Kevin Harrington Takes His First Pitch
Shark and Pitch Investors Live Advisor, Kevin Harrington, went live for the first time to receive a pitch from Rocky Crawford, the founder of the EZ Lift Clamp. Crawford and his business partner Eric pitched the Shark for 20-minutes to describe their innovative product for homeowners and contractors.
EZ Lift Clamp is a device used for lifting plywood and sheet metal. The device, patented by Crawford and his business partner, works like a clamp that secures multiple pieces of plywood, making it easier to lift without straining your back. “It’s easy and efficient,” announced Crawford who like his partner, can carry four sheets at a time with the clamp and only one hand down the stairs while remodeling a home.
Crawford holds the patent on the product, from both the United States and Canada. Harrington was impressed, and wanted to learn more, “Do you have a video of how it works?”
Harrington then went on to inquire about selling price and units sold. At $147 per unit, Crawford sold close to 100 of the 500 he ordered from the manufacturer. For $30,000 and an additional $50,000 for shipment and insurance, Crawford invested $80,000 upfront. His cost per unit of $60 is required to manufacture the item.
Harrington warned that he would need more details on the product and counsel from his business partners before considering allocation of capital. “This is not like on the show [Shark Tank]” where people pitch investors and on the spot they receive the decision form the “shark” whether or not they will invest in the product, referenced Harrington.
“The bottom line….is we provide direction and advice”, said Harrington, who sees the clamp as a “perfect product” for Home Depot or Lowe’s retail stores. He then advised, “Part of my due diligence is seeing what does my network think of this product?” He later added, “If my guy at Home Depot says we can sell this like crazy, we’ll move on financing.” Then it’s a question of how to “manufacture 10,000 units more” and the capital required.
From the start of bringing the product to market, Crawford and his partner faced a bumpy road. “We ran out of money, as neither one of us are marketers”, said Crawford, who did not seek investment capital for purchase of the product.
Harrington suggested creating video testimonials. Crawford shared one from a gentleman who carried two 12 foot long plywood sheets, laughing and saying, “I could climb up the stairs holding the device in one hand…but I was told to always use two hands,” for safety reasons.
Harrington was interested to learn that if the two received capital, how it would be allocated to marketing and what platforms would be used.
Crawford responded, “That is why we came here (Pitch Investors Live Beta Test Group) and [are talking].. to you Kevin”. To which he responded, “using Facebook or LinkedIn” as an option for targeting audience and learning what trade associations they are part of or what magazines they read.
Once we figure it out, “we can do press releases, or maybe buy lists,” invest in email campaigns, said Harrington.
The two received high regards and appraisals from Harrington, who scored their pitch a 9.5, on a scale of 1 to 10. The main reason for the high score are: invention, manufacturing, inventory, testimonials, what Harrington referred to as “market acceptance.”
The two understand that they need a sound marketing and distribution plan to take the product to the next level, not to mention a business plan.
Harrington will talk to his distributor at Home Depot and make a personal introduction to his business associate, Harrison Forbes, who is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
“We’ll set up a little hookup”, assured the Shark. “Let’s get a plan together and figure out how to make money.”
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