Wholesale can be a really profitable & great way to increase your revenue stream. It's also helpful if your brand is relatively new and you're looking to build brand recognition while getting your products in front of a wider audience. It isn't always an easy process though, so before you jump in, here are some important initial questions to ask yourself to confirm wholesale is the right step for you:
1. Do you have a developed line that will appeal to a retailer?
It's important to offer variety within your assortment in order to allow retailers to select products that align with the aesthetic of their store and appeal to their clientele. Having a developed line shows retailers that you’ve invested time into your collection and are serious about it's future success.
2. Can you produce your products in large quantities?
You don't necessarily need to be able to produce mass quantities when you are just starting to wholesale, but it is important to have a real understanding of what your current capacity and ability to scale is. It's also important to evaluate your lead time in terms of getting products out to your stockists. While it is normal to have a longer lead time before your first order ships, retailers will expect that you'll be able to replenish best sellers rather quickly.
3. Is your brand material cohesive & professional?
It's important to make sure you have a cohesive message across all your brand materials. This means having packaging that is thoughtfully considered and executed. It will be important for a shop owner to see you not only have beautiful products but also packaging that will look great on their shelves. This is something you should be thinking about even for your direct business and can really give added value to any product.
4. Do you have an understanding of your product costs?
It's important to have a full understanding of the what the true cost is to make each of your products. Be sure to figure in the cost of materials, labour, overhead, and have some padding for future growth (such as a sales agent). Knowing where you stand on costs will allow you to appropriately price you products from the start. It's important to be making a large enough profit for wholesaling to be worth it!
5. Can you cover upfront costs?
It's common for retailers to not pay till the order is ready to ship. For bigger retailers and department stores they may even require a 30 day credit line from the start of your relationship with them. This means you'll need to find a way to cover all the production and material costs upfront. Take time to evaluate what you realistically can fund and use this as a measure to how large your initial wholesale launch should be.
Ready to put together your wholesale strategy? We have an amazing day of workshops planned with LFA & PR Dispatch on September 21st that will not only cover all things wholesale, but will teach you everything you need to have in place to get amazing PR for your brand. You can find all the details here.