Blog series / Wholesaling your products / Products
So, you are wanting a clearer direction on how to enter the world of wholesaling your handmade products and you have ended up here – brilliant! This blog series is packed full of valuable information [tested by me personally] to help you reach a new and exciting stage of your business. To avoid overwhelm, we are breaking this series up into separate stages. First up we need to talk about the core of your business, which is your product.
Identifying your product
Before even considering wholesaling your products, you must clearly identify your product. Be definitive with which products you are going to wholesale and make sure you have enough supplies to make an adequate amount of those products.
If you are a start-up [which is likely you are], it is better to focus on delivering one product and delivering it properly. Some handmade businesses can get caught up in the excitement of starting a business and decide to release many products. This is not the way to go. Start with one product, nail it, and then think about expanding your range. So, you must decide which product/s you are confident in selling wholesale.
Should you make to order or have stock ready on hand?
A tough question handmade business owners must consider is whether or not they should make their products to order, or to have stock ready on hand. This is a decision that you must make based on your situation. There are many factors that you should consider, including how long it takes to create a product, the cost of making the product, if you think the product is going to be a popular seller, etc.
If the products are quick and easy to make, it makes sense making them to order [then there is no risk of you making them all in one colour when the stockist in fact wants them in another colour]. If the products are time consuming, it is perhaps a safer option to make them ahead of time [alternatively, just inform the stockist that production time will simply take longer].
Stockists often buy in large quantities and it is very common for them to want five or more of a SKU. It is recommended you have plenty of supplies or pre made stock on hand for this very reason. If they order more than what you have available of a product, you are missing the opportunity to make a higher profit!
How often do you need to update your product lines?
It is recommended that you update your product lines 3-4 times a year. Perhaps changing them around a bit for each season [eg colours]. Customers will lose interest in your products if you do not change them or introduce new items.
Imagine if Adairs never updated their bedding and everything looked the same every time you went into their shop! You would lose interest, wouldn’t you? It is exactly the same for your brand. Stockists will stop reordering if no one is buying your old product in their shop.
When creating new products, something you must keep in mind is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. In a non-dictionary sounding way, it means you think the product is good enough to sell when really, it is not that flash and needs some working on. So, when you create a new product, seek feedback from family, friends, social media followers or even ask your stockists what they think! You then avoid wasting time and money on creating a product that people are not going to buy.
In the next blog post in this series we will cover the topic of approaching and finding stockists.