Our August update features several topics. June and July were heavy months on the design side. As I mentioned in my last article, there was a large amount of stress analysis done on components and assemblies. The manufacturer and I exchanged many emails as we worked to finalize this prototype build. The good news is that I sent all the drawings and models to the manufacturer earlier this week. There is always more work to do, but this is a big check mark on the to-do list!
Now the manufacturers are working to determine what they will build in their facility and what parts of this prototype they will get some outside help with. Not all manufacturers are set up for rapid prototype work. Sometimes other suppliers can deliver prototypes faster.
I am also revisiting the financial model to prepare for updating with new tooling and product costs. I made the spreadsheet model in the past with some outside help. This time, I will get more help from an experienced accountant to make sure everything is done in a way that makes sense to investors. Unfortunately, it looks as if we may have to significantly adjust the line item for tariffs. There has always been a small tariff for certain baby products (just under 5%), and we had that built into our model, but it looks like there is a strong chance they will be increased, possibly up to 25%. As I understand it, the whole product gets the tariff based on the country of final export HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule). This is unfortunate because not all of our components are from the same place or from the newly published targeted tariff countries. But we have to plan for it so we don’t get into a bind later on.
Once we get the financial articles ready, we will polish off the slide deck so we are ready to start raising capital for tooling. We won’t start that process until after we have had a chance to evaluate this prototype.
In other important news, JogAlong now has a new assistant. Her name is Piper and she is a sweetheart. One of her favorite activities is to pull down all the hand towels around the house and bring them to me for playtime. She likes it when I flip them on her head and she can shake them off. You may wonder how Piper is relevant to JogAlong. As head of a start-up, I work from home most days, so having Piper around makes that more enjoyable and in the end makes me more productive. Piper’s original owner, Rhonda, unfortunately passed away from cancer, so me adopting her was bittersweet. I did not know Rhonda, but it is clear she gave Piper a lot of attention and love, and for that I am very thankful. Piper loves to play, go for walks, and lick humans behind the ears. Hands, toes, or legs seem to be an acceptable substitute if you are not ready for the earwash!
I will keep you posted on the prototype progress.