by Nancy Nyman
Plant a Seed, Sprout a Business…
For years, TV shopping giant QVC - where icons such as financial guru Suze Orman, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, and fashion expert Heidi Klum hock their wares at mock speed - has partnered with vendors seeking a larger audience for their inventions. If you’ve ever tried to get your product onto QVC, you know it’s an enormous endeavor. In fact, QVC's productivity requirements and bar for success have gotten so high that landing QVC exposure can be unattainable for many new vendors.
But now the global retailer is going back to its roots and has created a new program aimed at entrepreneurs just starting out in the industry. QVC Sprouts™, which launches this month, aims to discover products – both large and small – that leave one wondering, “How did I ever live without this?” With the help of the United Inventors Association, QVC Sprouts offers aid, assistance and accessibility to inventors and entrepreneurs with innovative product ideas to help them grow and nurture their ideas, but with less of an overall personal risk.
How It Works
First, you need to have a retail-ready product to submit. As any successful QVC vendor will tell you, be sure you’re able to put your best foot forward here because once submitted, your product is open to tremendous scrutiny.
Next, visit the QVC Sprouts Program website to submit your product for review through QVC’s standard evaluation process. If selected, your product will be placed on the QVC website along with other contestant products for one week, during which QVC customers will have the opportunity to vote on the products they would most like to see sold on QVC. This voting period also gives you and QVC the opportunity to gauge consumer interest in your offerings.
Lights… Camera… Action!
If your product grabs the top vote, QVC may make it available for purchase online the following week. The goal: to grow QVC Sprouts products over time via online sales, which may ultimately include the opportunity for presentations on QVC TV. The program is ongoing, so each week will feature a new group of contestants and their products.
There is no cost to submit your product to QVC. And as with any public disclosure of an idea, you should take necessary precautions to protect your idea and seek counsel with any questions. You can contact the UIA at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on the processes of protecting product inventions.
Maybe you feel like you have what it takes but need a little inspiration to get things going. If this is the case, visit http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2009/02/guest-lori-greiner-on-women.html to learn about Lori Greiner, a QVC TV regular who started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar brand. She did it, and so can you!
About the author: In addition to launching her own career writing for television, Nancy Nyman assists small business owners and entrepreneurs in finding their unique voice for the marketplace. http://www.twogirlsunleashed.com