Meet Alan and Pamela Parkinson. These parent-inventors have turned an idea for a toilet training timer into a successful business that recently cleared one million dollars in sales, thanks to word-of-mouth advertising and the power of the internet, as they say.
“The old adage ‘build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door’ still holds true, and the internet makes it easier to get the word out,” said Alan, president of Potty Time, Inc.
After being laid off from a kitchen appliance company, Alan took an early 401K withdrawal to design and manufacture the Potty Watch, a wristwatch shaped toilet training timer which uses music and flashing lights to remind toddlers when it’s time to “go.” The Potty Watch does the reminding so you don’t have to.
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“Everyone thought we were crazy,” said Pamela, CEO of the company, “but the investment has paid for itself several times over. We’ve sold over 250,000 units in all 50 states, mostly from word of mouth referrals. Our sales just keep growing! The average family will spend about $2000 on diapers before a child is potty trained, so spending $10 to speed up potty training makes sense to a lot of parents. And the great part is, those parents are happy and tell their friends about us.”
“It has been fun to watch our small business grow from selling on our own website to expanding to specialty catalogues like One Step Ahead & Lillian Vernon. Now we have placement nationwide in Babies R Us, BuyBuy Baby, and over 300 independent retailers. We are living proof that the American Dream is still alive and well, and that there’s no bad time to have a good idea!”
You can go to Potty Time, Inc. to get more information.