The Solar Feeder

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In 1996, Bo Haeberle and Ed Welsh created a business selling solar bird feeders that gave a slight shock to squirrels that tried to eat the food, in Greensboro, North Carolina. The feeders won awards and prizes for best new product from various organizations related to their industry. The company needs to be more competitive; because three predominate competitors are selling similar products for less. In 1998, Bo and Ed created Squirrel Defense, Inc., an S Corporation, and opened a shop to produce the feeders. They did not consult with an engineer to design the feeders so they spent a lot of extra money and time producing the feeders. The feeders were “horribly back-ordered” and production was slowed so they could catch up with the demand. There were also shipping issues, the cost was very high. The financials of the company were in disarray. The financial statements had missing information.

SDI, Inc. had a good idea and a competent unique product.
The feeders were attractive and appealing to the bird enthusiasts. The company has good sales with many orders.
There is not a lot of competition in their field.
Bird Watch America voted their feeders the best new product. Habitat for Humanity gave them the highest prize for public interest in a product. They had good sales and could sell in trade shows, high end stores, and using their website.

SDI, Inc. has not identified its target market successfully. The feeders being produced are not keeping pace with the good sales they have generated. They have six gotten months behind in producing the feeders. The company had no cash flow and they had more expenses than they had net income. There were no investors because they never had a realistic marketing/business plan. There were many production issues that were never addressed before production was initiated creating much larger cost factors. They had never addressed the opportunity...
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