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#572 On-the-Go Mouthwash Gets Mini-Makeover


Two Florida State grads create a mini-mouthwash empire, selling 3,500 bottles in less than a year.

Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  Share: #SideHustleSchoolShow notes: SideHustleSchool.comTwitter: @chrisguillebeau

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When mouth? Wash was invented more than a hundred years ago. Nobody wanted to buy it. They were happy to chew on peppermint eucalyptus or vanilla beams. The only began to sell when the mouthwash manufacturers began to actively market. It now is That was more than a hundred years ago and mouthwash hasn't seen much innovation since then is pretty much the same product, or at least it was until now until today or not quite today, but earlier this year, recently welcome to satisfy school. My name is critical about in today's story. I'm gonna tell you about to Ford Estate graduates who create a many mouthwash empire Bringing that long overdue innovation to the product and selling thirty five hundred bottles in less than a year. It is a big success story in the making and, of course, it started as a side project, freshen up and state end.
We are all been there were bad breath, can really it's ugly bacteria ridden head in the most inconvenient times? Might brok yellow on himself in one of those moments, while cramming for a big organic chemistry test as most college students. From time to time he was pulling an all nighter, which meant copious amounts of coffee and food that should only be consumed with caution after age, twenty five you could have braved the storm, but as fate would have it and walks his crush and tell her we're going History classmate, since tables are often in short supply around midterms. She opted to share his any other time. Mike would have welcome such an opportunity, but that evening things were just a little too close for comfort, fading, a desperate need to head back to his place just on campus MIKE dashed home to freshen up a bit and then headed back to the library. The question last and Michael
end up getting the girl, but he might have walked away that now. With something even better an idea. This time, students, Oliver Camp us we're walking around these smaller bottles of something called me. Oh, it's a concentrated flavoured liquid that you could use disperse up water more. Perhaps vodka while It contain roughly one point six to fluid ounces included enough concentrated flavour to add to twenty four eight out servings of water. With the struggles of bad breath of fresh in his mind, might couldn't help it why no one had thought to do the same, with mouthwash being on a primate rock with several years of chemistry under his belt. He knew that the bulk of your Today, bottle of mouthwash was mostly just water if he could find they take the water out of mouthwash. He could create a product that didn't yet exist. It also be
Save a ton of money on shipping reduce the amount of plastic needed per unit and target a group of people who are constantly on the go. Despite his excitement about the idea might didn't end up acting on it right away. You continue with his studies and after a finished he went to South Florida for graduate school, then quickly realized. This was not a path he wanted to be on. That's when you started looking back at his college days idea with fresh eyes not just fresh breath. Now. This project would take some work, just as Rome was not built in a day. Neither is an innovative mouthwash empire, while MIKE felt confident in it ilities. He had no desire to go. It alone enter Nick Telford, MIKE's fraternity brought and fellow mouthwash enthusiast nickel, the concept and wanted to help go from idea to action. They divided responsibilities with Nick working on fire. Sing and brain development, while MIKE focused on the product itself. So what about that
MIKE had the undergraduate background in chemistry, but he knew I need it to get some expert eyes on his idea, searching through the third or fourth page of Google search results came across a former colleague eight executive, with multiple decades of experience under but when this guy heard MIKE's idea to innovate a product that hadn't seen much changed over the last century, he was eager to schedule a meeting as luck would have it this Doktor, Martineau vinegar was located in Dell Re Florida about twenty minutes way from might who is now working as a physician recruiter during the day once a week for the next nine months. My could put it in our personal time before his our lunch break. Drive to Dell Ray work on developing the formula. When they had a new adoration and MIKE says there are roughly fifty of them. They'd send it up to neck, was wrapping up his last year at Fort Estate, Nick within test the product, with the help of his fellow classmates, with each
stronger able to get feedback, take it back to the lab and pump out a new and improved version. Swish rents, repeat after months of testing in revising, they ended up with a concentrated formula that actively fight bacteria plaque. An tartar for up to eight hours, they'll be able to pack sixty uses into a single one point six to out bottle and, of course it tasted fantastic since they transforming oral care by making it accessible on the fly. They decided to call this product fly, mouthwash, The name is also not the fact that a two tier say approve product and perfect for those who travel, although they did their best to keep start up costs as low as possible. They still had a lot to put in place with this kind of product in addition to their first manufacturing run of seven thousand units? They also a patent because they were the first on the market they needed after compliant labels. They had to do. When a call trials approve at the claims that are making are legit. They needed a business licence and product liability insurance,
All in all, twenty thousand dollars of their hard earned cash went towards getting fly mouthwash to the masses. Pricing took a bit of deliberation, but they figure that, since each of their one point six to flew announced bottles contains sixty uses, it made sense to price it around ten dollars, each or sixteen cents per year. Next, they decide to test their mettle. What Amazon's marketplace fly mouthwash officially launched in February of twenty eighteen and within the first six weeks they already sold fourteen hundred bottles. These sales happen without a real marketing campaign and without any real advent. Getting started on Amazon was an excellent way for them to prove their concept, but it also came a challenges. Starters, there was really no way for them to collect any data on people who are purchasing making it impossible. To narrow down there, I d customer and understand how to better reach them. They wanted the success to be not only repeatable but also scalable, so they created a website using word press in combination with which commerce, the month of March were dedicated to building their e commerce infrastructure in customizing.
The elements to suit their needs, and by the time of this episode, they ve sold more than half their stock. A fly mouthwash as thirty five hundred units are within their first six months. They ve also added a subscription option at eight dollars a month, just five dollars for your first month. That will ensure that your breath fresh all your long, they weren't sure if anyone would even want mouthwash subscription, but I knew if they can make it work. It would be a great way to ensure repeat business to their surprise. Fifty people signed on the first weekend, they operate in early July and now MIKE says every one off sale, they're, bringing in five new monthly subscribers to their fresh breath, club with unique and innovative products. We had asked MIKE what kind of advice he had for those looking to create products like this and other markets and guess what he said. He said you and hold back from, sharing your idea with others bam. I love that. He knows that some people keep their ideas really close. Their chests even had a friend asking to sign, non disclosure agreement before it even telling what his idea was, but that was completely different from the way that he operated As he said, you may have an innovative idea, but you're never gonna be
What a validated, unless you asked for the honest opinions of those around you sure? You may run the risk of someone trying to get you to the punch, but these kinds of ideas take a long time to develop dont discredit, all the hard work and effort that you put into building something others are much less likely to do it themselves. I love that so much thank you might for making that point for me. Last but not least MIKE stresses that there are few overnight, This is the people who are successful that once we get up every day and keep grinding along instead of rolling over and quitting these days, Michael, you're, looking to move away from marketing. Five mouthwash is merely a portable option. They want to replace your traditional mouthwash altogether. They ve recently secured funding from an outside investor and are hoping to scale. Mouthwash greatness seems to be they are restoring confidence in freshening at the world. One mouth at a time
This kind of project has to scale because it so low cost. When my connect first went looking for a manufacturer, while the companies they talk to first would only make your mouthwash if they ordered twenty five thousand units are more so to even order seven thousand units, which is a lot a mouth wash, that was the lowest possible amount. So for this to succeed,
it has to scale. You need thousands of customers, and ideally, I feel like eventually, you need retail partners like it's called fly mouthwash, which does fit perfectly for travel to just imagine, seeing fine mouthwash at the airport gifts or almost like an easy impulse purchase, and when I liked about the story as well as its not just a gimmick like they clearly focused on product. First MIKE had this idea and he spent years kind of thinking about it just on the back burner and when he got serious about making it. He made fifty different innovations. He goes and seeks out a former toothpaste, executive and insensitive Nick Forest at university to go out and test all these different interactions with his fellow students. So clearly it's a high quality offering is an innovative idea. High quality offering it's got a great name, so I'm gonna be on the lookout for fly mouthwash. When I travel we'll take a pig headed on Amazon, another website as well. They congrats to MIKE s neck for pursuing those fresh bread dreams. It's really exciting that they'd been able to.
Thirty five hundred units in such a short period of time, and a subscription model is also smart. So, what's not to like it sounds like a great site also looks like it's on track to becoming a privilege. It business. So well done guys. Thank you for inspiring us, and everyone must remember. Inspiration is good, but inspiration with action is so much better. What is your friend new idea? What's on your back burner? What something that you're thinking about you not necessarily sure where it's going to eventually lead? but slowly but surely you are advancing that dream to go from idea to action. Thank you for listening to day, if you'd like to learn more about fly I wish our show notes are inside us. Will score dot com slashed five, seven too I'll be back tomorrow, so fresh and so clean miss Cristel about, and this was signed off school
Transcript generated on 2020-04-28.