Over the years, I have helped many new producers learn the best ways to sell wholesale to retail shops. My passion has always been to help people succeed with their small businesses — and watch them grow into larger manufacturers.
Along with helping new businesses understand wholesale/retail pricing, I find that many producers are held back because they are afraid of where their business will go when they step into the wholesale arena. They tell themselves that they will not be able to produce enough product, that their products won’t sell wholesale to shops, or that they don’t have enough margin to sell wholesale …..
The Arts Business Institute obviously hears the same concerns from their readers. I would like to share some excerpts from their article:
Occasionally an artist will express the fear that if they start wholesaling, they will be overwhelmed with orders, and unable to fulfill them. That fear, however, is largely unfounded because as the business owner, you are in control of the orders you accept, your studio production and shipping.
I concur with the above statement, especially the part …. “you are in control of the orders you accept …”
Most producers don’t think they can turn down an order that will not work for them — for whatever the reason may be!
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR BUSINESS!
That, to me, is such a freeing statement! Of course, you want to oblige your buyers as much as possible, but you are still the one in control.
When I work with a newbie company, I always reassured them by letting them know that if a product isn’t working or if they feel overwhelmed, I can just stop selling their line until they are more comfortable taking orders.
Actually, I just got a call today from one of my Idaho lines from my website (www.IdahoGiftsWholesale.com). She was concerned because she suddenly started having some medical issues that could or could not affect her business. I just reassured her that we would do what she could handle until she got to the bottom of her health problems. Should we get more orders than she can fill, I can just tell buyers that due to health reasons, it may take a bit more time to receive their order. Simple as that!
The Arts Business Institute goes on to say:
When you go to a wholesale show, keep your production schedule (it can simply be a calendar if you like) in your booth to record orders for each month going forward.When an order is placed, work backwards from the date the customer wants to receive their order, allowing sufficient time to produce, pack and ship so that it arrives at the store when needed.
Let your customers know when you can fit their order into your schedule. Be realistic about your capabilities, and build in a little wiggle room to allow for unexpected delays.
Do you use a similar system to schedule your wholesale orders? How is it working for you?