I am a big believe in good systems — especially for a growing business. Without them, you can easily be overwhelmed when a ‘rush’ of orders come in.
If it wasn’t for the systems I had in place before I got ill in 2007-2009, I would not have been able to function at all in my business. Those wholesale systems are still in place now and continue to help me during my ‘bad days’.
So ….. before you start wholesaling your products, let first look at the systems you need to have in place before you visit your first retailers:
I have written several post on this subject, so I won’t go into detail here. But here is my simply formula:
Cost of Good (plus time and marketing) X 2 = Wholesale Cost
Wholesale cost X 2-2.5 = Retail Cost
Pricing is critical to success wholesaling, so this is the first system to develop.
Payment Terms and Requirements:
Most retailers expect Net 30 terms, but I suggest you ask for credit card payments on the first order or two. Then you can extend whatever terms you would like to use.
For more details, read: Typical Payment Terms When Wholesaling
Sales and Order Taking:
Full color sales flyers are a must when selling wholesale. Samples are great, but flyers tell the buyer size, color, minimum quantity, terms, price, contact info, as well as photos of your products.
Order books are also important — you can design your own order forms, make them a part of your sales flyers, or do what I did and use a sales order form book available at any office supply store.
For more details, read: Developing Your Sales and Ordering Materials
Delivery and/or Shipping Systems:
Most producers ship their products. Depending on the size and weight of your items, you will probably want to use USPS (postal service), UPS or FedEx. To ship economically, you need to familiarize yourself with each company and open an on-line account.
For more details, read: Shipping and Delivery Systems
Creating a separate area of your house or office for shipping orders will help you keep shipments organized and packed easier and more efficiently. Lots of time is wasted if you end up misplacing your scissors, or your packing tape, or other critical components to shipping out your orders.
For tips on your fulfillment center, check out the following two articles:
Record Keeping Systems:
Of course, I highly recommend using a standard invoicing system for ALL orders, but you will also want to keep track of all your expenses.
For more information, read: Setting Up Bookkeeping and Database Systems
Follow Up Systems:
Lastly, make sure you have developed a follow up system to check in with your buyers. Once your product sells out, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure your products are re-orders. Seldom will a buyer perform this task efficiently!
Read my follow up recommendations: Setting Up a Re-order and Follow Up System
This article, along with future articles listed in the Primer to Selling Wholesale, is an excerpt from my first eguide: