[MUSIC PLAYING] AMY WELSMAN: As you well know, whenever your brand is about to embark on a new business endeavor, upfront planning is crucial. There are lots of considerations and steps that need to be taken before you can launch a wholesale business. Number one, establish a timeline and business goals. Like with any new business challenge, you must define your goals and set your timeline. Is it your aim to sell lots of volume across multiple channels, or is it to select partners mainly for marketing purposes?
Each will require different resources and approaches. Number two, define your market. If you are targeting only specialty stores, what sort of market are you wanting to enter? Where does your product fit best? If your product has a broad customer base that can work in various markets, I urge you to consider the following-- what market is in most need of your product? Which has an educated consumer, who will appreciate and value your unique proposition?
While your product may fit an array of markets, I suggest you start with one and focus on it. I will go into this in greater detail in the Research and Target Lists Lesson. Number three, define your unique selling proposition. Once you have established your market, define what it is you offer that's unique from what's currently available. Number four, collect relevant sales and market data. How many stores are there in the market you're after?
What's the distribution potential? Is the market growing? Is it shrinking? Is there competition for your product in the market, or are you a unique offering? Are you seeking to disrupt a category? Number five, profile your ideal accounts. Are they a premium store with a high-end product offering? Are they servicing a large territory or a small territory? Are they considered specialists or generalists? Again, I will go into more detail on this in the Market Research and Target Lists Lesson.
Number six, sales team structure. What sort of resources do you want to allocate to this new channel? If your strategy is to open fewer strategic accounts, perhaps one in-house salesperson will be sufficient. But if your goal is to open multiple doors in various locations, you may need more people to make up your sales funnel. If you want to build a team of independent sales reps as opposed to building an in-house team, you may only need one person to recruit and manage the reps.
Also, if you want to build a sales team of independent sales reps as opposed to building an in-house team, you may only need one person to recruit and manage reps. I will go into this in more detail in the Resource Allocation Lesson. Following lessons will cover the specifics of launching a wholesale channel, from developing target lists, to pricing and balancing wholesale with your online store, to merchandising, to trade shows, and finally, to resource allocation.