When you’re a product based business owner, it almost always feels like there is more money going out than there is coming in. Justifying yet another expense when you know the information is out there and easily accessible can be a really tough thing to do. As a small business owner myself, I’ve been in your shoes! I know how valuable those dollars in your bank account are and how challenging it is to part with them, ESPECIALLY when you have to justify that expense to others (like your spouse, business partner or even a BFF)
When there are tons of facebook groups and a magical search engine that puts answers at our fingertips, why should you consider investing in an expert over trying to figure it out on your own? Today, I’m sharing 11 reasons why going the expert route may make the most sense for your business AND your bank account.
Let me kick off this post by saying, I’m not a huge fan of the word “expert” We all have different levels of experience-- nobody really knows it all! There will always be someone with a little more experience out there in the world. Your ideal “expert” should be someone who has already walked the walk which allows them to bring a specific level of knowledge to the table. Don’t be afraid to ask what makes he/she qualified to do what they do! A great coach or consultant will welcome your questions and happily give you the answers you need to have before committing to working with them.
1. You don’t know if wholesale is your cup of tea
Running a wholesale business isn’t for everyone. Not every product is destined for wholesale and sometimes, it’s just not what brings you joy. Before spending tons of money and time on development, inventory, trade shows, catalogs, you probably want to learn what exactly this beast is all about. A strategy session with a coach can shed light onto the different aspects and areas of wholesale and introduce you to some of the processes that may be new to you. When you gain an understanding of the overall big picture you will be better equipped to decide if this is a rabbit hole worth jumping down.
2. You’re just starting out and are completely overwhelmed
Chances are, you’ve already spent hours online trying to piece together a plan before you decide to take the leap. In doing this you’ve probably received some conflicting information and find yourself unsure about which direction is best for your business. Every product based business is different, so what works for one isn’t necessarily the best strategy and plan for yours. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a strategy that is tailor-made for your unique business? Who better to help guide you down the road than a coach or consultant. Yes, this is a big investment (both time and money wise) but their knowledge and experience means you’ll ultimately save money in the long run because they will tell you what you do or don’t need (like fancy software tools) so you’ll avoid spending money on things that aren't immediately necessary to boost your bottom line.
3. You feel like nobody knows your products/company exists
Standing out from the competition is hard. Having a second set of eyes on your business ready to offer an unbiased opinion can shed some light onto the areas you should be focusing on to grow. Before you invest in marketing you should have developed your unique selling position to differentiate yourself from the rest of the marketplace. Curious as to what exactly that is? Check out this post.
4. You’ve been living on Etsy and are ready to take the next steps
Running a business on Etsy is very different from running a business that sells to multiple retail stores. Chances are, you’re going to have A LOT of questions. When you partner with a consultant who has a history selling to retail stores and wholesale buyers you are privy to all of their experiences and insights. Having that kind of information up your sleeve will help you put your best foot forward when reaching out to buyers + retailers and help you to avoid making some costly mistakes.
5. You are struggling with sales
Whether it's selling directly to buyers + retailers or partnering with sales reps there is a lot that can happen with sales. Someone who has walked in a sales person’s shoes will understand the ins and outs of this segment to your business and be in a position to offer you support, help and direction when it comes to developing your own sales strategy.
6. You want to grow your rep business
Working with sales reps is an awesome way to grow your business but keeping them engaged can be a challenge (especially when they rep multiple lines) When your consultant is familiar with sales reps strategy you gain the experience/knowledge of what exactly it is that makes a sales person tick. When you know how to cultivate these relationships you’ve got a much better chance that they will pull your product line out of their trunk first (which naturally leads to more sales!) Investing in sales reps comes with lots of costs so having a plan in place to structure this piece of your business can save you hundreds of dollars (maybe more!)
7. You’re ready to take the leap and exhibit at an industry Trade Show
I love a good trade show! Where else can you present your products to thousands of buyers + retail stores, meet other small business owners and connect with members of the media? Trade shows can cost your business THOUSANDS of dollars so when you do sign up for one, you want to get it RIGHT. A wholesale consultant will work with you to prepare for the show by covering all the must-know topics and sharing the tips+tricks he/she has learned from their experiences exhibiting.
8. Your consultant/coach has been in your shoes and can speak to specifics
When you hire someone that has real world experience under their belt you know that you’re getting GOOD information. Whether your questions are related to pricing, product assortment, terms + conditions, selling to stores, or anything else product related it feels good knowing someone who has successfully navigated these waters is there to point you in the right direction.
9. You’ll get to your desired end result faster than trying to piece it together on your own
I’m all for going the DIY route for some portions of your business but trying to put a plan in place on your own when it comes to wholesale is something that should be approached with caution because there is so much trial and error involved. All that trial and error inevitably leads to a lot of lost time and money! Why not skip to the head of the line and develop a plan with the help of someone who can point you in the right direction because they already have some big wins under their belt?
10. You have a second set of eyes to review your numbers + bounce ideas off of
People that love product are members of a special tribe. You know the feeling when that perfect sample arrives and you’re jumping for joy, but when you show it to your spouse/friend with extreme enthusiasm you’re met with a sort of blah response like “looks good” or “that’s nice”
We get excited and disappointed by things that not everyone out there understands. Having someone on your side to celebrate your first wholesale order, run your numbers with or agonize about why that buyer won’t return your calls is pure GOLD.
11. You’re putting skin in the game
When you make a big investment chances are, you’re actually going to sit down and do the work. Having someone in your corner to hold you accountable to goals and keep you on track can mean the difference between average and BIG success!