Why this business was started
I decided to start this business as a project for my son during his apprenticeship year. He needed to find a product that had a USP and wasnt already available on the Uk market which he did. He did a lot of market research to find out how people bought products and was very drawn to a subscription based business. He spoke to many dentists about the products to find out what would have the dental profession backing it. The range available from the manufacturer is huge but we limited the offering based on dentists feedback. We loved the idea that you could have a company that worked similarly to Dollar Shave Club where heads for our toothbrushes would be sent out every 2-3 months as recommded by dentists.
The reason of selling this business
I am selling the business because my son finished his appreticeship and was head hunted for another project. I already run two other businesses, one dental and one in wellbeing so I dont have the time to take on another project but the products are excellent and the concept extremely workable.
What's involved in running this business
Marketing is required to get these products out there as they are not advertised in the UK although they are in other countries. The manufacturer has a UK point of contact and you will have access to him and products are now being stored in the UK so repeat orders are much quicker and cheaper than when we brought the first shipment in. The manufacturers are also present at many of the uk and europian dental shows so many UK dentists have seen the brand but their amazing interchangable head toothbrushes are not currently stocked or sold in the UK which is what my son was going to do. The business primarily is an internet company so someone subscribes to a plan, you send out the first consignment and then depending on their preferences you are reminded and they are automatiocally charged for refills to be sent every 2-3 months. You would need to reorder from the manufacturer but as ive already said thats very easy and introductions will be made if you wish to take over this company. The manufacturer is a dentist himself and is aware of market trends so they will keep ypu updated of new products as they become available. Their current offering is huge but its up to you which products you wish to stock.
I have worked within the dental profession for over 30 years and set my son up with an oral health company when he took on a marketing apprenticeship. Utterbrush was set up as an online subscription based oral health shopping experience to encourage people to buy the right brush at the right time (3 monthly) We spent a lot of time researching what customers wanted and also spoke to many dental professionals about the range we were looking to bring to market. They halved the amount of inventory that we had been offered from the manufacturer. Our USB was that out handles and heads were seperate and that you as the customer chose what you prefered, this allowed for many configurations. They varied from chunky infant brushes that were easier to hold and with suckers on them to stick to the sink or bath to multicoloured childrens brushes to a variety of adults handles including adult chunky handles for elderly customers and those who may struggle with arthritus etc. The handles were designed to stay with you for min of a year but new interchangeable heads would arrive in the post with toothpaste, floss, interdental brushes etc every 3 months to remind you they needed replacing. The heads themselves are smaller than those in the supermarket and softer as recommended by dentists. So much damage is caused by people brushing to hard and if the heads are too big they just cant reach everywhere. With todays hot news very much around plastic waste this means only 1/3rd of the tooth brush is disposed of every 3 months with the handle being reuseable. We noted also that people struggled with floss etc so although we had that as part of our armory we also had interdental brushes that also fitted into the toothbrush handles. It was very much a mix and match system for the individual with so many possible configurations. I huge amount of children still visit our dentists and dental schools every year due to poor oral hygiene and this is so distressing to see which i have many times, a young child sedated while all their teeth are extracted In this digital world what child wouldnt want to receive a parcel in the post addressed to them every few months with new supplies and stickers or a game and advise and tips for the parents. The manufacturers are developing new products all the time so it will be easy to incorporate additional products to the shopping basket with the repeat business guarenteed We have already taken delivery of a number of each of the product offerings and now the manufacturer has a distribution centre in the UK which they didnt have a year ago. We dont have any use now for the website, facebook page, for the handles and brushes, toothpaste, interdental brushes, floss, reverse tip brushes any more as my son decided his passion lay more with cars and not teeth and im busy running my own dental company. We were very early in the marketing of Utterbrush and the manufacturers marketed to 3000 dental hygienists to get behind the product and promote it. Currently Utterbrush is the only UK distributor and the manufacturers have more marketing planned for the UK and there is currently only one UK employee who is handling all sales related calls etc as we have no one to operate Utterbrush.
Why should someone buy this store?
There is huge potential with this start up company. Inventory is already here ( i will need to check exactly how much), the manufacturers have attended all dental exhibitions in the UK and Europe and so many of these products have been seen by UK dentists but there isnt a distributor . There are other companies but the USP of Utterbrush really sets it apart from the rest. Kits have been made up to be left in surgeries so that patients can see them/feel them and a pricing structure has been set up so that you can sell to dentists and let them sell them on or sell though the website directly to the patient with the intent to be bringing their whole family with them as we have something for everyone. Oral health must be improved in this country.
How can the future owner improve the business?
We really only tested a concept and didnt take the finished product to market so now its just waiting for someone to fly with it. So much more marketing needs to be done, some of which will be carried out by the manufacturer. Professional funky photos (look at makeup brushes for example) were planned to be taken to appear on Instagram to make what is quite a boring every day item appeal more to the younger generation. Dental Surgeries can be set up with display racks also which they could have on a sale or return basis. With dental corporates growing and acquiring more practices it would make sense to bring them on board and have a unique offering over and above the supermarket
What work have you put into the store?
Spent a long time putting together all the variations to make the shopping experience easy. The recurring orders and subscriotion box apps are both easy to reinstall
- Shopify plan
Logo and branding assetsWhat is included in the sale is the shopify website and domain names both .com and [REDACTED] media pages although we got everything set up and then my son left so everything needs to be brought up to date. We do have a lot of the original inventory that we imported ( needs to do a full inventory list) including all handles and heads that are on the website. Toothpaste is the only item with an expiry date so we wouldnt include that although you are welcome to anything that hasnt expired if again you wanted to make up tester kits. The manufacturer had a photo directory that you would have access to but we would have got professional ones done and sourced a product photographer and the manufactureres were happy to cover half of the costs to get that done but we then decided when my son said he was leaving not to spend any more money as we had no one to replace him at that time.
Personal support after saleNot Included
Product photosNot Included
SuppliersNot available for starter stores
Mailing ListNot Included
How to grow this business
There is a huge shift towards subscription buying and dental health products where brush heads are recommendee to be changed every 2-3 months is a great way to get customers signed up and the residual sales. With plastic waste such a hot topic too having handles that can be reused and just the heads being disposed off and replaced every 2-3 months is better for the planet.
Skills to have
No specific skills or knowledge required. Customer polls have chosen the best products for the UK market and are listed on the website already. Website designed by external compamy Lilian Kelly who can assist with changes to the website but its quite easy to make changes yourself.
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