Wow! How cool to see how you`re moving forward and journaling/blogging about it (not to mention how great your site and products look).
For you to put it out there for the world to read and share in your journey is something very amazing and powerful; I know your words will in turn give others the courage to follow their own dreams! Please continue to journal as your voice is so authentic and perfect for your market; also very cool how you show courage with what you say about your path and how you show "competing" journals ... just saying your persona rings like a pure note of truth.
You give me faith and inspiration in my own life; and I`m a bit of a jaded individual! (LOL)
www.JournalJunky.com has exploded!!! When I began to make the earth-friendly journals in August, I never expected the business to boom so fast. I have now landed an account with a small chain of stores. The chain includes seven stores in the mid to southwest east region of the U.S.
The buyer asked me to fill out a vendor`s application which asked questions like what is my "required minimum order amount and reorder amount?" I really have no idea on what to set as minimums. I am afraid to set it too high or too low. I was thinking about 30 per store as an opening order and 20 as reorder minimums. Is there some kind of formula to come to this answer or do I just make up a number?
Also the buyer would like me to make custom journals for the company. She stated that her marketing department has to initiate the images, but if they came up with something, could they send the images to me for paper production or would they need to find a producer to supply the paper to me? This is an exciting opportunity, but what are the legal ramifications? That`s my largest concern. (I am thinking that they need to supply me with the paper with their logo on it. This keeps down my costs, or I would have to charge them more...)
The last thing I am wondering about is payment terms. The buyer told me that the terms were up to me. This is how she explained it:
"We typically are asked to set up net/30 day terms by the majority of our vendors. We pay your invoice 30 days after receiving the goods. However, we have also gotten 2%/15 day terms which gives us a 2% discount if we pay in 15 days, etc., etc."
How far can I go with this? "50% off if you pay me tomorrow?"-Good Grief!!
How do I set up payment terms, and does this sort of agreement need a legal contract to draw up these terms?
I`m asking because you all have really been a great encouragement to me since I first started. Please share any advice. I appreciate it.
Congratulations on the news; you got a great buyer on your hands who is not dictating to you the terms and will work with you to make it a win-win situation; this is a major good thing and shows how much they believe in you and your journals ... so you need to hold this one tight!
Order and reorder quantities: you want enough at each store for a good display and some inventory buffer, but right now it`s important you keep it as small as you can for a couple of reasons: 1) showing reorders to your next buyers shows how your product sells thru and they want more, 2) your reorder quantities are what you need to keep on-hand "at all times" kind of thing so there`s not a delay (while you have time to get the first orders out, when someone is wanting more they want them now) ... I wouldn`t be afraid about telling your buyer what you are thinking and asking her for advise; you also want to make sure how you will be processing these orders (do you drop ship to the stores, a central distribution center, do you use a blanket PO?)
Custom Orders: That is great and you just need to make sure you can "private label" your journals while still maintaining your unique feel/brand ... I don`t see that they`d be asking if they didn`t have something in mind ... they are not just buying any product, but the one you have and at your price points; this means if they are wanting to "own" your brand within their own brand that they know it has value to their customers and this is a commitment to you longer than a one-off order (it`s not like they are ordering pens with their logo) and they know this is a higher cost and there are set up and production costs ... what your buyer is going to want to "see" is how willing you are to work with them; their marketing department knows their buyers best, they know how your journals will display at their stores, and if they get on-board with this it means they have the desire to see it work ... and they will work with you to make it the best they can for their stores; you will have to make sure you don`t have a returns policy and that they pay for the full inventory ahead of time (see above about keeping reorders on-hand and all that).
Terms: just go with the standard terms ... this is not an area where you need to standout; you are not competing on terms but the value of your product to them and their buyers; they are going to pay when they pay anyways and saving 10% on your invoice is not going to be a drop in their big bucket ... if anything, there`s a better potential for them to pay longer than 30 days and still take the discount you offered for a faster pay. I don`t like how they are paying on delivery (do you ship C.O.D.?) and you should ask for 50% on order ... especially if you are going to be doing any thing custom for them ... it can`t hurt to ask and they know you are a small company and you don`t have the same cash float (you`re out of pocket well before delivery).
Sorry it`s so long and rambling ... you`re doing great and I think it`s fantastic what you`re doing (and sharing here and on your blog!~)
I read your post regarding the promotion of your journals....LOVE the idea by the way. People who love paper, pens and writing will love this. Take each step towards getting the word out. Start with small book stores, boutiques and gift stores. Do you have a website for your product? I love your tag line as well. I have been in marketing for years, and I feel that every product has to have a clear identity...and yours does. Play on that.
You will get some `NO``s out there........and then you will hear, YES...and it will build from there. You have a passion for writing.......and THAT`S what is going to get your word out. Keep going...read the book, "The Carey Formula" what she was able to do with massive determination is pretty amazing.
Keep up the great work and don`t allow your fears to hold you back....let them work to your advantage....
I left practising law ten years ago to start an internet marketing company all by myself.....everyone tought I was nuts...give up law to chase an internet dream???
I didn`t really think twice to be honest and knew that whatever I did I would be successful......ten years later my company has twice been on the INC List of fastest growing companies in America and we have gone to 50+ people.....
If you LOVE what you do and are motivated to succeed, you can do what you want!
I am clearly living proof of that - keep truckin`!!