If you’re a business that sells physical products (as opposed to services or digital items) there are particular issues that you’re likely to face. Making, storing, packing and shipping all come with unique problems that you have to resolve to ensure your business runs as efficiently as it can. Here are some things to consider if you’re setting up a company that sells physical items.
Your very first job when it comes to products that you sell is the design. You will need to do your market research and plan carefully how your product will look. Have a prototype put together so you know what changes and things need to be made and you can refine everything until it’s exactly how you want it. You could look at things like SmashBrand packaging design to get the outer packaging right. If you’re working with a food item you could tweak the recipe and do a blind taste test. If it’s a beauty product again you could do blind trials to work out the formula a sample of people prefer. Before proceeding to the next stage, you have to make absolutely sure you’re happy with every last detail
Your next decision when it comes to the items you sell is whether you will make them yourself in-house, or outsource to another company. There are pros and cons for each, outsourcing to another company will work out more expensive in the long run but mean you save on initial setup costs. Premises, machines, tools, staff and everything else can all run into hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars depending on the side of your business. However, having your own plant will eventually pay for itself and mean that you save money overall in the long run. It’s all about your budget and what’s practical for your company.
Postage and Shipping
If you’re selling items that are small or light items, sending through the postal service could be the way to go. This is useful as customers are able to choose the level of service they want, from fast-tracked to signed for, next day delivery or just standard shipping. This gives a more tailored service and is no extra hassle to you. You can have the post office do business collection each week from your business so you don’t need to go and queue up with lots of items. Just make sure the cost of this is factored in, for example if you’re offering free shipping you will need to make up these costs with your items. For larger or awkward items, a courier company like Ask Absolutely could be the way to go. Again, these offer different levels of service, you could offer tracked which sends customers a link to the actual location of the delivery van on the day. Otherwise, just a simple signed for service could be offered. Either way, you’ll need a good, reliable company who will ship your products to customers.
Does your business sell physical items? What are the main issues you’ve experienced?