Eco-Friendly Business: Swipes, Inc. Entrepreneurs Capitalize on Life’s Intimate Moments

Learn how Vera and Maxine started their company with a single idea and why entrepreneurs should ask more questions.

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Best Success Story:

Based on our green business initiatives, Ralph Avallone, the Founder of the International Green Energy Council,  invited me [Maxine] sit on the board. It is a tremendous honor to know that all of our hard work shows in the quality we produce.

Biggest Startup Challenge:

We have what we like to call, “Good problems.”

By that I mean, we had exciting sales and we quickly realized we would have to manufacture to stock store shelves and we were quickly put in a place where we were selling and making money but not enough to position ourselves to approach more retailers.

Our biggest challenge has been financing our growth.

We had to intentionally slow our sales and reach out to less customers.  Because we did not have three years of tax returns showing sales or major collateral for the amount of money we were asking for, we did not qualify for traditional bank loans.

We had to get creative by re-evaluating our expenses, cutting out luxuries, and focusing on necessity.

We developed a relationship with our local bank branch and eventually used credit to finance our expenses and we took on more roles internally.  We reached out to more people, donated more products, and sought out partnerships in order to cross promote.

For example, we needed marketing and promotional materials. Instead of branding coffee mugs as a giveaway, we knew we need to get our products in people’s hands.  So, we manufactured individually wrapped samples and donated them everywhere we could. We also leveraged our social media skills to help others that were willing to share our brand with their customers.

It was fantastic to discover that when we helped others succeed it helped us in turn.  The idea has always been to “share the lovin,” in our business practices, personal lives, and products.

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:

Ask questions.

While you may have a great idea too much energy is spent trying to re-invent the wheel when it makes more sense to consult the experts on how the wheel was made and take it from there. You alone cannot be the expert at Everything, so ask the people who already know, it is better to ask for help than to fix mistakes

Connect with Swipes, Inc. on Twitter and Facebook.

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Photo Credit: Swipes Inc.; Pictured Left to Right:  Vera Lund, Maxine Gomez

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