A Scary Day at the Office

Procter & Gamble

For us small business owners, every day is a roller coaster ride, replete with slow agonizing climbs and plenty of stomach-churning, nail-biting and fear-inducing moments. Sometimes, its all of one and none of the other!

So-oo, the other day, we were scanning thru our orders because we like to see where people are ordering from. You never know...it could be somebody famous or a celebrity in our targeted markets, or maybe a buyer from a media outlet or potentially large retailer. Or, it could be a competitor. OR it could be a REALLY big competitor, like say, Procter & Gamble. Or in this case the "New Business Creation R&D" department at P&G. In 2014, P&G recorded $83.1 billion in sales. P&G's "Wipe" products run the gamut from Swiffers to Pampers Baby Wipes to Boogie Wipes (nose wipes for infants and toddlers), so when you see a mammoth entity that spends over $20 billion annually in R&D; well...it makes you think.

Let's Talk

We decided to engage the R&D buyer just a little:

From: Action Wipes

To: P&G R&D

"...We've noticed that Procter & Gamble has been searching our website and has placed orders with us in the past. As you are an engineer with P&G, we can only assume you are interested in our formula.

Although we know you can easily purchase the product elsewhere, or have friends buy it, we can't knowingly sell it direct to you unless we understand why you are interested in it. So we have refunded your purchase price. As a small company, trying to grow our business, we hope you will give us the opportunity to do so before developing a competing formula.

If I am completely off-base with this email, please, do not hesitate to contact me to discuss. I'm also willing to explore teaming opportunities where P&G funding/investment can help a small, agile company like ours."

The Reply

From: P&G R&D

To: Action Wipes

Thank you your email...I fully understand your concern because P&G can be a direct competitor to your business as we produce and sell wipes also.

As a company, not only the wipe business, we do research many products in the global market to understand the product details, marketing strategies, etc. We are interested in Action Wipe as a new product in the market and because it looks like a great product! Buying and investigating your product doesn't mean P&G is going to copy your formula and steal your business.

As you mentioned in your mail, if we want to buy your products, we should be able to do that from different sources, but I just wanted to let you know that we are just doing market product research as many companies normally do. As we research your product along with other products, it is a possibility that we may contact you for future partnership opportunities with proper agreement between [Action Wipes] and P&G, which should be a win-win for both parties. Hope it helps you understand why we are ordering the product.

Thank you and have a nice day,

Well--It didn't replace the fear, but who knows? (After further exchange, we shipped the order.) We are not greedy; just a teensy-weensy piece of that $20 billion R&D budget would be pretty cool to tap into--cuz we have LOTS of ideas--and besides, they would be able to tap into US!