Starting a business... Best way to sell in the beginning?

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  1. profile image66
    jennagleaveposted 11 years ago

    I'm just wondering if some of you lovely Hubbers would be able to advise on how you would approach this.

    I am thinking about starting my own business selling children's clothing, baby gifts, accessories and some items for Mum. My problem is that I am not entirely sure where the best place to start selling would be.

    eBay and similar sites would be an idea, yes, but the rising fees, I'd prefer to avoid. The amount of competition from sellers in the Far East also makes it difficult to sell in the Buy it Now category - which is ultimately what I'd be looking at concentrating on.

    I intend to have my own site developed to sell my products on, but without promotion and gaining a good base of customers in the first place, it's unlikely that would succeed and that traffic would be very, very, very low.

    The third option I've been looking at is Baby Fairs, Craft Fairs, Market Stalls and Car Boots etc... This would help in terms of getting the finances going, and possibly even a little word of mouth if I were to develop a site and give leaflets/flyers out on the days? It would also prevent delivery costs which could potentially damage my profit margins if I were to sell on somewhere like eBay. The problem with this method would be that the fairs are generally limited to the summer months and market stalls, car boots etc are a lot busier over the summer too - so come winter, will it come to a stand still?

    What would you do if you were starting out in business, or what did you do? Would you try perhaps a combination of all three? Any advice? Any tips? Anything, anyone?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    1. johnakc profile image41
      johnakcposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes Baby Fairs, Craft Fairs, Market Stalls and Car Boots etc... are good option to launch your business and it would also give a little publicity.

      Second option is that after developing your own site you can start pay per click campaign through Google or any other sites. You will have to pay only when any visitors click on your site. There are some charges for one click. User who would be interested will click on your website and land on your website and may be impressed with your beautiful products and website. In this google shows your ad on its search results and in blogs or emails so it is more likely that prospect customer click on such adds.

      And side by side you can start search engine optimization so that after some time your website will show in the google search results bringing you direct traffic. But this optimization should be as per the rules and regulation of Google.

      Pay per click scheme(either through google or facebook or any other popular site) can only give you instant benefits and customer. SEO would take some time like few months. Promotion through social media would also take some months to bring fruits.

      Why not you do all these things together, so that you will lay a solid foundation for your business.

      So make your choice..

    2. TheSenior profile image60
      TheSeniorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      First know thy competition what they offer and prices - secondly do a website - I personally am reduing my own and am going thru webs site.  Do attend craft fairs and the like to show what you have done and get some ideas - what you can also do is start blogging about what you have done - this problogger from Austrailias did just that and when he had enough bloggs in a certain area asked his poeple how much they would charge and sold out.

      Try also and find those sites that will alow for free/or very cheap way of gettin your mdse out to the mommies.  lRemember mommies buy their kids clothing.  Your trget audience is Mommies,  Send out letters/emils to your fiiends that are mommies and querie them.  Update you hub pages to also refelect this in the personal poage.  Send also an email to a famous mommies to have a look at your site and for them to be honest.

    3. TheSenior profile image60
      TheSeniorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Do not bother about a MLM or even a franchise at this point or ever unless you are willing to let the people that buy in be their own bosses and do the business the way that they want to - each person has their own unique selling/marketing ability and that should not be infringed.
      I do suggest that you ask your local radio station to let you have maybe a few minutes maybe everyother day to get your business known.  Maybe it also might be worth it to buy some ad space in a free shopper that has a wide circulation.  And of course right a hub on this site - if you have 50 friends and they have so many - and of course aim it at mommies.

  2. WriteAngled profile image74
    WriteAngledposted 11 years ago

    How about seeing if anyone you know is interested in hosting a party at which you can show your products to a group of mothers? You could offer the hostess a generous discount for her own purchases, or a gift, or a commission on your sales during that event as an incentive.

  3. profile image66
    jennagleaveposted 11 years ago

    Thanks, WriteAngled. We've got a couple of "Mama" parties set up for this week actually as part of market research to see which products we've got in are popular, which are not, and so that we could try and get a few more ideas of things that may sell well.

    I've not considered using it on a more permanent basis!

  4. Dame Scribe profile image57
    Dame Scribeposted 11 years ago

    Part of your business plan would require you to research your competition. Pay attention to how they do business and how you can apply the same actions for your own biz. Online, check out where their links can be found and see if you can get yours there too. Also, join up with 'related' businesses that don't compete with you. Just some suggestions. smile good luck!

  5. Lovelovemeloveme profile image62
    Lovelovemelovemeposted 11 years ago

    Oh good for you! smile

    Hmm...Well..if i were you, there's variety of ideas I guess.

    1. Write Hubs or just online forums on topics covering children clothing or anything related to your products. People who read your HUBS and are interested will follow you where you can link your website or twitter for them to connect to. I've checked out a few other people's websites because they linked it on their HUB or etc.

    2. you can approach small privately owned boutiques for partnerships if you don't have the expenses to open one yourself yet (plus, going into retail is really difficult AND costly. I wouldn't suggest this hitting the retail )

    3. Internet marketing = pay per click, ads, twitter, facebook, ebay, amazon. Online media can generate a lot of customers. If you post a cute outfit a day on your facebook, I'm sure it will catch a friend's attention who will catch another friend's attention and so on words.

    4. Take nice pictures of the clothing with cute toddlers and post them on picture websites. Some websites buy pictures that are adorable. And it helps market your clothing brand as well if your brand is on the item of clothing that the child happens to be wearing.

    5. Attend as many events relating to your business as possible. Net working is key for success.
    never burn any bridges, always build. Meet people, pass out business cards to everyone and anyone.

    6. Newspaper or radio promotions

    7. Become an expert in your field. Post information on facebook, twitter, and market yourself as an expert. People will keep coming back to learn more from you.

    8. Research the competition.

    9. save 40-60 percent of what you make and put it towards marketing.

    10. Write a book. (please refer to number 7) people who read your book on that field will visit your website, thus buy your products.

    There's more but i normally like to list 10 things at a time. Feel free to follow me and we can keep in touch. good luck with the business.

    1. jacharless profile image75
      jacharlessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      great info wink

  6. jacharless profile image75
    jacharlessposted 11 years ago

    Anyone remember Tupperware™. It was the pioneer of what is known today as network marketing. From its core came Herb-a-Life, Amway, Avon, even Weight Watchers at first. Add the new term social to that network and you have a web based business, like Etsy.

    Key Points:
    -Define the product, clearly. This will ultimately be your Brand Pitch.
    -Define your market impact by inviting everyday people to try the product at a meet-up, party or trunk show. With this data, you can determine what products will be absorbed into the market and which will not. From there it all comes down to consistent word of mouth advertising.

    Pricing for competitiveness is obsolete. I have sold a piece of printed paper for $100 USD and a salad for $25 USD. People inside the market will support a product regardless of the price. And consumers will rise/lower to meet that price or not buy at all. So either way, it is win-win. It creates your target market and consumer range.

    -What is your 36 month exit strategy? A sell off of the business, franchising/affiliation or reinvestment. This is hugely important before you plan the first sale. How is this transaction going to end.

    -ps web design: email me.

    1. Lovelovemeloveme profile image62
      Lovelovemelovemeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Good ideas jacherless.

      MLM network marketing is huge right now. If you csn do it, do it! It's basically franchising your business for very low cost to others and propelling it into an empire.

      Build a brand, not a product. Brands lasts, brands sell, products don't. If you brand your product effectly, people will pay for it at any cost. Look at apple. Nghe brand themselves as top, latest technology. Society will fork out big bucks for apple. Do they have the most up to date technology. Yeah, sometimes. Not alllllllll. But they brand it so well, we don't think otherwise.


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