Strategic Partnerships

Sometimes, building your brand means pairing up.

When you’re in the business of doing a specific thing very well, partnering with symbiotic talent can result in a win-win situation.

Right now, a toy maker is in search of such an alliance with a seller who knows how to make money on handmade toys.

TOYMAKER ISO RETAIL SELLER

This toymaker is an elderly gentleman and a generational craftsman who makes all his toys out of reclaimed wood. One of the most captivating aspects of his builds is that all the moving parts work.

Wheels roll, levers lift, and doors open.

His toys aren’t static showpieces; they are meant to be played with.

A century ago, such toys might have been common. Today, they are a dying breed because no one makes them anymore.

Well, almost no one.

THE OFFER

This craftsman can make the toys—including custom designs—and sell them to you at fixed, small-town prices. You can then mark them up as the market allows and sell them customers he can’t reach, due to age and other restrictions.

“What do the toys look like?” you ask.

Let’s take a look.

This is what you see when you walk into his remote shop.

Elderly craftsman standing in shop with hundreds of wooden toys he's made

You’ll notice that he has plenty to sell, but this is a good time to point out that he has enough inventory in storage to fill this shop 3X over.

Also, to get a sense of scale, take a moment to note of the semi trucks off to the right in the picture. Sizes of toys vary, but I would estimate that most of them average between 4″ to 7″ tall.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a closer look at a few of his designs.

Wooden toy: construction digger

His selection of construction toys are fun because, as mentioned before, everything that you want to play with does what it’s supposed to do. Levers lift, diggers dig, and wheels roll.

Toy wooden crane

Take this dump truck, for example:

Or this carriage that sits on elastics that make the coach sway as it moves.

Image of wooden, unfinished carriage
Note: This one is closer to 10″ tall.

And if you’re wondering if the carriage door opens…

same wooden carriage with door open.

… yes, it does. All you need is a size-appropriate horse and you are on your way!

He’s got planes.

Image of 3 different types of wood model planes (with propellers)

He’s got trains.

Image of wooden toy train on shelf

He’s got automobiles

Assortment of various painted, wooden vehicles
Assortment of unfinished Model-T cars on top shelf with smaller, painted semis on shelf below
Early 1900's car on display on shelf with painted cement mixer trucks.

He’s even got aircraft carriers.

4 jets and 1 helicopter on a carrier.

But my favorite might be his semi trucks.

Yes, he will make specific models as custom designs.

No joke, if I owned a semi company that gave out honors for drivers that hit benchmarks of excellence, I would buy him out, varnish them up, and put custom metallic placards on them.

Talk about an award everyone would actually want to get that might get passed down to future generations. It would be a killer way to build your brand.

Reminder: All wheels roll.

There’s more I could show, but you get the idea: There’s a toymaker who lives 90 minutes from anywhere who reclaims wood and fashions it into old-school toys you really don’t find very often anymore.

On top of that, if you have a design you want, he’ll make it for you. Like this toy rifle a customer wanted:

Complete with crosshairs in the site:

He’s a man with skills looking for a partner who can take him to market.

Are you that partner? If so, contact me.

Are you not his partner, but know someone who might be? If so, share this post.

A few answers to FAQs:

SELLING POINTS

All toys:

  • are handmade
  • use reclaimed wood
  • 100% Made in the USA
  • have moving/functioning parts
  • are easily marked up from wholesale prices

CHALLENGES

  • Partner lives in a remote location
  • Partner has no internet communication
  • You will likely want to handpick inventory if you are a stickler when it comes to variations in quality

Want to know more and find out if there is a profitable work relationship in your future?

Follow and DM me (Sheralyn) on Instagram or Twitter, and let’s get a conversation started.

New Look, New Focus

Welcome to my new web page–your new home for great brand-building ideas.

Those of you who read my books are probably thinking: Wait. Why is this a business page?

Those of you who are here to brand might be wondering: Why are their fiction books here?

It’s best practice to focus on a narrow identity on your website–to really hone in and make it clear who you are and what you do. Juggling three focuses, like I’m about to do on my page, is not something I would advise a client do.

Yet, I have my reasons for breaking best practices and trying something a bit off-trend, which means I’m going to offroad a little bit when it comes to best practices for two reasons:

First of all: I am an explorer, which means I often tread on ground I wouldn’t advise for others.

Second, I am a teacher who likes to explore things firsthand to better help clients. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches can help guide clients to take action with focus and strategy.

These are two of the qualities make me a great consultant.

But I don’t expect you to take my word on that. As they say in the book-writing business: Show, don’t tell.

I plan to do just that for anyone looking to build their own brand or business. I will be using this website, along with Twitter and Instagram to provide you with useful content that helps you make strong choices for your business.

Watch Me Build a Brand

I will also be doing some advertising for a product I will be building from the ground up. You’ll see me start from Ground Zero as I practice what I’m preaching and see how it plays out.

We live in markets that are constantly shifting, which means constantly updating practices. This is best done with an active product in the existing market.

So watch for my new product: Coming Soon!

Navigating This Site

As for how this site works: Each tab should be a bit of its own experience.

There are three main pages to take note of on my site:

The main Scroll page is a collection of tips and thoughts (from me and others) you can return to anytime you need to stimulate a little thought.

This Blog page is all about topic deep diving. Sometimes, I’ll write the post, other times I’ll invite someone to write on a topic they are knowledgeable about. No matter who writes the post, however, useful information will be explored.

The Consult page is where you schedule to meet with me to either refine your brand or consult on next steps.

Updates and additional thoughts will be shared on Twitter. Take a moment to follow me (@SheralynPratt) now. My timeline will be full of helpful tips for things to keep in mind as you continue to grow your brand.

Additionally, I will be using Instagram (@SheralynPratt) to show you what I’m seeing as I’m out and about visiting companies. The information on Instagram will be more on the personal side of business and the people I meet along the way. I will also likely share the developing process of my new product and brand.

More Than One Lane? Is that Allowed?

Some might say: You can’t be a consultant AND sell things! You’ve got to pick your lane.

I would reply: What kind of consultant am I if I can’t build a business that tempts me away from consulting?

So join me on this ride. It’s going to be fun and we’re all going to learn a lot while exploring best practices while seeing if we can suss out some better practices.

Get Started Now

Step 1: Follow me on Twitter so you can check out updates on your own schedule and not miss a thing.

If you like pictures and exploring local businesses, follow me on Instagram, too. But, if you have a business, you should definitely have Twitter, so make an account and come follow me. I’ll make dropping in worth your while and introduce you to some other people worth learning from.

You might be a small fish now, but that doesn’t mean you need to think like one. Think like a big fish and grow.

Start now by following me on Twitter.