Each week Jeremy Interviews successful creative entrepreneurs and industry experts who can help you reach your goal of building a 7-figure brand. Topics include wholesaling, e-commerce, manufacturing, retail, marketing and business management. Whether you’re just getting started in developing a product based brand, or are looking to build an existing brand, you’ll find a ton of useful, actionable information here.
20: What is a Tech Pack and why do you need one? With technical fashion designer Belinda Jacobs.
In this podcast episode, we answer some essential questions like: What is a tech pack and how is it used? What are the essential components of a tech pack? What is required to create a tech pack?
19: Behind the Scenes: What It's Like to Appear on Shark Tank / Dragons Den
Thinking of auditioning your business to appear on a show like Shark Tank or Dragons Den? In this episode, I cover SoYoung's experience from the audition to taping to the deal itself.
18: A 9-Step Hiring Process for Small Business
In this how-to podcast, I’ll lay out a step-by-step hiring process for small business that will help give structure to your decision making and increase your odds of bringing on a great employee.
17: From the basement to an 8-figure exit: the Mabel’s Labels Story with Julie Ellis.
Julie Ellis a co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, one of Canada’s greatest small business success stories.
Back in 2002, Julie and her three partners Julie Cole, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby decided they could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels to keep track of for kids clothing and personal items. So, after much research, they brought a brand new product to market in the form of personalized waterproof name labels and tags. From its humble beginnings Mabel's Lables has grown into an award-winning, market-leading company loved by Moms and kids alike.
Mabels labels was recently sold to paper and label giant Avery Labels which lead to Julie’s exit from the business she had founded and run for nearly 15 years
Julie is now entering a new phase of her career as she shares her experience and expertise with other entrepreneurs helping them gain clarity and accelerate their success.
Mabels Labels hadn't been looking to sell the business when they were approached by Avery but quickly realized that the idea acquirer “checked all the boxes” and helped them address some big questions: how they would finance further growth and who of the 4 founders would ultimately lead the company.
Julie adds that what’s best for the business may not be what’s best for you personally and what you would do as an autonomous leader is much different than what you would do as part of a 4-person team
While selling a business is often the end goal for many entrepreneurs, the experience can be bittersweet as it was in Julie’s case. As someone who is used to giving 110%, she says it took her at least 3 months to accept the idea that she was able to take some downtime.
16: How to Grow your Global Distribution Channel
Want to quickly ramp up your sales while generating extra cash to finance your next production run? Then it’s time to grow your global distribution channel.
Finding distributors for your products in foreign territories may seem like an overwhelming prospect if you’ve never done it before, but it’s certainly possible. SoYoung now has distribution in 8 territories including Mexico, Australia, The Netherlands, and Korea – with more in the works. In this week’s post, I cover the pros and cons of distribution and outline some of the best ways to find distributors in foreign markets.
What is distribution Distribution means granting the rights to sell your products in a specific region to another business entity or individual. This is typically done to cover a part of the world in which you have a limited presence and lack the internal resources or knowledge to cover the region. In essence, you are outsourcing the management of your brand in that region to a 3rd party who will handle all sales, fulfillment and management of customers in the defined area, for a defined period of time.
The pros of distributing your products Increased Sales Revenue The most obvious benefit of growing your global distribution channel sales is that it increases your bottom line. These tend to be large bulk purchases that can instantly add zeros to your revenues. They also tend to be repeat purchases. Since the distributor has more skin in the game than your typical retailer skin, they will be more invested in growing your sales in their territory, leading to predictable increases over time.
The ability to establish your brand in new markets without an upfront cost Distribution gives you access to new markets with relatively little investment. Typically your distributor in the region is assuming all the risk for launching and selling the product in that territory. This allows you to increase your overall brand presence while outsourcing most of the work involved.
While the agreement may be exclusive, typically a distribution contract includes a clause that allows you to end the agreement with a certain amount of notice and or at the end of a certain time. You may continue to maintain the relationship indefinitely, but if you plan to eventually own the region yourself, you will have already established a brand presence as a foundation for further growth.
Increased buying power and cash flow Unlike a wholesale relationship, a distributor will typically purchase your products in bulk and have them shipped directly from the factory. Usually, a distributor will pay you a deposit towards an upcoming production run that you can take to the factory to help finance production. With the net new sales that the distributor is projecting, you will also be able to increase your minimum orders which may increase your buying power with your factory, lowering your manufacturing costs or simply making a manufacturing run possible.
The cons of distributing your products Distributors require time and effort to manage While it is tempting to view distributors as a low maintenance sales channel, this may not be the case. All relationships require some level of administration and management. Distributors may negotiate for better pricing when they get some traction or may have issues specific to their region that you have never dealt with before. Also, if a distributor is underperforming, you may be tasked with the uncomfortable process of ending the agreement.
Negative impact on gross margins While distribution is a generally a lower risk channel – since you are taking distributors orders and deposits to the factory – it is also a low-margin channel. Distributors will typically ask for a discount off of your wholesale price that can range from anywhere between 25% to 50%. Assuming you have the margins, this is the price most brands are will
15: How indie consumer brands can best manage Amazon with Joseph Hansen of the Prosper Show
Over the last seven years, Joseph Hanson has built and sold four e-commerce based companies and is currently a managing partner to three businesses that help sellers succeed on Amazon Buy Box Experts, Prosper Show, and Marketplace University.
It was Joseph’s experience as an Amazon expert that put him on my radar, So I’m excited to get his insights on what for SoYoung is of one of our single biggest revenue sources also the most frustarting and confusin channels and platforms that we deal with.
Critical issues for brands
Brand equity: Brand equity on amazon comes through
Search Reviews Long term history and traction on the channel
2) Managing counterfits and knockoffs
3) Having transparency or understanding how profitable their SKUs are and how each product is performing can give you a big competetive advantage.
If your product is good and desirable, it’s going to be sold on amazon
If you want to control the way your products are displayed on amazon you need to either
Invest the time required in really owning your Amazin presence Develop an exclusive relationship with an expereince 3rd party seller
55% of consumers start a product search on Amazon, so you need to be there
At the end of the day price is going to be the biggest determining factor in where people choose to purchase their products. If they’re prime members, that will be a huge incentive for them to purchase directly from amazon
How amazon pricing actually works
Amazon prices reactively and you can’t set a MAP with amazon. If you’re having MAP pricing issues on Amazon, it tends to be because you have distribution problems, selling to grey market people who are then not honoring map, forcing Amazon to do the same.
Key to controlling your Amazon channel is having airtight distribution and reseller agreements in price.
The prosper show
James founded the Prosper show to address the needs of Amazon sellers and help them with an educational based show with a level of transparency that discourages self promotion in favour of real objective education on how to best leverage Amazon.
Fantastic interviews, information, and advice. A lot of great content with simple to follow strategies. I'm already putting some of it into use! Keep up the good work!
Wonderful to hear real people talking about what they know; an extremely entertaining, informative, and wonderfully non-theoretical resource.
Great blog. Interesting and informative!