Please state your name, your position, and a bit of your Business.
Alice O’Connor, owner, and founder of Procuredly. We help make people’s ideas/dreams into reality. We offer businesses the expertise of an in-housing procurement team with knowledge in multiple materials and industries, but not the price tag. It allows businesses that are relying on their limited resources the flexibility and adaptability to change with their business needs. Our goal is to help businesses of any size, from startups to established companies, to be as responsive as possible to fit their needs. We offer innovative thinking and practices to help businesses “spend smarter” at every point in your business’s life cycle.
How did the business start?
I have almost 15 years of experience in Global Procurement from working in textiles, managing Contigo and Bubba brands for Newell, to making fiberglass for Iphones and aerospace. I realized how many SMEs and startups are lost while trying to get their business off the ground and take their innovative ideas and make them a reality. I love helping make someone’s concept into a tangible item. The need is definitely there because people like me do not usually exist outside of large corporations which don’t really provide a level playing field for the SMEs. So I thought I would take my love of creating and my passion for helping people and join it into a business that I’m really good at.
What are the challenges you met and how did you manage to cope up with these challenges and reach your current status?
Most small businesses or startups are cash strapped and lost in the maze of how to get their item created. I have a network of people in all different fields with all the different expertise that I’ve built in the last 15 years at my disposal. I can help people figure out where to get funding.
I can help businesses with patents and trademarks. I can help with AutoCAD and material selection and manufacturing. If the business owner isn’t ready for me in their process, I help them utilize my resources so they can get to that point.
Who influenced you in this industry and how did he/she influence you?
I have been lucky in that I have had many supervisors/CEOs/managers that were willing to give me the autonomy to make decisions and learn from mistakes. Each and everyone allowed me to wear many hats which gave me opportunities that others in my field never get a chance to have. I owe my successes to each one that took a chance on me.
How did you manage to market your business and compete with other agencies in your niche?
There really isn’t anyone else in my field out there. Global Procurement professionals do not usually work outside of large companies. They also usually get pigeonholed into one material/industry and that’s where they stay for their entire career. I market myself as a jack of all trades/industries/materials because I have expertise unlike most of my counterparts.
What Best Practice/s can you share to our startup readers?
- Do your homework, know your market and your competitors.
- Know what your “value add” is to the market place. Even if it’s something that’s been around forever, what are you bringing that makes it different?
- Know the differences in patents and trademarks and understand what kind of protections you are really getting by filing for those.
- Know the specifics of your product. If you are making a new product, invest in knowledgeable people who can help with material selection and manufacturing that meet your idea for what your product is going to be.
- Outsource and find out help with professionals for areas that you lack the experience and expertise. Your finished product will only be as good as the inputted data at the beginning.
- Never be afraid to ask questions. You don’t know what you don’t know.
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