The beauty and fashion industry keeps growing at steady rate creating substantial opportunities for those who want to get into the business. In 2015, the U.S Apparel Market alone was valued at 359 billion US Dollars. You’ve also probably noticed in the past few years that the retail industry has become very competitive, especially with the advent of technology and ecommerce. Add to the competitive mix thousands of wholesalers offering a vast array of products and pricing, you may be asking, where do I even start?
Sandol( Est. 1990) the country’s leading fashion wholesaler, has been in business for more than 25 years and has seen our share of successful retailers. Sadly, we’ve also seen our supply, pun intended, of retailers whose ship has never come in. So, in the spirit of dreamers worldwide, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips that we discovered from our most successful retail customers that may help your business thrive for years to come!
Strategic Location Will Help Grow Your Business
Location, location, location! Choose the location of your business with potential customer demographics in mind. For example, if you want to open a retail store that sells handbags for women and accessories, you should find out who your potential customers are where you’re considering locating your store. If the area's demographics match well with the products you’re selling, then that’s a pretty good indicator of where to locate your retail store. In other words, don’t put your handbags and accessories storefront in an area that is mostly populated with senior citizens and expect your business to do well. While this applies for those who opt for the brick and mortar business, the same holds true for an ecommerce website. The difference is that you’ll spend more time marketing to get customers to shop online through your ecommerce website.
Wholesalers are Not Created Equal – Choose Wisely!
A retail business is only as good as the place where it gets its products. In fact, a lot of the success of your business will depend on who you get your products from. The best wholesalers will not only offer the best prices, leaving you with wider profit margins but they’ll also offer great customer service that goes above and beyond the call of duty. And customer service is not just being there when needed, it’s also how you deal with product returns and complaints. Let’s not forget to mention “quality of products” when choosing a wholesaler. If a lot of your merchandise is defective and being returned, then obviously, you’re not selling those items and earning money. Wholesalers with a long history in the industry with minimal complaints normally indicates trust with retailers and that they have products that are worth buying. As with any decision that requires large expenditures, do your research and shop around. If necessary, have multiple wholesalers that specialize in selling only a few products like wholesale jewelry and wholesale accessories or women’s wholesale clothes and wholesale handbags.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Financial Responsibility to Your Vendors
This is a golden rule for running any successful business but is often forgotten in the heat of battle. Sometimes paying your NET 30 Accounts late is a matter of business survival, or perhaps a secret business tactic that has yet to go mainstream. But you need to have a good business relationship with everyone that keeps your doors open for business, especially the ones that involve profit margins. If you’re selling fashion jewelry, then having a good relationship with that wholesale jeweler is important – that’s where your profit is found and it also pays the bills that keep the lights turned on. Moreover, that same profit is a part of your personal financial growth and the reason you probably opened your own retail store.
A lot of successful business owners use some sort of financial software to manage their business expenses. By using software such as QuickBooks, you’ll be able customize your user experience to your unique retail store to see all your financial transactions in one centralized location. With proper use, you’ll be able to see in real-time when you’re in the positive or negative.
Always be Fashion Conscious
What you like and what’s in fashion may differ greatly. You may not agree with the new styles and trends of the year but customers that shop your store more than likely do. To have a successful retail store selling fashion and beauty products, you should know what’s hot and what’s not. Keep your retail store stocked with latest styles and trends to keep customers coming through the door. How often is your wholesaler introducing new clothing, handbags or jewelry? Is your wholesaler a trendsetter? If your wholesaler is still pushing the fanny pack, then it’s probably time to find a new wholesaler and consider a new line of work.
There are lots more business strategies and tactics to employ when opening and operating a successful business. Listed here are just a few simple tips that get overlooked but have been consistently used by successful retailers. All said, it’s a good starting point for those that aspire to go for their dream in this ever-evolving beauty and fashion industry.