Being a local maker is a great thing for the community you live in (Hopefully you knew this and agree). You can create new value when you create new and unique items. Art, furniture, food, crafts, leather goods, ties and bowties, pet products, and beauty products are just a few things that are made here in Fargo. With that, we’ve found that the best place to sell these products is locally and to use that locally made label to your advantage. If you don’t label where your product is made than your losing out on a so much opportunity in sales. People love buying local because it promotes better local economy due to the buying and selling in a shorter amount of time.
Let’s assume you have a great product, packaging, and labels. Whats next?
Sales are obviously the next objective if you want to create a productive business. You need to get things moving and build your name. The grind at the beginning is always rough unless you have a magical product. But, the best part about local products is that people will talk about your products for better or worse.
The last thing you want to do if you have just starting creating products is getting a store front. A store front is probably the biggest risk you can jump into and for many businesses will never pay off. When you create a store front your costs to do business increase dramatically. Not just the cost of rent or buying a property, but you need more employees, more inventory, and more customers. Just because you have a store front doesn’t mean you’ll have more customers viewing your products. A lot of the time, you’ll have less than being in the right spotlight.
The best place to get you products is split into three categories:
- Personal Selling
- Outside Selling
Personal selling includes things like farmers markets, local trade shows, or your own house. Selling products yourself keeps costs relatively low and can be time-consuming. You can get into these events for a minimal cost and often times drives a lot of people in a relatively short amount of time. Assuming you have a good product you can almost always break even. Breaking even in the beginning is great because it’s a way to get free marketing and get an opportunity to learn how to make a better product. You’re engaging with people who are interested in what your selling and you can get feedback directly or in directly when speaking with them.
You might have spent a lot of time perfecting your product, but outside perspective is still going to help you create something even better and can help sales in the future. If you have a pre-made product you can always change your package, delivery, or create deals and bundles. Free information with products always increases the value while keeping the cost almost the same. Personal selling pros: low costs.
Personal selling pros: Low Costs, Get Customer Feedback
Personal Selling cons: Time-Consuming
Outside selling includes selling products in other stores that are local. Could be a boutique, grocery store, cafe, or where ever your product would fit in. This means you need to split profits with another business and keeps your time intact. If you’re the type of person that has a full-time job than this might be the best option for you. Have your time and create great business relationships with other local businesses. This can often help other businesses as well if you set up the relationship and sales properly. A local coffee maker teaming up with a local doughnut maker helps compete against the large scale businesses. Win-Win-Win.
Outside Selling Pros: Save Time
Outside Selling Cons: Split Profits, Loss Control of Sales Settings, No Customer Feedback
There are many online stores that are only locally known. Several farmers, boutiques, and stores have a simple online presence and would be a great place to get your products showcased. It doesn’t have to be an e-commerce site either. It always helps other businesses if they have more content. So providing them content boosts their sales as well. You may need to ask a lot of local businesses to get onto their site, but there are many pros for both of you.
Online Pros: Saves Time, Expand Audience
Online Cons: Lose Some Local Benefits,
Other markets might include other businesses shops, Loss Control of Sales Settings, Limited Customer Feedback
Other places include donating products to charities for them to raise money. It helps other local entities and gets your name out in front of more people. Don’t forget you can also use social media like Facebook which specifically set up sales for you.