COMMON RESEARCH TASKS:
Here are some sample tasks that your Research Manager can carry out:
» Research factories and other vendors who meet your requirements (using your Sourcing Action Plan as a guide)
» Communicate with prospective suppliers on your behalf to assess capabilities, get pricing etc.
» Track and organize information, including quotes, lead times, terms, product specifications etc.
» Coordinate samples, swatches etc. for review
» Set up shipping accounts, create shipping labels, and other tools used during sourcing
» And anything other research-based tasks you need completed!
"The best decision I ever made when starting my business was hiring Liz. She is such an asset to have on your team when navigating the manufacturing industry. Without her guidance, weekly check-ins, advice and coaching, I would still be dreaming about my business. She knows how to talk to vendors and factories, what questions to ask, and is always thinking ahead on what's next to keep things moving. Working with her to build my business has been invaluable and it gives me such peace of mind having her involved. I'm so grateful for the support of her and her team! "
— Ashley Brockard, Founder, Citrus & Sage
"As a new entrepreneur in a field I know nothing about, I felt so lost and exposed with my lack of knowledge in the apparel manufacturing industry. Liz and her team helped me so much, gave me a feeling of security that I was doing the right thing and gave me real, practical advice specific to what I'm doing. I have a very small budget and I so glad I invested in this! I think I would have quit had it not been for Liz’s guidance. She tells it like it is, but in a gentle, kind, professional way. She's prompt and quick to respond. A great resource, with lots of knowledge and connections. Highly recommend!"
— Natalie Origanti, Pants for Peanuts
"This service has been awesome! We spent 6 months trying to do a sourcing project on our own and we also spent a bunch of money on a consulting firm to help us do sourcing. Liz and her team outperformed both of those projects in 2-3 hours. It was really amazing. We will continue to use their help whenever we source something new."
— Josh Z, Co-Founder, Sudden Coffee
"As a solopreneur, Liz has been an incredible resource. When it comes to sourcing, production and manufacturing communication is key and there’s no one better than Liz. She is very efficient in her use of time but is also completely transparent throughout the entire process. I know where the money I’ve spent is being allocated and there are never surprises. Liz and her team have been like having my own production department: helping me throughout the development process and looking out for my best interest every step of the way."
— Elyse M, Founder/Designer, Elyse Maguire
"Liz's deep knowledge of manufacturing is invaluable for entrepreneurial makers! She knows her stuff and equally important, she knows how to make it understandable for others."
— Cyndie S. // Founder, The Collective of Us
"At the beginning stages of our product development, we found ourselves with many questions and many problems to solve. Liz helped us move step-by-step to get our product built and ready to be manufactured. She did an amazing job of listening closely to the details about our product and she helped us think through each layer and each piece, and provided an amazing amount of insight and direction for the challenges that we brought to her. We’re extremely grateful that we had a chance to work with her and her team!"
— Adam L, Co-Founder, Badass Backpacks
"Every decision counts when you’re a new company building a product. Liz’s talent was evident from our first phone call, and allows your business to piece together a high quality, compelling picture. Her advice on the potential benefits or weaknesses of each decision provides client comfort. If you’re a new entrepreneur, this type of support will give you a leg up and bring smoother roads ahead!"
— Myles O, Shoe Entrepreneur
"As a first time entrepreneur, this service was exactly what I needed. Once we devised a roadmap from idea to production, Liz and her team helped keep me on track on a weekly basis. More importantly, I had a sounding board for any advice I needed or any problem I encountered. I couldn't have asked for a better partnership."
— Preeti N, Founder, Preeti Maternity
"I can not speak highly enough about hiring Liz as a guide The knowledge and guidance she has given me has not only connected me with great factories but has also given me the tools to confidently move forward as I grow into larger production. For me, some of the most valuable aspects of working with Liz has been learning how to vet factories, knowing the right questions to ask, and the steps to take to eliminate any surprises and ensure you're getting the exact product that you're expecting and investing in. As someone who knew what I wanted but was completely foreign to the manufacturing process Liz held my hand through each step and I could not be happier with where I am. Her guidance and support has been immeasurable, worth every penny and more."
— Ryann S, Founder, Charlie Rowan Designs
"I love being able to check in any time I have an issue with my business. Liz is a brilliant sounding board and her advice has been priceless. She has a rare sense sense of sound business and marketing judgement, matched by great intuition. She is the ultimate professional with a network worth its weight in gold... not to mention a pure joy to work with!"
— Lynn T, Founder, Kudoz Belts
"I was totally lost until I met Liz. Her patience and enthusiasm for my project immediately put me at ease! Her deep knowledge of what I needed to do and her teaching me the steps to get there have been fantastic. I have three factories to choose from already! Finally, I just want to say that I don’t think there has been even one time that I haven’t heard back from Liz within 24 hours — even on weekends (shame on her!)."
— Mary S, Medical Apparel Entrepreneur
"With Liz’s help I found a factory and got the information and confidence I needed throughout the vetting and negotiating process to assure it was the right home for my business."
— Colin H, Founder, Blue Grit
"I am thrilled to be on my entrepreneurial journey with Liz. She and her team are efficient, creative, resourceful, organized and you keep our plan moving forward. I would highly recommend her to anyone starting a product-based business."
— Cary H, Founder, LotsaBravePeople
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are the Strategy Sessions and Sourcing Action Plan separate from the 5 Hours of Research Support?
Yes! These items do not count towards the support time with your Research Manager, who will carry out tasks like factory-finding, gathering quotes and info, coordinating samples etc.
What if I want more support time once the package is complete ?
If you want to dedicate more time towards research support activities (searching for suppliers, gathering quotes etc), you can purchase additional hourly blocks ($297 for 5 Hours) with your Research Manager. If you are looking for overall guidance with your project and want more one-on-one time with Liz, you can choose from any of these monthly support packages or opt for a block of Anytime Hours. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.
Is there a guarantee that I will find a factory?
Yes in the sense that the tools and instructions you'll be given are proven, industry-standard ways to source suppliers. It may take you longer than the time in your initial research package to do so though.
What's the difference between using this service and having a production management company or broker source everything for me?
A Research Support package is designed to help you set up your own supply chain. When working with an 'all-in-one' partner who promises to find your sources for you, you run the risk of not being able to communicate directly with the companies making your product. This can lead to overpaying for certain materials or services, not having transparency in your supply chain, and lacking the flexibility to make changes (if your relationship goes south with your main point of contact, you may need to set up your supply chain from scratch!)
There are some instances where opting to partner with a sourcing broker or using factory-sourced materials can be valuable, especially when producing in a foreign country. But even if this is the case (something we'll assess during your Strategy Session), you still need to find, vet and negotiate with these umbrella partners (they are not all created equal!). A Research Package can help with this task.