Transforming my business ideas from paper to reality is something I truly enjoy. The process is like painting, one stroke at a time. This weekend, I decided to investigate the process for selling Boat Food to the US Navy. The first step was becoming a vendor for the US Naval exchange. Since I am a big proponent for sharing information, here is what I found out. The US Navy Exchange has its own way of procurement unlike other branches of the US military. (I will post on the other branches in a future post.) The first hurdle I needed to jump was getting the proper documentation for becoming a vendor. I read through the pdf file and found out I needed a Dunn and Bradstreet number before the navy would even look at my cookbook. The website conveniently provided a link to the D and B website. I filled out the online form and submitted it. I received the information I needed today. Yes, I am officially a vendor. No sales yet, but I’ve got the paperwork! On Saturday, I called several offices listed on the web to get a head start as to who is responsible for what at the office for this morning, Monday. It paid off because I reached my contact without a hitch. Beginner’s luck prevails. As I type, I am awaiting forms via email and I will take it from there.
I wrote Boat Food with a target audience in mind, boaters. Entertaining on a boat is popular so my first chapter has over 100 delicious recipes for appetizers. I entitled the chapter “Anchors Aweigh” Appetizers with Go Navy! enthusiasts in mind for future sales. (“Anchors Aweigh” is the fight song of the US Naval Academy.) So, it should be of no surprise this was the first dept of the military I approached.
A bit of reflection… It amazes me how much information can be obtained on a Google search. Many years ago, I worked for as an archivist for Radio Free Europe in the Washington DC newsroom. My duties including research for the reporters. I know I am dating myself but this was before the world wide web. My days were filled with monitoring news feeds for possible feature pieces for the journalists. I believe this is where I got the how to look for information gene.
I will succeed only if I am willing to put in the hours for research and development of sales. I am selling Boat Food to people like me, people that love life with the water as a backdrop. It amazes me to look at the clock and see how much time has passed since I started my day at 5:30 AM. It doesn’t feel like I have been marketing for this amount of time. I believe the expression, time flies when you are having fun is appropriate.
The Outdoor Epicurean