Ask The Entreprenette

How do I expand my sales and control costs?

Dear Sarah,
I have a great product that everyone tells me I should be selling all over but I don’t know how to take the first step.  I want to get sales, but feel like I need to have inventory on hand. I don’t want to make them myself as it’s not worth the cost. I don’t know if I should go overseas. And I am afraid to spend money on my website because I don’t have sales.  Thanks in advance for your advice,
Kerry Goulder  KidGiddy

Dear Kerry,
Thank you for your honesty.  You are not alone in your feelings, there are many women out there in your same exact position. But you don’t have to stay stuck there.  I saw your product and it looks fantastic.  Get it out there before someone else does girlfriend!

First of all, you need to make the decision to stop having a “weekend crafter” mentality and start thinking like the entreprenette that you are.  You created a really cool and needed product, and one that people are going to want to purchase.  One does have to invest a little bit of money to get a product business launched.  As I have said before, I have launched all three of my accessory companies on $5000.

I think the first place to start is with your website.  It is going to be your “store front” to the world and it needs to be clean and clear, and show the product really well.  I think a video of you showing how it works is in order here.   It shouldn’t cost very much to get that going.

As for your manufacturing situation.  You certainly don’t have to make them yourself.  Without knowing more about your competition and the price point you want (or need) to sell it for, I can’t recommend manufacturing in the US vs. overseas.  If possible, it is always best to keep it small and close.  If not, then going overseas is always there.

As far as sales go, yes, it’s a good idea to have some stock on hand especially if you are going approach boutique type stores.  They usually want it right away.  If your plan is to go out to big chain stores then you can tell them when you are going to deliver and collect all the orders before you manufacture.

I am happy to share some sewing contractors in Los Angeles and overseas if you need them.  Just email me.

Best of luck with this great idea!

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    Written by Sarah Shaw

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