The end of the year is fast approaching so you might feel that there's nothing else you can do to grow your wholesale this year so I wanted to share with you 5 things you can still do.
1. Keep in touch with existing stockists
This might seem obvious but as your retail sales pick up it's easy to put this on the back burner. Review who ordered between Aug-Oct last year but haven't ordered yet this year and make sure you give them a call or drop them an email to see if they might need to place a top-up order.
If you hand-make your products make sure you keep your stockists informed about your lead-times and if you have stock available at short notice make sure you remind them. As we get closer to Christmas why not send a few extra wholesale newsletters. I find that Mondays are a great day to reach out to smaller independents to see if they had a busy weekend and if they need a top-up order. Below are a few ideas of topics:
Order by Wednesday and I will make sure you get your delivery before the weekend
Stay stocked up - lower carriage paid for December
Free stock with all wholesale orders this week (great if you are overstocked on something)
Cut-off dates for Christmas orders
If you can get just one extra order from each of your stockists this year you will grow your wholesale.
If you feel like you're running out of time and motivation and would like some 1:1 help to come up with ideas, book a power-hour here.
2. There's still time
It's only natural that a lot of retailers make most of their sales in the fourth quarter but this doesn't mean that we should put all of our focus on October-December. In-fact, to build a sustainable business it is very important that we think of our wholesale as an all-year business.
Focus on continuing to follow up with the leads you have been nurturing. Ask them, are you still buying this year? if not, when in the new year would be a good time to get in touch? Make notes and set yourself a task to get back in touch then. If you feel like you are not getting anywhere try reaching out to larger retailers that will already be working on their selections for Spring and Summer 2020.
If you have long lead-times start to shift your focus to next year but if you can deliver with short notice, remember to point this out to the retailer you're contacting.
3. Stay Social
Recently I have seen a lot better results when my clients have been liking and commenting on indie retailers posts. This is not really a surprise as if you keep popping up on their feed they might feel more inclined to respond as well as being more familiar with your work.
I think we should always send our pitches by email/post but it doesn't hurt to drop a little DM to someone that you have not heard back from. Of course, this only works if you think it's the business owner/buyer that manages the account but I've seen very good results from making a conscious effort to interact with buyers this way. I recommend turning on notifications for the retailers you want to remember to interact with and to keep a list so you can make sure to keep it up.
4. Store Visits
Keeping up with what's happening in the sort of shops you want to be stocked in is important. It will help you with your product development and your sales. Knowing what themes and products are getting a lot of retail space and what brands you would be likely to sit with can help you paint a picture for your retail buyers.
Next week I will post some pictures from recent store visits so keep an eye on the blog.
5. Look ahead
Remember it's not all about Christmas and if you're exhibiting at any trade-shows in January/February make sure you allocate time already now to plan it. If you are retailing through your own website, at markets and craft fairs and other online platforms then hopefully mid-November and December will be very busy so now is the time to get organised.
Make sure any new product launches and sales material you will need is on track and start to plan out your strategy for 2020.
I always want to hear what other topics you would like me to cover on the blog so do get in touch if you have an idea for what I should cover next. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me over on Instagram @small_business_collaborative.