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Want to know my secret recipe for getting more orders?

 

Happy Monday!

Are you still wondering how to get your product into retail stores or turn your creative product idea into a sustainable business?  This is not an easy task but one that can be learned — it’s a process of understanding the basic tools to honing assortments, maximizing sales opportunities, and understanding buyers’ open-to-buy system.

In all my years in retail, I can tell you there is no shortcut around the crucial steps for getting your product retail ready, but I believe in making things simple. What I am about to share with you is a brief introduction to my secret recipe to get a piece of the buyer’s Open-to-Buy (OBT). Are you ready?

1) Eat your veggies (the absolute must do things that you can’t survive without):

  • Do your homework! – Visit the store you want to be in (or at least check out their website) and see what their assortment is like before contacting the buyer. You’d be amazed how many people skip this simple step.
  • Share your story – Buyers want to connect with the person behind the brand and hear their story. Or else, it’s just another product.
  • Professional looking website & email – The first thing a buyer will do when he/she hears about a line is google their website. Make sure that your website is professionally put together, reflects your style and easy to navigate. Your presence on the web will show the buyer that you take your business seriously and ready for the next step. It’s also a great way for buyers to “preview” your collection before meeting with you. 
Also, no janky emails!
  • Have a linesheet – Buyers are inundated with product submissions every day. Stand out from the crowd by having a linesheet that has all the necessary components that buyers need to write a purchase order: product shot, style number, wholesale cost, suggested retail and delivery. If you have a clothing line, it helps to have a lookbook as well as a linesheet.
  • Know your competition – It helps to know who your competition is so that you can be competitive with what’s already out there, speak confidently about what makes your line different, and how it fills a void in the market.

2) Add a little sugar (the extra little things designers can do to sweeten the deal when trying to get in stores)

  • Send samples – Depending on the nature of your product, you can send product samples for the buyers to try. Top buyers like to see products in person so that they can see how the product feels in their hands and on retail shelves.
  • Give an incentive – With the nature of the current economy, every dollar helps the margin. Give a 10% discount for new accounts or free shipping with an opening order. This is the kind of incentive that might push a buyer from a “maybe” to a “yes!”
  • Be open to do consignment – This is a great way for stores to “test” your line without having to commit to buying the inventory upfront. It can be mutually beneficial if you’re starting out because it gives you an opportunity to sell your product in the store (that you want to be in) while gaining feedback and exposure.

3) Create a buzz (ways for designers to garner interest with public)

  • Stores want to know that you are doing your part in getting the word out about your line. The secret that many designers may not know is that buyers are looking for new vendors as much as you’re looking to be in stores. You need to get out there with your product line to increase their chances of getting picked up by a store or media.
  • Participate in local craft fairs and flea markets (ones that are relevant to your business). It is imperative for designers to get direct customer feedback on their line so that you can share this information with potential store buyers.
  • Use social media outlets to create your own posse – Be relevant to your customers and engage with them for feedback and support. Create a Facebook/twitter/instagram accounts and use them as if you are networking at a cocktail party.
  • Pitch to editors and bloggers to obtain press mentions – Customers, as well as stores, love press mentions. Post them on your website and have tear sheets to show to prospective stores.

Do you have a success story you want to share with others? I would love to hear your story, comment below.

 

xoxo,

Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

 

P.S. If you are looking to shake things up and propel your business to the next level,  be sure to check your inbox next week. I will be sharing something that has helped me to grow my little empire to unexpected heights and you can do the same! :) See you then. xoxo

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What if …

Happy Monday!

We all wonder what it would be like “if” we could take our business to that next level. We search high and low for that big “A-ha” moment in our business and start daydreaming. Well, I hate to burst your bubble of the ever-thinking idea of, “If I made ____, my life will be perfect!” Or, “If I get that big investor, everything will be good.” Or, “If I get that order from Bloomingdale’s, my business will be set.” As much as it’s good to think BIG for your business, (trust me, I’m a big vision person too) you also need to start breaking down those BIG goals into real bite-size action plans. If you have a BIG goal, how can you make them happen?

Someone wise once told me that your BIG breakthrough is already in your business, right under your nose. Start combing through your business and look under those rocks — you would be surprised to see that your biggest opportunity has been sitting all along.

Here are a few places to start:

  • Do you have a blog interview request in your inbox that can lead to new connections and potential sales?
  • Do you need to increase your prices?
  • Does your website need a makeover but you haven’t given the green light?
  • Do you have a networking opportunity coming up that you are not sure about going?
  • Do you need an assistant but have not put up that ad on craigslist yet?
  • Is there a coach that you wanted to work with but haven’t made up your mind?
  • Is there a store around the corner that you want to approach but haven’t?
  • Is there a win-win partnership idea that has been brewing in your mind but haven’t approached them about it yet?

Who knew that YOU are the “what if” that you have been waiting for?

Make a list of 8 things that you haven’t acted on and let’s turn your plan into action.

Here’s to creating a business you love!

xoxo,
Grace

 

gracesig

 

 

 

p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready. Let us know your comments below.

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do you want my recommendation?

Happy Wednesday!

I have always been a huge proponent of building a community for yourself. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people, fans, fellow entrepreneurs, and knowledgeable members of your professional community can do wonders for yourself and your business. With limited resources and time, it is smarter to arm yourself with an arsenal of comprehensive tools to support you than to go at it blindly. From apps, to websites, to software there is so much out there to help save your time and money.

Much like the possible difficulties associated with finding the right people to surround yourself with, it can also be hard to find the right tools. Here’s where bestvendor.com comes in. I had the opportunity to chat with the founder Jeff  Giesea of BestVendor at a tech summit last month, and his team has figured out a way to make this oh so easy for us. Instead of spending hours, or even days, searching for software for everything from finance to sales to design only to hope you purchased the right one for your needs, take a few minutes to browse through bestvendor’s recommendations. You can search by popularity, by certain tags or by similarity to yourself. It’s worth taking the time to sign up to get customized recommendations, you can even sign up through facebook, twitter, or linkedin and find out what tools your community members use, bringing this philosophy full circle!  

Sounds cool right? Do you want to know what I use to run my retail business? Click here.

Want to create your own list? Check it out and let me know what you find! :)

 
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my next chapter for retail recipes… plus, my gift to you! :)

Hey there!

Today is a very special day for me. I am trilled to announce the launch of my newest Retail Recipes venture, one that I hope will be able to reach far more people than ever before! I’ve put together all of my best retail advice into…drum-roll please….my Retail Recipes book + DIY Kit!!

This book will provide indie-designers and artists from around the country with access to my advice on how to sell their products to retail stores and create a desirable brand. It will also cover my most popular business tips on starting, maintaining, and growing a product-based business.  In order to sell to retail stores “with ease” you need to make your product desirable to a retail buyer. Whether you’re just getting started or have are already on your way and just need an extra boost, we’ll formulate a simple retail recipe formula to help meet your unique goals and needs.

You will learn my retail recipes formula for getting more orders from your ideal stores, discover hidden opportunities to make you more money and create a buzz that will get buyers to call YOU! 

Whether you design baby onesies, paper goods, clothing, accessories, or home décor items, this interactive book will cover the basics of starting and maintaining a product-based business and garner the attention of your dream retail buyer, at a much lower cost than other coaching services.

So how much does this cost?

My private one-on-one clients pay thousands of dollars to work together with me. So now, for a fraction of what my clients pay, you can have me teach you these same strategies for just $147. This is your opportunity to get inside the mindset of a retail buyer and learn everything there is to know about making your product retail ready!

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the content that will be covered in the book.

It gets better! In celebration of my birthday week, I will be offering the following BONUSES:

1) If you sign up for this book during the month of July, you will also receive:

+ 10 step guide to writing an effective pitch letter to retail stores + sample letter {value $150}
+ Linesheet Template {value $150}
+ Store List of 600+ specialty stores around the country that carries paper goods, gifts, baby, fashion,beauty, and vintage vendors {value $500}

2. For the first 10 people who sign up, you will receive everything above PLUS, I will personally critique your website and product assortment and email you with at least five strategies you can implement right away to make your product retail ready! {This alone is worth $225}   SOLD OUT

SPECIAL BONUS #3:
If you place your order by Friday, July 13th and you will be invited to get on a group call with me for an hour of Q&A time. This is something that my private clients have found invaluable and would love to offer this personal time to you. You can ask anything that comes up for you as you go through the exercises or challenges you are facing with your business now. You will have 30 days to implement 3 things from the book before we get on the call. Sound good? SOLD OUT

Please click on the button below to sign up and you will receive all the materials right away!

Still unsure? Check out some of the testimonials from other designers just like YOU! Your product idea deserves to be presented in the right way to get a fair shot in the retail world!


 I want to point out that if this book + DIY kit doesn’t meet your expectation or return on your investment, you will receive 100% of your money back. You have nothing to lose!

Again, the special BONUS #1 is only good for the month of July, #2 is only for the first 10 people to sign up, and #3 is for everyone who signs up by Friday, July 13th.

Here’s to making your product retail ready!

xo,

Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

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2-for deals with 2x the rewards

 

Customers are almost always looking for a good deal. This is a reality in any market these days. With the ability to research products and their value and shop from sites and stores across the globe, it’s important to make sure customers know they’re getting their money’s worth with you. Aside from putting things on sale, and doing temporary promotions here and there, another effective way to move merchandise is to create 2-for deals.

Take a look at your assortment and see what commonalities you can find among your products or services. Do you have two complementary products in the same scent? Create a 2-for deal. Have three of something small in different colors? Create a 3-for deal. The discount doesn’t have to be significant: $12 each or 2 for $20, $2 each or 3 for $5. You’ll see your ticket sales increase significantly and it’ll get your products out into the market by giving customers an incentive to buy something they may not have picked up otherwise.

It’s not too late to run something special for Memorial Day weekend. What are you going to do to drive sales?

xoxo,


Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

p.s. A BIG, warm welcome to all of the new readers who joined our community! You are going to love the resources you will find here to help you make your product retail-ready… Enjoy!