A number of folks have been asking me about how our new business - Covered Planet - has been going, so I figured put out a post-xmas update.
Things were excellent and we exceeded our high-end forecast by about 30%. This is good news in two ways. 1) Exceeding forecast is always good 2) We only exceeded forecast by 30% which means that we had a fairly good handle on the dynamics of the business to start out - and this is especially good.
On the downside, we had to dial back marketing at certain points to ensure we didn't sell inventory we didn't have, and we sold out our Vintage Teak covers and haven't been able to get new inventory (yet).
One of the personal highlights for me was that sales to people I knew were solid (thank you!). Even though, was that sales to people I didn't know significantly exceeded sales to people I did know.
As we bring in the new year, we have a number of new things coming out, and one of the first is a new cover - Vintage Brass - which a personal favorite that is now the my day to day case.
Made out of a thicker leather to provide rugged protection, these covers wear exceptionally well with a nice patina and texture that develops after only several weeks of use.
Here's links to the Vintage Brass covers for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6s Plus.
Been selling a number of leather iPhone wallet cases so far in our first month of business, and talking to lots of customers.
Here's the top three things folks like best so far:
1) The Easy Convenience
Consolidating two critical items - your iPhone and your wallet - into one easy to remember and easy to use wallet case evidently makes starting the day a lot better.
2) The Rugged Protection
The leather cover provides excellent protection for when the iPhone is inevitably dropped, provides a solid grip for your iPhone that makes dropping the phone much less likely and, if the iPhone is dropped, the wallet side folds over - as intended - to protect the face of the phone.
3) The Rugged Good Looks
"Just like me," say our customers as they describe our leather iPhone wallet cases as "ruggedly good looking" (evidently our customers are shameless. The leather cover looks good to begin with, and it gets better and better with more age and wear, even after only a couple of weeks.
Starting to feel a lot like Christmas... (or how creating a forecast early on makes it easier to sleep at night when you first launch a business)
Starting a business is a lot like fishing. I'm probably not the first person to have that insight, but it's true.
You get everything in place, check it twice (or maybe three, four or five times), open your doors and... then what?
It's been busy over the last two weeks. We launched Covered Planet to make the world's best leather iPhone wallet cases on December 1and it’s been solid progress every day but for the first couple of days after launch, I was especially neurotic/anxious/ freaked out.
My wife - who is much smarter than I am - reminded me that I - being a huge excel/metrics/measurement geek - had spent most of September identifying and verifying assumptions, creating low, medium and high scenarios and building out a model with key metrics for what success would look like when we launched.
And then I forgot about the forecast as we moved forward, trying to get everything that needed doing done, with my neurosis increasing as we closed in on our launch date.
I'm now following my wife’s smart advice to check in how we’re doing against the forecast. Orders are indeed exceeding forecast, and I’m sleeping a little bit better than a couple of days ago (thank you forecast!). Still getting up at 4am to start working on the next “to do” list of items, but such is the life of a start-up. Wouldn't have it any other way.
In front of the bamboo house where we were staying, sitting on the grass with monkeys and parrots squawking in the trees above, and a warm ocean beach in front, I looked at the expensive but now raggedy cover on my iPhone with the paper thin, faux leather starting to peel away from the cardboard that provided the structure of the wallet case, and I thought "This can be better."
I’m one of those guys who can’t have nice things. If I took my iPhone out of the wallet case. inevitably, the iPhone would pop out of my hand like a slick bar of soap and crack the glass or worse.
But keeping the iPhone in the wallet case that I had felt like I was hiding a Picasso inside the trunk of a rusty old Dodge Pinto.
So what to do? .... And that’s when Covered Planet was born.
Our goal is simple. Make the world’s best leather iPhone wallet cases.
Why leather? It adds just the right amount of grip and protection, and the leather, as it wears, becomes art, growing darker and more textured every day that you use it. (things should getter with more use, not worse, right?)
Why a wallet case? Life is too short to spend time looking for the two critical pieces - your wallet and your phone - you need to start your day, and a wallet case efficiently consolidates these two pieces into one rugged piece of menswear that’s easy to remember and easy to use.
So that's a little bit about how we came to be. Thanks for your interest, and we appreciate your business!
Please let us know what we can do better!