If you’re a small business owner, how do you prepare for the holidays? August Graube, founder of Fort Boards, has learned a lot about forecasting demand over the years, and is sharing his tips for how to prepare for the busiest time of year.
This week on Amazon’s This is Small Business podcast, host Andrea Marquez talks with Fort Boards founder August Graube, who turned his love of building into a business that creates memories for children.
“Fort Boards is a fort-building kit for kids,” August explains. “I was doing project management for a museum exhibit company that did museums all over the nation. We were working on a kids exhibit, and I had made these large Lincoln log-type boards for kids to play with. You could just tell when doing kid-testing with them, that kids just loved playing with something full scale.”
It didn’t take long for August to realize why, as he looked back to his own childhood and made a connection to what was happening in front of him:
I was like, ‘Well, duh.’ I loved playing with forts as a kid. I spent hours playing with forts out in the country. So, I looked to see if there was anything good out there on the market.
When August looked, he realized he had found a niche, and got to work. He thought he could get something designed, manufactured, and to market in six months, but quickly learned that wasn’t realistic.
Listen to the podcast to learn how long it took August to get his boards to market, and what he learned about the supply chain and product seasonality once Fort Boards launched.
You’ll also hear from Professor Edward Anderson, a supply chain expert at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. Edward shares his insight on what small business owners should think about before they launch a product, and how to prepare for a spike in demand.