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If You Want To Get Your Product Into Retail Stores, You Can’t Miss Out This Advice

If You Want To Get Your Product Into Retail Stores, You Can’t Miss Out This Advice

Developing a new retail product can often be an exciting and exhilarating process. Whatever the product, many small business owners will be able to relate to the excitement and buzz that often characterises the early stages of product development. What most will also tell you, though, is that the real work has only just begun.

In truth, completing the development phase of a new product can sometimes be the easiest part of the whole process. For many, the real effort is spent on trying to convince retailers to take the plunge and agree to stock your product on their shelves. Many great inventions have never seen the light of day simply because their developers couldn’t clear this final hurdle.

Having been through this process myself a number of times, I have come to rely on the following 4 essential steps which can spell the difference between receiving a “yes” or a “no” from your prospective retailer.

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1. Invest in good product packaging

We all know that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. However, all too often this is exactly what customers end up doing. Retailers are aware of this fact and, as such, place a high value on product packaging when deciding whether to stock an item.

While you may be trying to keep costs to a minimum in the early stages of your business venture, my advice would be to not skimp on the packaging. Instead, carefully consider your target market and then match your design and choice of packaging materials to the customers’ needs and expectations.

Retailers will only stock items which they believe will sell. As such, packaging that stands out from the crowd, looks professional, already has a barcode, and which presents the product in a favourable light is more likely to be given shelf space.

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2. Build an online presence

As the social media revolution takes hold across the world, retailers are starting to rely more and more on the internet as a means of determining a product’s appeal and viability. When approaching a retailer with a new product, it can be extremely helpful to have already developed an online presence, even if it is a small one at this stage.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and online review sites can all go a long way towards convincing potential buyers that there is a market for your product and that you mean business. In the early stages, you will likely have to rely on the goodwill of family and friends, but this will change as your product develops and your customer base grows.

3. Have your admin sorted out beforehand

There are a myriad of small, seemingly innocuous administrative items which need to be addressed before a product can be stocked with a retailer. Having all your ducks in a row in this respect will immediately put you ahead of many of your competitors and help differentiate you from the “mom-and-pop” style businesses. Here are some important items in consider doing beforehand:

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  • Formally register your business.
  • Buy barcodes for your products – remember that each variation of your products will require their own individual barcodes.
  • Get formal approval of your product name.
  • Get certified ingredients lists and nutritional information.
  • Clarify your pricing structures.

4. Develop a great pitch – and then practise, practise, practise.

When all is said and done, much of your eventual success is going to come down to the dreaded pitch. Retailers who are interested in your product will often invite you over to demonstrate how it works, tastes, or operates. This is the best chance you will ever have of convincing them to take you on.

While many people may go into these meetings in the vain hope that the product will do all the talking, sadly this is all too often not the case. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Dragon’s Den, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If public speaking is just not your thing, consider bringing a friend or colleague along who can speak on your behalf.

Regarding the pitch itself, it is important to remember that a good pitch is not something which is made up on the spot. Instead, each word ought to be carefully considered and planned out well in advance in order to deliver the right message with maximum effect. Finally, be sure to practise, practise, and practise some more.

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Assuming that your product is viable to begin with, carrying out these 4 steps should give you a good head start on your competitors. The rest is up to timing and no small amount of good fortune. Wishing you all the best for your business endeavours!

Featured photo credit: PDPhotos via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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