Getting your product business to six figures is a milestone and goal for many creative entrepreneurs. It's a milestone and a mindset – and generally the starting place for great things to happen within your business. You may have started at home in your spare time but reaching that mark somehow shifts your mindset.
Once you get there, you’ll realize it’s not such a big daunting number. Then you will see it is scaleable. Once you have done it you can repeat it. It’s – rinse – repeat and grow!
But you’ve got to get there first!
If you’re going to make it to 6 figures in 2012 the good news is there is still time! But you’d better get going now. I’ve made up a list for you outlining the 4 top reasons you haven’t reached that milestone – and what you need to do if you’re going to make it before the end of 2012.
5 Reasons your business is not at 6 figures – yet
1.You’re not doing the math! When I tell a client to “do the math” I often get a blank stare until we put it on paper so they can visualize it. The first thing you need to know is
what $100,000 represents – and then break it down so it makes sense.
Let’s say you make hats. The hats wholesale for $20 each. If you want to gross $100,000 in sales that means you must sell a total of 5000 hats.
If your minimum opening order for a wholesale account is $1000, that would be 50 hats per store. You will create your own pre-pack for whatever your product is, but that is another subject.
Starting from ground zero – that means you need to sell to a total of 100 stores during the course of a year. That is 2 stores per week. It is $2000 in wholesale sales per week – or 100 hats per week or 20 per day in a 5 day week. When you look at it that way, the $100K number is not nearly as daunting.
It does not take into account re-orders. It’s all about averages. So what are your numbers?
Now you’ll want to know where to sell these products – Let’s make your “Hit List” for those 100 stores.
2.You don’t have a “Hit List”. Sales are the life blood of your business. If you don’t have sales, you have a hobby not a business. Hobbies cost money businesses make money.
Create a list of stores where your products should be located. Start with those within 50 miles of you or your closest city. It’s easy to go online and find out what other brands they carry – and even if they carry a competitor’s line don’t dismiss them completely. You have no idea if they are happy with the competitors line – maybe your competitor ships late; has quality issues – you don’t know.
Don’t be shy about creating this list. Don’t negate a store for any reason other than they aren’t your target market list. What I mean by that is – you probably don’t want to select Walmart and Nordstrom.
Starting with your 50 mile radius – branch out to where your target customers are located. If you need 100 stores – create a list of 150-200. Here’s what you want to know:
Name of buyer / maybe buyer/owner if it’s a boutique
Check them out on Pinterest AND/or Facebook
What are other brands they carry?
3.You’re not marketing enough or to the right target! We used to have huge conversations about whether product or marketing comes first in a business. The answer is, you can have a warehouse full of merchandise (visualize it as stacks of dollar bills sitting on shelves) but if you’re not marketing no one knows you have products they might want to buy.
Marketing for your product business is the most important part of your business. Yes you have to have a product – then it has to be marketed if anyone is going to see it to buy it.
- Marketing materials for selling to stores & direct to the consumer
- A fantastic website – average is no longer good enough
- Social Media (at minimum) Business page on Facebook – Business account on Pinterest
- Advertising – trade publications and consumer ads – it all depends on your products as to where the best places are for you to be seen
- Editorial reviews – get into magazines via editor reviews – check out magazines editorial calendars to be on top of their schedules
- Appointments with buyers
- Trade shows and other exposure to your market
4.You don’t know how to sell. Learn to sell and pitch your product. I’ve had many clients who are “afraid of selling”. What they don’t understand is selling is sharing. It’s sharing what you have to offer. It is not a bad thing – sales are good.
You’ve been selling all your life – since you were born. Selling your product is something you can learn to do – it is learning how work with a potential buyer to get then to yes. Going through the features and benefits of your product – and knowing exactly what they are and in what order they should be presented.
Benefits sell products – knowing what your main benefits are will help you and help your buyer make a decision.
Selling is about conversation – get yours down pat – and anticipate questions.
5.You’re still doing everything yourself. You MUST learn to let go – and start outsourcing. You simply can’t do everything in your business if it’s going to grow and prosper. Not only will you completely wear yourself out, but the truth is you’re not good at everything and when you’re not good at something – it doesn’t get done.
Have I hit a nerve here?
Write up a list of everything you Love to do in your business. Then write a list of everything you know needs to be done but you keep putting off. Now you have a starting place of what you can start outsourcing.
The number one comment I get on outsourcing is: “I’ll outsource when my business gets bigger and I can afford it.” My answer is, “If you wait you’ll never be able to afford it because you can’t grow without it.” It’s the biggest myth because you cannot grow if you do everything by yourself.
My question to you now is, are you willing to do whatever it takes to grow your business to 6 figures in 2012? I challenge you to do it this year!