A friend and I created a product, found a manufacturer for it, and are selling it online, but we need to get it into stores. We don't know anything about marketing, we are bootstrapping the business and money is tight. We would really appreciate some actionable advice on:
Our product is a shark deterrent band. We also have a surfing leash that will be sold on this site as well as its own site (we're currently building it). Our product is specialized, meaning it is going to be marketed towards the consumer "beach goer" and our surfing leash is targeted towards surfers. We also plan to create an electronic version once we have enough capital.
Wow. I really like this product. Now to the important stuff:
First, I want to explain the dynamics of businesses like yours, because that will show you why investors and stores are unimportant.
You have a great idea, but presumably no patent. That's not a bad thing, because patents are by many people's estimations, mine included, ineffective. But because of this you must understand and use your real advantages to be profitable.
The advantages are brand and cost ('first mover'). Brand is the fact that if people know about Shark Shocker, they'll look for it, and choose it over less-known competitor brands. Cost is that as you progress, you'll have amortized your capital and research expenses (read an intro book on Economics for this!); simplified, if you act smartly, you'll (generally) always be ahead of your competitors on cost.
Finally on dynamics: at first things will move slowly, and in about two years they'll get pretty fast; necessarily you'll have to bootstrap carefully while people find your product.
So with that background. Here's your actionable advice:
Refine your website, and other marketing materials, to convey the essentials of your product to potential customers so that customers have their questions answered.
My first question is 'What does it do?', and I have to look around the site for a long time to see the word 'deterrent'. You should reduce this. This improvement process is commonly jargonically called 'copy writing'.
My second question is 'Where can I buy it?', and I look up for the word 'Buy', and I see 'Products'. But I (unlike many other people) look around the page some more, and see a strange-looking purchasing box.
My third question is 'Will it ship to me?', and I had to go to the 'Contact Us' page to learn that you're from Virginia USA.
As you might expect, the more people have to work for answers, the less likely you'll sell to them.
I think if you bootstrap while thinking about what I've said, and you continue to reinvest in your product and marketing materials, this idea will be executed successfully.
Nice product. Consider a kickstarter campaign - but I would make sure that the video, testimonials, website and product demo be complete and polished. I agree with Tom - the site isn't there right now.
Do some research behind what are the elements of a winning kickstarter / indegogo campaign, and work with a professional team to make it a reality. With a strong media push at launch (who doesn't want to protect their kids from sharks?) you should get a lot of orders + visibility.
(An aside - I'm a diver & watched the video and wasn't 100% convinced. Would like to see a cut baitfish with a band around it test. )