How I Quit My Job and Started a Company: Lisa Lane, Rinseroo
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- When Lisa Lane introduced a portable slip-on faucet extender in 2019 called the Rinseroo—it fits sink or tub faucets and helps with tasks like hosing down your dog—she expected a gradual climb to profitability on the sluggish trajectory shared by most small businesses. Six months later the 56-year-old veteran of medical marketing positions was turning a profit from her New Jersey home. Sounds like a quick success—but getting it right isn’t easy, so here are a few useful lessons Lane picked up along the way.
Her Aha! Moment: “I was at a beach house with 15 of my extended family members and four dogs, constantly rinsing sand off people and cleaning dogs and filling this bucket over and over. I thought that there must be a better way and that it would be useful to anyone with a shower. So, mass-market potential.”
Transition Time: Getting everything right took two years. “I didn’t jump ship until I had a product in hand and was ready to launch,” Lane says. She logged long evenings and weekends researching how to craft effective Amazon listings and develop the product. “I learned everything I really needed to know from The Mom Inventor’s Handbook,” she says.
Financial Trajectory: “Thankfully, my husband was also working, and my product was not very intricate, so I was able to fund it all with my own hard-earned dollars. I was willing to risk that.”
How It Went: Exceedingly well. Rinseroo swiftly ranked on Amazon, then was picked up in a BuzzFeed article. Rinseroo now sells on Amazon, Chewy.com, and Walmart.com, and Lane expects sales to hit $2 million this year. She hired her son full time to handle the tasks she enjoys less, such as e-commerce and logistics. “I’m terrible with unloading trucks,” Lane says.
The Challenge: Knockoffs. “We had a lot of infringers—they would literally copy our exact listing and use the images of me and my dog,” she says. An even bigger problem was that the copycats’ quality was inferior, so Rinseroo started getting bad reviews. The solution was to hire a company called Red Points to chase down the scammers. “They took down 6,000 infringers in one year,” she says.
New Job vs. Old Job: “This is more fun. I’m able to be creative every day, and I just love finding new ways to sell.”
Pro Tip: “If you have a product idea, first look at what’s already out there and then come up with improvements. Create a better mousetrap that will dominate the market.”
Read next: How I Quit and Started a Company: Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking
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