Understanding how your company cash flow works, what your margins are, having a sales strategy and marketing plan are obviously the linchpins to your success yet somehow most of us just forget about all that when we are wrapped up in the design process, or worrying about production…..the things that we “think” are the only things that matters. So I want to share with you the following 5 mistakes that I made, in the hopes you’ll take a serious look at right now at your business so you can be more successful this year. I can’t really say which is more important and don’t have them in any specific order since they are all equally important to your success.
1. Proper costing: I never knew the importance of this when I started out. I just priced things “around” what I thought they cost and what I thought the market could bear. This was clearly a terrible idea! Calculating your COGS, including all shipping costs to get the goods to you (either in raw materials or as finished products) is essential to the profitability to your business. Be sure you multiply your final COGS x 2.5 to get your wholesale price. Once I fixed my bad margins, my profit increased 250%.
2. Maintaining your Trademark: When I had my handbag company, I trademarked my company name (which was my own name “ Sarah Shaw”) under the name of the corporation. Therefore, the corporation owned the TM. When things went south with my investors and we closed the company, I lost the right to use my OWN NAME when the Trademark “died” with the corporation. Note: Always file your TM under your personal name and license it to your company to use. Bummer right?
3. Clear sales pitch: Let’s just remember (again) that I had zero experience calling buyers, let alone selling anything. I started out by cold calling buyers around the country that I found in magazines (the internet was not really a hip thing back then) which was great and all…..but I didn’t know what to say to them to get them to understand what I was selling. I was very hesitant and didn’t have a clear short pitch prepared. As I recall, I just thought my stuff was cute and they should buy it……not very professional. Be sure you have tested your pitch with a friend before you pick up the phone!
4. Marketing? This word scared me to be honest, and I didn’t have a clue what it meant. After trying to get the word out about my new line, I finally (and I am serious) went to the California Mart in L.A during market week and took samples of all the post cards and advertising materials that the other designers had put out for buyers. I figured they were all making money and I should just copy what they were doing. That was a good start, but I still didn’t really know my target market very well and I wasn’t sure how to translate their ideas into something that worked for me. These days with the ease of email campaigns (using constant contact or some other company) you can easily and quickly stay in touch with potential customers both online and wholesale.
5. Sticking with your esthetics: I never had a “vision” when I started my line, I just sort of fell into it, but I was very clear about what I wanted to design and manufacture. Once I was selling the handbags, and people wanted more, I knew in my gut that if I did what felt right to me that I’d be successful – and I was. But as time went by, sales reps and various business partners wanted to stick their 2 cents in and suggest (or force) me to design things that were either trending or that they wanted me to include. Since I was still “sort of new at this”, I caved, and when I did, the line was not successful. This was a hard lesson, emotionally and financially, but what I learned was to always trust myself, and never make anything that didn’t feel right to me or that varied from my esthetic. Customers buy from you because of your design esthetic!
Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!
I’m already getting orders from the email with the updated pricing that I just sent to my current st…
Sarah Shaw is like Google, the entire How To section of Barnes and Nobles, Consumer Report and Yoda …
We enrolled in Sarah Shaw’s program because we needed someone to kick us into shape! She did just …
“I am a detailed person and hate when I buy something online and am not satisfied. It’s always hard …
“I came to Sarah with just the seed of an idea, a pile of sketches, and a bundle of nerves. I left w…
“In just one hour on the phone, Sarah gave me clarity in my pricing and bottom line… Our new product…
With Sarah’s help and guidance I was able to get my product into the hands of 5 hot TV set dressers …
“If you have dreamed of hitting it big, and your product has any kind of ‘it’ factor, as Sarah often…
“With just one little tweak of Sarah’s expertise, I amplified the results of this new launch by 60…
When I first started working with Sarah I had a garage full of my Bathroom Bagonia’s and didn’t know…
Sarah Shaw Consulting is with The Solemates.
3 days ago
In this podcast, I really get to know Becca Brown. She is such an enthusiast about her brand and products that you totally see why Solemates are a girl’s best friend.
Who’d a thunk that heel caps would be such a big thing right? We’ve all been to grass party events, and weddings where your heel just sinks down and you know your shoes are ruined…. Or they need an emergency trip to the shoe doctor right?
Becca and her co-founder Monica had the same experience over and over again until they had their ah-ha moment…..and grass events were never the same again!
She and I chat about how they started at night and on the weekends, got on Shark Tank, didn’t take the deal, pursued sales on their own, are now in over 10,000 stores and still do the sales themselves. Whew!
Let me know in the comments below if you want the link to listen. I’ll send it over. ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
4 days ago
Shows are cancelled: Buyers still need new products. Book a call with me today and learn how to get through this crisis.
#sarahshawconsulting #buyers #buyer #clothing #business #Fashion #apparel #boutiques #consultation #dropshipping #ecommerce #dropship #dropshippingtips #reseller #boutique #accessories ... See MoreSee Less
6 days ago
Listen to the Trade Show 411 with Kelly Helfman and learn how UBM helps you get your brand noticed. Displaying at a trade show can be scary if you’ve never been before.
Tune in to the podcast to find out! sarahshawconsulting.com/podcast/trade-show-411-with-kelly-helfman/
#sarahshawconsulting #podcast #kellyhelfman #celebrities #celebs #celebrityaccess #business #fashion #apparel #boutiques #magazines #getastreetsmartmba ... See MoreSee Less
1 week ago
It took me years to figure out how to set the right price for my product line when I first started out, so I can imagine you might be in the same situation. If you are not sure if you are making any money, then there is a good chance you’re not pricing your products correctly.
Read on: sarahshawconsulting.com/set-the-right-price-for-your-product-line-and-make-more-money/
#sarahshawconsulting #business #retail #wholesale #fashion #clothing #accessories #apparel #boutiques #magazines #consultation #dropshipping #ecommerce #dropship #dropshippingtips #entrepreneur #reseller #boutique ... See MoreSee Less
2 weeks ago
Excited to share an interview in INC magazine! I give away a lot of info about how important celebrities can be for your sales!
Check out my Interview here: www.inc.com/tracy-leigh-hazzard/the-truth-about-celebrity-endorsements-getting-your-product-on-tv...
#sarahshawconsulting #entreprenette #getastreetsmartmb #interview #incmagazine #celebrities #business #Fashion #Press ... See MoreSee Less