How many times has this happened to you youre sitting on the couch watching TV, you reach for the remote and its not there! Thats exactly what happened to 19 year old Craig Nabat, president of Ambitious Ideas, Inc. The only difference between Nabat and the other millions of people this happens to on a daily basis is he did something about it he created FINDIT! A tiny, domino tile sized device that locates lost items with a beep when it hears you clap three times! FINDIT also attaches to pretty much anything you want it to as it comes equipped with both an adhesive strip and a key ring. Of course thats all a lot easier said than done.
What Does It Take To Be An Inventor?
Nabat originally estimated his startup would be about $30,000, he also thought that this was an in and out business idea that would only take two years to build. But, as we all know, two of the things that hold a lot of people back from taking the entrepreneurial plunge are unforeseen problems and hidden costs. For Craig Nabat these unforeseen problems lasted seven years while hidden costs ballooned to $700,000 dollars! You see, its a lot easier to think of something on your couch in the middle of the night, than it is to actually make a tiny piece of electronic equipment. Funded by his parents, sister, and bank loans Nabat kept trying. Not having a background in engineering, (actually he holds a degree from Michigan State in Sociology), he had to find a company that would develop his product, a process that took two and a half years! At first, because of financial reasons the company didnt want to go for it, so Craig had to fly from Michigan where his company is based to San Jose, California to sell them on the idea in person. Luckily for him, the idea of living in a convenient world enabled him to sell his invention quickly and successfully.
Apart from unforeseen costs, there were other problems that stood in the way of Craig Nabat and fulfilling his FINDIT dream. For instance, although now marketing is one of the many strengths of this company, this was not always the case. Nabats original TV ad campaign used humor to sell the product. Nabat may be a lot of things, but comedian isnt one of them - because of his failure to see that, the campaign was a bomb, but that wasnt the only thing that went wrong. The first 10,000 FINDITs were useless. Nabat, like a lot of people when they have a good idea, wanted to make sure that his good idea stayed his. Therefore, he rushed to market so that no big companies could steal it. In his haste he overlooked one of the current strong points of the company quality. The merchandise eventually had to be donated to a school to use as scrap in their art class. So at least it wasnt a total waste.
Sticking to It
Some of you may be wondering how Nabat got himself through this without giving up. Where did he find the strength to overcome all the troubles that were facing him and maybe go back to working for somebody else? Fortunately for us, hes always had it in him to be in business for himself; he went through a series of ill-fated businesses such as car-detailing and customizing T-shirts, starting when he was only twelve. But there was something that wasnt there when Nabat was involved in his other ventures- a love of what he was doing.
In fact, Nabat attributes his success to having a love of what he does and not pulling out when things got a little difficult. Basically, Nabat says, every business idea I ever attempted failed, because I didnt have a love for what I was doing and never stuck with one idea long enough to see it succeed. I feel you really have to love what youre doing for a living to truly become a major success at it. Besides having his heart in the right place, he also did a lot of research, not just on how to build a successful business, but also on the entrepreneurial experience in general. Although nothing is like experiencing something first hand, Nabat read other peoples business horrors and how they overcame them before he got in the game. And it was a good thing he did because it was these stories that motivated him to stick with his idea when the going got rough.
After naming his company Ambitious Ideas, he focused on strength. Part of Nabats success is definitely due to his knack for marketing. Although in order to prove how serious he was about Ambitious Ideas, Nabat had to shell out close to $8,000 to a marketing company- which helped him with the business plan he describes as the road map to success Ambitious Ideas used for its first five years. Nabat also had some hands on experience in the marketing industry when he worked with a Detroit based marketing company for a year and half. This company, along with showing him the ropes of the industry first hand, also helped him produces FINDITs first TV commercial. But while that is all well and good its not even the tip of FINDITs marketing iceberg. FINDIT has been promoted through talk shows, the Internet, the QVC network, magazine articles, radio shows and infomercials. Craig Nabat also made it very easy for the interested consumer to get information from his website, www.ambitiousideas.com, where you can also view his infomercial.
One of the most creative marketing strategies that Nabat uses is product placement. FINDIT retail displays have appeared in the TV shows, Family Law and Friends, and there is a forty foot banner for the FINDITs website (www.ambitiousideas.com) in the Sylvester Stallone movie, Driven, which is due out this summer. Nabat says that he learned about different product placement companies from surfing the web, he recommends that if you should want to try this interesting marketing approach you make sure to check the references of any company that youre considering hiring. Product placement, if done correctly, can really give your company that extra push that it needs, remember what Tom Cruise did for Ray Ban when he wore their shades in Risky Business?
Nabat feels that Ambitious Ideas has the competition under control with high quality and affordability. FINDITs retail price is $19.95. There is also a lower line whistle activated FINDIT made for those who may want to find their keys and remote controls, but may not want to shell out the twenty bucks. Mr. Nabat isnt worried about the competition because he is certain that his product is hands down the best locator device on the market today. With quality, affordability relentless marketing, who would be? Besides, because of Mr. Nabats appearances on TV and radio he has put a face with the brand, and this, Nabat feels will make it more difficult for the faceless competition.
Expanding Their Horizons And Looking Ahead
Now you might be wondering what this company has to offer if youve already found you keys and you know perfectly well where your remote is. Well, Ambitious Ideas is expanding its horizons. It has recently come out with 27 new metallic-blue products, all bearing the FINDIT logo. Nabats image will also be on the retail packaging. All of the new product lines are products that in some way make todays hectic world just a little bit easier, much like the original FINDIT. Some of these items are: a locator/alarm for brief cases, a memo pad with a light, a book light, a sunglasses holder for your car, a rechargeable auto light, and key chain eyeglasses cleaner. All of these new products should be priced at under $19.95 and available in retail outlets by September of this year.
Craig Nabat has a pretty clear-cut vision of where Ambitious Ideas will be in the future. He envisions that within one year most of our 24 FINDIT line products will be sold to the mass market in most of the nations leading retail stores. He also pictures the company going public within a few short years. In order to accomplish these goals Nabat plans to keep himself and his company in the public eye and get national exposure. He also plans to keep appearing on radio and TV talk shows to get his message out.
What Can You Learn From Craig Nabat?
Part of the reason most entrepreneurs or like minded people read articles like this one is because they hope to learn something from someone whos already been through it all and still came out on top, and Craig Nabat. Is quite the teacher. Apart from recommending that you stick to doing something that you love, Nabat also has other suggestions for someone starting out in business.
Educating yourself through reading is something that Nabat definitely feels is a necessity, he says you should use it to Learn beforehand all the obstacles you may face and learn from others who have traveled those roads. Information is free at the library, utilize it! Nabat also suggests that companies who cant afford a big advertising budget should use PR instead. That gives you a third party endorsement, which you cant get from an ad. You just need creativity to get press. Make the information about your company newsworthy. Stories about people not product get more press!
Lots of people out there have great ideas for going into business for themselves, but they hold themselves back because they are afraid to change careers or go into a field where they lack training. Well, you can look to Nabat for inspiration. As I said above, Nabat has a degree in sociology, not an engineering background. He was able to use that background when he realized that sometimes in order to stay in the black you have to think on a global level, it also taught him something else: I started to realize that there are many cultures out there, you must package your product to meet your specific target markets needs. You must understand that all people are not alike. Pick your market you want to sell to and learn everything about them.
It has been much debated in recent years whether the American Dream still exists, and if it does is it still achievable? After hearing Craig Nabats story I would have to say most definitely. Nabat has shown that if you work hard towards something that you love, you can and will make it happen. It also shows us that maybe we should pay more attention to the fleeting ideas we have on a daily basis about lifes little inconveniences! Who knows, maybe you could become the next Craig Nabat!
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