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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 December 1, 2020

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

I wrote a few articles about starting a business based on something you love doing and are passionate about. I received several responses from people saying they weren’t sure how to go about figuring out what they were most passionate about or how to find their true purpose. So I’m dedicating this article to these issues — how to find your entrepreneurial passion and purpose.

When I work with a new client, the first thing we talk about is lifestyle design. I ask each client, “What do you want your life to look like?” If you designed a business without answering this question, you could create a nice, profitable business that is completely incompatible with your goals in life. You’d be making money, but you’d probably be miserable.

When you’re looking for your life purpose, lifestyle design isn’t a crucial component. However, since we’re talking about entrepreneurial purpose, lifestyle design is indeed crucial to building a business that you’ll enjoy and truly be passionate about.

For example, say you want to spend more time at home with your family. Would you be happy with a business that kept you in an office or out of town much of the time? On the flip side, if you wanted to travel and see the world, how well could you accomplish that goal if your business required your presence, day in and day out, to survive? So start by getting some clarity on your personal goals and spend some time working on designing your life.

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At this point, you may need a little prodding, and you may want to hire a coach or mentor to work with you through this process. Many people are very used to the idea that there is a particular way a life “should” be. There are certain milestones most people tend to live by, and if you don’t meet those markers when or in the manner you’re “supposed” to meet them, that can cause some anxiety.

Here’s how to find your passion and purpose:

Give Yourself Permission to Dream a Little

Remember that this is your life and you can live it however you choose. Call it meditation or fantasy, but let your imagination run here. And answer this question:

“If you had no fears or financial limitations, what would your ideal life, one in which you could be totally content and happy, look like?”

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Once you’ve figured out your lifestyle design, it’s time to do a little more soul-searching to figure out what you’re truly passionate about. This is a time to really look within and look back.

Specifically, look back over your life history. When were you the happiest? What did you enjoy doing the most? Remember that what you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire job, but can actually be aspects of your past jobs or hobbies that you’ve really enjoyed.

Think About a Larger Life Purpose

Many successful entrepreneurs have earned their place in history by setting out to make a difference in the world. Is there a specific issue or cause that is important to you or that you’re particularly passionate about?

For some, this process of discovery may come easily. You may go through these questions and thought experiments and find the answers quickly. For others, it may be more difficult. In some cases, you may suffer from a generalized lack of passion and purpose in your life.

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Sometimes, this can come from having suppressed passion in your life for too long. Sometimes, it can come from eating poorly and lack of exercise. But occasionally, it may have something to do with your internal chemistry or programming. If the latter applies to you, it may be useful for you to seek help in the form of a coach, mentor, or counselor.

In other cases, not knowing your true purpose may be a matter of having not discovered it yet: you may not have found anything that makes your heart beat faster. If this is the case, now is the time to explore!

The Internet is a fantastic tool for learning and exploration. Search hobbies and careers and learn as much as you can about any topic that triggers your interest, then follow up at the library on the things that really intrigue you. Again, remember that this is your life and only you can give yourself permission to explore all that the world has available to you.

How Do You Know When You’ve Found Your True Entrepreneurial Purpose?

I can only tell you how I knew when I had discovered my own — it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks. Rather, it settled over me, bringing a deep sense of peace and commitment. It felt like I had arrived home and knew exactly what to do and how to proceed.

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Everything flowed easily from that point forward. That’s not to say that I found success immediately after that moment. But rather, the path ahead of me was clear, so I knew what to do.

Decisions were easier and came faster to me. And success has come on MY terms, according to my own definitions of what success means to me in my own lifestyle design.

Dig deep, look within, and seek whatever help you need. Once you find that purpose and passion, your life — not just your entrepreneurial life, but your entire life — will never be the same.

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Featured photo credit: Garrhet Sampson via unsplash.com

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