It's always such a pleasure to catch up with my students and Mell is no exception. She is next up in my mini chat series and I loved to read about her wholesale growth alongside her new organisational skills!
Mell is the founder of The Sunshine Bindery, a small independent creative business, specialising in ethical hand-crafted stationery and journals. I love the positive message Mell brings to her business and every item she has brings me so much joy!
Let's Meet Mell...
1). What used to be your biggest challenge when it comes to selling your products to retail buyers before taking the sales course?
Before the course, preparing my products for wholesale, pricing for profit, building relationships with stockists and understanding how to sell to retailers was something I just had absolutely no idea about at all, and when I first took Therese's Let's Talk Sales course I had only taken on about 5 stockists over the first 2-3 years of my business and felt I was completely winging it (which, let's be honest, I was!), as I really did not know what I was doing. And because of this lack of understanding and knowledge, I just had no confidence in approaching other stockists because I knew that the infrastructure and system was not there to really support it. Therese's course offered an incredible roadmap to understanding the B2B landscape and she was able to give us a really broken down, step by step approach to how to set up our businesses for wholesale success from the ground up.
2). What was your main takeaway from taking part in the course and how has your business grown since?
My main takeaways were the systems that she taught us; from setting up different organisation and planning techniques using platforms like Trello, to planning out a weekly schedule to actually carve out time to contact stockists on a consistent basis, and writing a professional email template ready to send out. The Trello board system in particular has been a complete game changer for my business and has really helped me keep track of stockists and helped create a more sustainable plan for me to maintain positive and professional relationships while keeping my brain clear and organised in order to stretch and keep growing. In just 14 months since first taking the course, I have been able to grow from 5 stockists to nearly 80, many of which are regular repeat clients, all the while knowing I have a solid foundation to keep everything organised and clear so as to not feel overwhelmed and manage the growth sustainably. Honestly, I could not be more thankful and would have not been able to achieve this without these structures and systems in place.
3). How do you feel about continuing to grow your wholesale now vs. how you felt before taking the course.
I feel much more confident in my abilities to reach out to stockists now knowing that I have so much more of a solid structure and foundation in place. I am still learning and growing all the time, but I feel now that I have a lot more grounding in my wholesale knowledge, confidence in my abilities to fulfil retailer expectations and I feel that there really is no ceiling for small businesses like us to reach big companies and stock as many shops as we would like to, it's just a case of putting in the work and staying consistent with it. Because of this course and the structure and confidence, I've gained, the wholesale stream of my business has grown so much over the past year that it has brought in over 40% of my revenue over the past year alone, which has enabled me to grow my business so much that I have needed to take on a bigger dedicated unit for my business, outsource the majority of my products and actually open my own brick and mortar shop to the public. And not only that, it has enabled my monthly income to be so much more consistent and stable over the year rather than relying so much on the boost of Christmas sales, which has been a huge mindset shift as a small business. I'm so excited to see where this journey will take me this year, thank you Therese!
Wholesale can become a significant part of your revenue and how you pay yourself a reliable salary and Mells hard work and determination to succeed proves this. Once you start really growing wholesale you can also start to see how big your business can be! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that Mell has grown her wholesale so significantly and she deserves all the success!
I'd love to hear your wholesale fears and what's stopping you from taking control of your sales so let's have a chat! You can email me at email@example.com or head over to my Instagram @small_business_collaborative and drop me a DM to find out more.