand marketing, grass roots marketing (see here for descriptions: https://edsoehnel.com/consumer-product-growth-strategies/).
  2. List marketing channels. For example, digital display ads, paid search, paid social, content/organic SEO, radio, TV, print, in-store advertising, etc.
    Any ad copy, value propositions and top messages used? List out the top ones here.
  3. Any call to actions to drive sales? What are they?
  4. Who is target customer across demographics and psychographics
  5. Any landing pages for products/advertising? Are cart sales funnels utilized? Free shipping and other offers?
  6. Transparent in who the company is, what they do and why they do it across the entire company (customers want to know who they are buying from and what is in the products).

Keywords Count: The number of keywords currently being utilized in organic SEO.

Backlinks Count (Most Recent): The number of backlinks/external links pointing to the companies website.

Backlink Counts (History): We have two additional fields displayed in the database from a child object with backlinks data. Backlink counts changes over time, but we want to keep the history, rather than overwrite with the most recent number. As a result, we created a child table that tracks backlinks. The most recent backlink count is displayed in the count field above, while the history by date entered is displayed in the fields below. Values are separated by commas.

Customer Retention Strategies: List out customer retention strategies. See here for a list https://edsoehnel.com/retention-marketing-methods-for-consumer-product-companies/

Resource Sustainability Strategies: What is being done to minimize or possibly reverse resource depletion in the supply chain? What is being done to minimize or offset the carbon footprint? What environmentally positive things is being done? Resource sustainability is something that companies can no longer ignore, as consumers and society are requiring as a strategic imperative.

Risks: We look at the following dimensions for this question:

  1. Is there enough capital to fund growth?  Is there too much capital? Yes, you can have too much that causes you to waste it.
  2. How competitive is the category?
  3. What level of experience does the team have in growing a consumer product company in the category?
  4. Is the company on point with up and coming trends in the marketplace with their offering? What stage is the trend on? Is it very early/bleeding edge with few follows, early pre-majority stage, mature stage that has gone mainstream, or post-mainstream where it is in decline?
  5. What are the risks to success in the next 12-months and following that, 3-years.

REVENUE & EXPENSES: This section looks at high level information from revenue and expenses to build a basic income statement (also called profit and loss statement) and gather some key performance metrics.

Average order value or SRP: If sell online, what is the average order value? If only sell in retail and not online, what is the average suggested retail price of the product(s) on shelf? If sell in both channels, list online average order value.

Monthly Active User (MAU) Count: The average active user count, or website traffic, received in the last month. This metric estimates the total monthly search traffic to the target website, subsection, or URL from the top 100 organic search results. It is calculated as the sum of traffic from all organic keywords for which the target ranks across all countries in our database. So, it is not likely accurate and will most likely undercount true traffic, but it is the only metric available across all websites and we use the same methodology for computing MAU for all companies in the database. So on a relative comparison basis, it works.

MAU Date/Time & History: We have two additional fields displayed in the database from a child object with MAU data. MAU changes over time, but we want to keep the history, rather than overwrite with the most recent number. As a result, we created a child table that tracks MAU’s. The most recent MAU is displayed in the count field above, while the history by date entered is displayed in the fields below. Values are separated by commas.

Conversion Percentage: The average percent of site visitors that convert to buyers. Enter this number as a percentage starting with the decimal place (example: for 3%, enter 03).

Gross Revenue Calculation: This is automatically calculated based on the AOV multiplied by the Conversion Percentage multiplied by the MAU Count. Equation: {Monthly Active User (MAU) Count (Most Recent)}*{Conversion Rate %}*{Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*12

Gross Revenue Manual Entry: If the variables for the Gross Revenue Calculation are not entered, then provide gross revenue (before returns, and order cancellations/declines). If sell in retail, then include both online and retail revenue here, or just retail revenue if do not sell online.

Gross Revenue Range

Subscription Revenue: Are customers able to purchase on a subscription basis?

Percentages rather than absolute values: The next five metrics to include are as a percentage of gross revenue. Converting these numbers to percentages is a better way to look at where a company is relative to industry peers. For a more complete picture on how these numbers fit into a company’s metrics, along with a financial model, please see https://edsoehnel.com/flow-money-consumer-product-company/

Returns: The customer product returns over the last year. Enter this number as a percentage of gross revenue starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6).

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This is landed cost, which includes all costs to source ingredients/materials, production costs, packaging costs, logistics costs, warehouse costs, and all labor in these areas, up to where product is sitting in a warehouse ready to ship. Calculated over the last year. Enter this number as a percentage of gross revenue starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6).

Marketing: What are marketing costs, which include systems (like website costs), market research, advertising development (costs to develop marketing assets – like a TV ad), media spend (costs to advertise marketing assets, like paying for TV air time or paying an influencer or compensating an affiliate)? Calculated over the last year. Enter this number as a percentage of gross revenue starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6). If this number exceeds gross revenue, then put that in as number (example: for 250%, enter 2.5).

Website Technology Spend: Provide the annual amount spent on website technologies . This number gives an indication of the level and sophistication of technologies used.

Rturn on Ad Spend: One important performance marketing ratio is return on ad spend (ROAS). We will compute this ratio in our database from your submitted data and include in the Data Platform along with the rest of your submitted data. Please see the Growth Stack Section (https://basecampinqb8r.com/university/growth-stack/ of University for more about this important ratio (logged in members only). Equation: {Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}/({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Marketing %})

Sales/Tradespend: What are sales/tradespend costs? Sales would include brokers or outside sales personnel, tradeshows, sampling, product demonstrations (hiring people to showcase product, like in-store at a booth). See here for what encompasses tradespend: https://edsoehnel.com/what-is-tradespend/ Enter this number as a percentage of gross revenue starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6).

Operations: The rest of expenses after subtracting Returns, COGS, Marketing, Sales/Tradespend from Gross Revenue. Calculated over the last year. Enter this number as a percentage of gross revenue starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6). If this number exceeds gross revenue, then put that in as number (example: for 250%, enter 2.5).

EBITDA: This is net profit, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. We will compute this in our database from submitted data. Equation: ({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}-(({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Returns %})+({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) %})+({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Marketing %})+({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Sales/Tradespend %})+({Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}*{Operations %})))/{Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}

Customer Lifetime Value: On average, what is the total revenue from a customer over the time that they remain a customer. One can only know this number if selling direct-to-consumer.

Customer Acquisition Cost: How much spent to acquire a customer? Calculated over the last year. Divide the number of customers by media spend (just media buy, not other marketing costs like systems, market research, advertising development). One can only know this number if selling direct-to-consumer.

Repurchase Rate: What percentage of customers that purchase the first time, come back to purchase a second time? Enter this number as a percentage starting with the decimal place (example: for 60%, enter .6).

Units Sold Per Week: What is the average number of products sold in a given week based on the last 12-months? This is for all channels.

Units Sold Per Week (Equation): We have an equation that takes existing metrics to compute this if a manual number is not available to enter. Equation: {Annual Gross Revenue (calculation)}/52/{Average SRP or Avg Order Value $}

Monthly Growth Rate: Growth rate per month, expressed as a percentage. Enter this number as a percentage starting with the decimal place (examples: for 60%, enter .6; 250%, enter 2.5).

Full-time Employees (Equivalent): How many full-time equivalent people work for the company. A founder that works full-time is considered 1; a consultant that works ¼ time is considered .25. In this example, that number would be 1.25.

BALANCE SHEET: This section is looking at a few key data points related to funding and the balance sheet side of finances.

Funding Raised: This includes all sources, including what has been contributed/bootstrapped by founders.

Funding Structure: Is it equity, debt, a combination, convertible, etc.

Connected Resources: Any external resources used by the company, for example, an accelerator or investor. If not on the list, please leave blank and add in to summary notes at bottom of page.

Valuation: What was the post-money valuation from the last funding round? Enter 0 if you did not have a valuation.

Valuation Date/Time & History & M&A Multiples: We have three additional fields displayed in the database from a child object with valuation data. Valuation changes over time, but we want to keep the history, rather than overwrite with the most recent number. As a result, we created a child table that tracks valuation, and also can track M&A multiples on revenue and EBITDA. The most recent valuation is displayed in the count field above, while the history by date entered is displayed in the fields below. Values are separated by commas.

Monthly Burn Rate: How much cash on average spending per month?

Revenue-To-Funding Ratio: We will compute this number in our database from submitted data. This number is not that important early on in a startups growth, but becomes important when the startup is ready to scale (the stage when a startup has figured out what works in its marketing, sales and operations and is ready to really grow). It is a quick measure of how efficiently the startup is using its investment to convert to sales. Equation: {Annual Gross Revenue (manual)}/{Funding Raised $}

Additional Information and/Or Summary Information:  additional information relevant to the company not captured in the questions above.

The Resource Dataset includes records with the following information.

Resource Name

Parent/Supporting Organization: If any

Website

Product Category: If blank then the resource works in all consumer product categories

Resources Offered:  The specific resources offered, including

  • Education/Knowledge Base
  • Mentors/Advisors
  • Networking/Events/Tradeshows
  • Accelerator
  • Incubator
  • Seed/Angel Investor
  • Venture Capital/Private Equity Investor
  • Lender
  • Crowdfunding
  • M&A
  • Consolidator

Address

Miscellaneous Notes

These datasets include distribution companies (platforms, resellers, retail, wholesalers, affiliate).

There are two datasets available.

Distribution Categories Dataset

This is a list of distribution categories we use to categorize distribution companies. You can use this list to think about where your product might be distributed.

Distribution Companies

This dataset includes distribution companies.

This data is by no means comprehensive. We are not able to include every potential company that is eligible for inclusion in this dataset, but we do our best to include all that we can.

The quantitative data is a rule of thumb. Each specific category and/or vendor may be different. Information fields are as follows.

Distribution Name

Product Categories

Channel

Distribution Channel Type:  identified based on the distribution categories dataset (above).

Distribution Points: number of locations.

States with Locations: which states with locations.

Markup/Margin Range: most retailers operate in a range, expressed here.

Markup/Margin Percentage: some retailers operate with one markup/margin number across all products, expressed here.

Tradespend Percentage: an average for this retailer across all products.

Distribution Notes: if any.