In January 2022, Heidi and I embarked on an 8-week entrepreneurship crash course,, to prepare us for the final leg of the MU Entrepreneur Quest Student Accelerator Competition.
Although I did end up missing some of my vet courses to attend these seminars, what I learned in the entrepreneurship program was extremely important when it came to developing my business. Plus, Heidi loved that she got to attend the classes with me!
Every week, different speakers covered topics like customer discovery, researching the need for a product, and how to talk to different groups at different stages of your business. This is how I learned to leverage local Facebook groups to spark a community discussion.
One of the most valuable things I learned in this course was that the most successful businesses sell products that solve a “migraine problem.” Was an easy-to-use, collapsing kennel truly a product that could improve people’s lives?
When I talked online to dog owners in bigger cities like St. Louis and Denver, I found that 70% of them were using crates at least part of the time. And more than that, according to my survey, 85% of dog owners living in apartments said that space was a limited commodity in their homes. This customer discovery journey led me to believe in the Murphy dog crate even more. Clearly, I wasn’t alone in wanting to take the headache out of crating my dog.
Now that I knew there was a genuine need for this product on the market, I had a renewed sense of purpose. I spent the next few months working on a marketing plan, perfecting the final model of the kennel, and preparing for the next stage of Mizzou’s pitching competition.