At Azili we have been helping people without access to clean water for two years because we believe everyone deserves clean water (over 5,000 people helped to date). However, we can only do so much on our own. We need your help to continue to grow our efforts.
Our goal is to raise $75,000 during our 30 day campaign in order to begin large scale production and distribution of AZILI sparkling water in stores. Our promise is to donate 10% of sales to providing water to those in need. This 10% of profits is solely from the sale of AZILI products post Kickstarter, as it is against Kickstarter's policy for funds raised here to go to charity. These funds are meant to help bring this project to life.
How it works
When you purchase your sparkling water in stores 3% goes directly to infrastructure building. The remaining 7% is placed in a fund that does several things:
First, it provides for our local outreach; yes, there are people right here in Atlanta without clean water!
Second, it provides for development. Which entails a team of engineers working on intelligent solutions to water issues we are currently facing.
Third, it provides for disaster relief efforts.
Lastly, at the end of the year we match existing funds with outstanding projects in our sister organizations and ask customers to vote on what projects they would like to see funded. The favored project(s) is then funded. If possible we travel to the project and assist in its completion and document that process so we can show directly how your purchase is effecting change in our world.
We are going big.
We know small is beautiful but lets be honest, there hundreds of millions of people without clean water so big is the kind of impact we will settle for. We know the more of a common product Azili Sparkling Water becomes the closer we get to a world where everyone not only deserves water, they have it.
But ... there is a catch, sparkling water is not a high price point item. This means that in order to make a big impact we have to sell A LOT OF IT! It also means we have to purchase our packaging components in huge volume to get our prices down low and be competitive with the big boys.
I am not going to tell you we don't have competition on the small scale, because we do, but if we are going to achieve our mission, we are going to need to operate on a large scale and fast. We have done all the leg work. Now we need your help.
We are only a conduit, you are Azili, without you we are nothing. Please, support our Kickstarter but don't stop there. Vote with every dollar you can for the change you want to see in the world. We are believing in you. Because ...
Risks and challenges
Below I have highlighted a the major issues with a project of this scale. Obviously, there are innumerable things that can go wrong when starting a business but for the sake of Kickstarter, I will focus on the aspects which relate directly to the things being produced exclusively for the Kickstarter.
There are so many things that can prevent packaging from taking place; For example, while canning carbonated beverages even a few degrees increase in temperature or even a small scratch on key equipment can make the process become impossible.
The best thing to combat this potential issue is knowledge! Luckily, I not only have a degree in engineering from Georgia Tech, where I studied production, I also have years of experience with beverage packaging. What's more, is my experience was not in one place, it was in manufacturing facilities all over the southeast. This means I have dealt with literally hundreds of unique beverages, and I know a lot of friends to call on if things get weird.
Lots of pieces and parts
Even simple things become complex when you have a lot of them in concert. This problem is compounded when all the parts depend on one another. You can make all the sparkling water in the world but if you have no can to put it in it, it will be of no use. This is mostly a concern for the packages of Azili sparkling water as that one little package has more than 10 components each one having their own considerations.
The key here is hard work, planning and backups. You have to know your lead times on all the components that comprise your product. You have to account for error, delays and failure on the part of the people and things you work with. And when things get "stuck" you have to know how and when to change out a part or swap a manufacturer of the component that is causing issue. Having good knowledge of all your components, the market and the suppliers that operate in it is crucial, as is knowing a network of people to call on when your own knowledge is in sufficient.
Fortunately, I am used to being pulled in all directions and I work well under pressure. I was in college for five years but when I graduated I had three degrees, completed the ROTC program from a senior military academy (North Georgia University) and held down multiple jobs throughout that time. I feel I was successful then as I will be now because of four things; I work hard, I don't underestimate what I am up against, I do my research, I am persistent. When you fight for more than the sake of yourself, failure never seems an option.
This is a big one, especially when your project becomes increasingly successful, labor goes way up, costs soar and things can get out of hand fast!
The best thing to understand here is that even the best hard working team can only do so much. It is therefore very important to know your limits and have a plan in place for when you are nearing your limits. Employing a fulfillment service even while your team is still hard at work can be the best thing to do in order to live up to your promise and keep your backers informed and happy!
I have always been someone who pushed the limits of what I thought possible. When you push your limits you better understand who you are, what you are capable of, and you can then move your potential beyond those limits. When you reach past your grasp you come to understand your gifts in life, not just for yourself but for everyone.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter