(Part 2) How Suzy Batiz made $1 million: She protected her concept, used friends’ input

Latest posts by Rich Sloan (see all)

As I indicated in Part 1 of this series of blog entries, Suzy Batiz, founder of Poo-Pourri, shared her advice, further proving what a true shining star she is, right here, living and working among us in the StartupNation community. What a role model!

Below Suzy provides more of her advice.

In Suzy Batiz’s Words:


Only once I got my manufacturing organized and costs controlled did I start with patents, trademarks, logos, etc.  At this point, I had spent very little money and had really only spent time, which freed me up financially to file for patents, hire a graphic designer, buy some stock bottles and produce my first run of 1,000 units.  We also paid $400 to do a patent search to make sure it was a patentable idea. Then we filed a provisional patent application which gave us a year to run and then file for the actual, full-blown patent.  I would recommend this to all startups as the upfront cost is much less.  Also we initially filed for trademarks through an attorney which have been very expensive. It’s very easy to do on your own, and we have filed all other trademarks ourselves through http://www.uspto.gov/ .

The first patent attorneys we contacted were very pricey so we researched through the internet to find one that was reputable but had a much lower fee than our local attorneys.  It has proved to be a great relationship.  Do your homework and check backgrounds.  I always Google the words “scam” together with the person’s name or business name to see what comes up.  You will be amazed what you find.


We had an initial investment of $25,000 to work with (which is not a lot in the grand scheme of things). Therefore, with limited resources I approached all my friends and family to help.  My husband designed the website and I asked many friends if I thought they even remotely had talents that could help.  You will find that people are very willing to help especially when they believe in what you are doing!

We produced 1,000 units, this was a huge leap but I figured I could sell them out of the trunk of my car if needed.  Keep in mind the minimum from the manufacturer was 5,000 units.  I negotiated this down claiming that I did not want to produce that many until I had seen if the formulations would work and they could produce (turned the tables).

We emailed friends and family and asked them to email everyone they knew and to give a testimonial.  They did and to our amazement, web orders started coming in. One friend called and suggested that I send some to her friend that owned two retail stores.  I sent samples and he wanted to purchase wholesale.  I asked him for help.  He referred another store and then another until the first month I had 15 stores selling the product.  He then suggested that I contact a rep group and I asked him for referrals.  Armed with proof that it sells at retail (as I had 15 stores selling it already), I could confidently speak with rep groups about the product and the retail environment.


The rest is history.  We sold over a million dollars of product (wholesale) within the first year and are continuing to grow.  We keep hearing that the stores want more products to sell.  We increased the line in January and quadrupled our sales.  We are developing more products for this show season.  We listen very closely to consumers as well as stores to keep a feel for the market demands.

Go, Suzy!

I’ll post more of her experiences and advice soon.

Feeling inspired?

Previous Article

Business School Experiment Pays Off...How Green Cleaning Became A Platform For Customer Experience

Next Article

Apple Iphone 3G Announced and eBay Bans Pre-Sales and Limits Sales

Related Posts
supply chain
Read More

How to Keep Vendors and Clients Happy During Supply Chain Hiccups

Supply chain breakdowns are happening due to global disruptions, rising costs and increased consumer expectations. Businesses can't always stop supply chain hiccups, but they can learn from them and limit their impact on vendors and clients. How a business responds to a supply chain issue can have far-flung effects. A company that is proactive and...
Read More

WJR Business Beat: Win $10,000 Grant Through Verizon Program (Episode 410)

On today's Business Beat, Jeff provides details of the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program, including free resources, coaching and $10,000 grants to get your small business up and running. Tune in below for more details:     Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat....
Read More

The Fear of Commitment: Why ‘No Obligation’ Is Music to Your Customers’ Ears

We live in a world with endless options and opportunities: where to live, where to eat, where to travel. Things to do, things to see… …Things to buy.  With so many options (and many at their fingertips), why would customers want to commit to something? They wouldn’t. And often don’t. After all, having too many...
pitch your business idea
Read More

How to Pitch Your Business Idea to Startup Investors

Securing funding, whether for a startup or an established business, is not an easy task. A strong startup concept won’t be enough when approaching investors; you'll also need an exceptional pitch to sell it. Let's look at what defines a startup pitch, a few different types, and how to create a fantastic one for your...