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In Over My Head?


botanica
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I have an awesome opportunity to get this HUGE wholesale account with a major retailer. I know...sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I really don't know if I can handle this workload--it's literally tens of thousands of products. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, though. It's really what I've been working for all these years and it's scary. I can't even think about where to start. I know I have to come up with costs, but this is much different than working out of my workshop and ordering wax by the case. I'd have to hire people, get a space, etc. Has anyone been through this? I'd really appreciate any advise I could get before I meet with their buyer.

Thanks!

Jodie

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Congratulations on getting this opportunity! How exciting, and yes, I'm sure it must seem overwhelming. I haven't done anything like this and I can't offer advice, but I think if you got yourself this far you can pull this off. Just think it through and don't make any hasty decisions. I hope the resident experts can help you along here. Do you have a time frame?

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Do you have the proper equipment?

Have you secured large quantities with your vendors?

Employees=unreliabilty, insurance, and lots of costly mistakes

Do you have dock to ship from?

Do you have enough capital to order that much supplies?

Most chains can take up to 90-120 days to pay, very few busineses pay in 30 days even though thats what terms are set up for.

What if the product doesn't sell, and they don't reorder?

Just some things to think about....:D oh, and congrats

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Firstly, congratulations!

I'm just looking into getting a space myself, I'm lucky to have two friends already helping me out. I don't know how your agreement will be, but for this hotel account I hope to get, I'm probably going to request for a 3-6 month advance on cash so I can get everything going smoothly (no jams in the mechanisms if the cash doesn't come in on time, that sort of thing, as well as security). The hotel requires stuff on a monthly basis, and it won't do if I place my order at the end of the month... plus curing time and shipping and all for soaps, I'd be SO late. If they want things on a monthly basis, that might be a good idea, if you haven't thought about it.

Well... that's really all I can think of at the moment... barncat's already given you some good food for thought anyhow... it's nearly 7am, brain's fried (lol).

Lots of luck!

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Thanks for all your comments. (: This is one of those bittersweet things. If I do it, I have to put my daughter in daycare, invest lots and lots, and go back to work immediately. Not to mention everything else that comes with it. It's just bad timing, and I wish I could do it. I've asked her for an opportunity to do something on a more limited basis, or for another time in the future. I hope that they will be interested.

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Thanks for all your comments. (: This is one of those bittersweet things. If I do it, I have to put my daughter in daycare, invest lots and lots, and go back to work immediately. Not to mention everything else that comes with it. It's just bad timing, and I wish I could do it. I've asked her for an opportunity to do something on a more limited basis, or for another time in the future. I hope that they will be interested.

There's your answer. You want your child in daycare all day? A no brainer to me.

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If the concept of daycare works for you (it works for my family, and obviously many others) and you have a quality place, then don't let that put you off. If you are unhappy with the option then think again.

Obviously other people's upbringing wasn't so good resulting in a miserable adulthood - daycare or no daycare.

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WOW!!! Congrats!! Wooohooo!!! Even if you decide not to do this what a great compliment to you...my hats off! I don't blame you for feeling overwhelmed....I would be too!:D I dont have advise to offer here...but sounds like others gave you some food for thought.

I'm a mom of three and a certified daycare teacher....retired! LOL!!! There are good daycares out there and bad ones...just like with everything else in life. Daycare can be a wonderful experience for your child....she will make new friends, learn how to interact with other children, learn about being on a "school" type schedule etc. If you ever opt to put your child in a daycare do alot of research, ask other parents who they use and get their feedback. Make an appointment with the daycare, take a tour, meet the staff, check out the enviromnent, come prepared with alot of questions, ask for their daycare policy book, their classroom activity schedule etc AND, drop in unannounced sometime after you have had your initial visit there. I say this because when the staff is always informed when a visitor is coming to the daycare so everyone is on their best behavour. Popping in unannounced...make up an excuse to them why you did (I was in the neighbourhoob blah blah blah) and keep your eyes and ears open the first few minutes you are there....are the teachers still interacting with the chidren the same way as your first visit before?? What your looking for is if that first visit was staged or not for your benefit. LOL!!Ok, instead of giving you advise on your wholesale problem I gave you some daycare hunting advice! LOL!! Hope you dont mind.:D the whole point I am trying to make is that daycare can be a fun experience for children. You can be more picky and have more say in the daycare your child gets put into then you can about which teacher your child ends up with in school....and not all teachers are created equal in there either.

Good luck with whatever decision you make regarding the wholesale.

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I have an awesome opportunity to get this HUGE wholesale account with a major retailer. I know...sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I really don't know if I can handle this workload--it's literally tens of thousands of products. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, though. It's really what I've been working for all these years and it's scary. I can't even think about where to start. I know I have to come up with costs, but this is much different than working out of my workshop and ordering wax by the case. I'd have to hire people, get a space, etc. Has anyone been through this? I'd really appreciate any advise I could get before I meet with their buyer.

Thanks!

Jodie

When that happens to me (and it will) and if I am not prepared to handle the work (hope I will be) I will find a company that will manufacture the products for me. It will entail a lot of research into whomever I choose and of course lots of legal stuff but that's the way I would go about it. I would NOT let this opportunity pass by. Your child would not have to be in day care all day and you could sit back and have lots of time to come up with more fabulous products:D You've come this far and you will go even further. Congrats, you're awesome!

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I have an awesome opportunity to get this HUGE wholesale account with a major retailer. I know...sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I really don't know if I can handle this workload--it's literally tens of thousands of products. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, though. It's really what I've been working for all these years and it's scary. I can't even think about where to start. I know I have to come up with costs, but this is much different than working out of my workshop and ordering wax by the case. I'd have to hire people, get a space, etc. Has anyone been through this? I'd really appreciate any advise I could get before I meet with their buyer.

Thanks!

Jodie

I know how you feel Jodie! I was approached last week as well and I thought it sounded too good to be true too. The buyer asked so many questions, if I was incorporated, if I would be willing to use bases because of liability issues, etc etc. If I was ready to become a household name or if I already was....I was literally sweating in my seat! I am in the same boat right now, trying to figure out if I can handle it or not. Very scary, makes my heart pound and of course my DH keeps saying yeah lets do it, he is just seeing $$$$ signs, but I am in school full time, we have 2 kids under 5....I can barely keep up with just my retail side of the business every week.

Finding a manufacturer sounds like a good idea, then you don't have to hire too many people, maybe just enough to help you with the packing. I don't know:confused:, please let us know what you decide.

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When i work my little boy goes into childcare 9-3 whilst his sisters @school. if i have meetings he stays longer or grandparents pick them up.Im lucky enough that i only work three days now (but sometimes have to do biz trips like in the summer for a week without the kids but it benefits them in the long run!) i was working four days and my other half looked after him one day which was great bonding for them. We always make sure we spend sunday together (apart from the odd week when we cant) and although i work fridays for a few hours its at home doing paper work so my son will sit with me and do art or watch a film or play for a while then we have quality time together afterwards.

I guess what im saying is that Day care isnt all that bad and okay im lucky that my hours are flexible, but maybe you could work something out after all every business routiene is different and im sure you must have a friend or family member who could help a little.Its just important that the time you do get together is quality. i know alot of people who dont use there time with their chidren as quality time.

I hope that you manage to juggle it if its the right thing for you and fingers crossed that they'll meet you in the middle. Good luck with it all im sure it will all come right in the end!!!:)

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A lot of states are offering pre-K for kids who are 3 to 4 years of age and often its 100% free. I put my daughter on the list and we just got the call that she can go to the school right across the street from us starting Monday. My son is going to a home care provider. With a lot of research kinds can do well in a day care setting, you can't just throw your kids in a hole in the wall and call it a day. DH's aunt use to rave about some daycare she used to take her son to that only cost $2.50 an hour. We needed care one day and so we called and set up the time, etc. Got there and I was so grossed out I did not even want to touch my foot to the carpet.

There are also programs that help people pay for daycare if you are under a certain income, so you can send your child to a top notch daycare and pay only a portion. So many options are out there, and I think every mom whether you stay at home or not needs a break every once in awhile.

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I know how you feel Jodie! I was approached last week as well and I thought it sounded too good to be true too. The buyer asked so many questions, if I was incorporated, if I would be willing to use bases because of liability issues, etc etc. If I was ready to become a household name or if I already was....I was literally sweating in my seat! I am in the same boat right now, trying to figure out if I can handle it or not. Very scary, makes my heart pound and of course my DH keeps saying yeah lets do it, he is just seeing $$$$ signs, but I am in school full time, we have 2 kids under 5....I can barely keep up with just my retail side of the business every week.

Finding a manufacturer sounds like a good idea, then you don't have to hire too many people, maybe just enough to help you with the packing. I don't know:confused:, please let us know what you decide.

That's exactly where I am too. I thought of using a manufacturer, but I have doubts because it wouldn't be me, you know? Everything I do is hand-made and that's the way I want to keep it. I greatly enjoy the time that I spend with my child, and yet am looking forward to the end of the year when my MIL is retiring. Then I can really go to work without having to worry about substandard daycare. People make mistakes at daycares. About two years ago a daycare provider left a child in their van and she died here in my city. They were considered a good provider. So scary. Anyway, I hope that the buyer for this company will keep me in mind for the near future when I can actually devote myself to this. I want everything to be safe legally, and I want to do it right. I'm afraid that if I just dive in that I could quickly find myself in a lot of trouble without the correct planning. I've gotten some excellent ideas from you all. I really thank all of you for your thoughts. You are the only people that really understand what this means to a me. :smiley2:

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Do you have the proper equipment?

Have you secured large quantities with your vendors?

Employees=unreliabilty, insurance, and lots of costly mistakes

Do you have dock to ship from?

Do you have enough capital to order that much supplies?

Most chains can take up to 90-120 days to pay, very few busineses pay in 30 days even though thats what terms are set up for.

What if the product doesn't sell, and they don't reorder?

Just some things to think about....:D oh, and congrats

This is what I was going to say, and I'll add....

UPC codes, and set up (you have to register with the gov't to get your permit number, then find a reliable printer)

Also- the account I sell to expects me to cover markdowns. So if they have to put an item on sale because it doesn't sell, I have to supply another item at no charge to them, so they don't loose, or take the unsold stuff back. Make sure you work that into your prices. Increased insurance as well, more sales means more insurance, especially with employees, because then you have workers comp insurance, and were I am medical insurance. Try to secure terms with your suppliers, that can make the capital issue a bit easier. But I had to take out a business loan when I started with my major account. That took a lot of stress off. I would say you'll need more equipment. We have 2 big melters, a "pour room" and a "stock room" We get reorders from our majors every 3 weeks, so we have to have stuff in stock to ship right away, or the lapse in time cuts into the next order. If the stuff is not on the shelves--it can't get sold!! I hope that helps a bit.

And labels-- I changed all my labels once I saw how the looked in a display.

I know it seems like a lot, but once it's all done-- the rewards are wonderful :) I'll try to post pics of our display in the stores, we have an 8 foot section, and a pole (for melts and tealights) Our display is in the greeting card isle or a chain of drug stores.

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There are a few things you also have to consider.. One is retailers don't pay up front. They do the standard 30 Net. If your products don't sell or are out of season expect them to return them for credit. I know that for a fact. I am dealing with that right now with summer returns. Also the stores want to mark your products 3 times if possible.The products in my store that flew off the shelf are being marked up to 4 times this coming week. Plus expect a 2 week turnaround, so your products better be there or you will be cancelled. Boxing everything up for stores usually takes me 1 full day with help. Everyone one of your items needs to have an item/product number so the store knows what to buy. These are things you will learn rather quickly, unless you have worked in that industry before you would know. Typically the first order is huge and than reorders are usually half that to replace what is being sold. Stores estimate your products to move within a month so they can order monthly, if they have to order more frequently than they will order more stuff. You have to realize the stores deal on a different level than the gift shops. Stores expect around 1000 people walking in the store every day to purchase items so the store knows how much product needs to be in the store. They don't account for the people that just come in and browse because they didn't purchase anything. So it is a totally different ballpark. These are a few things you need to be aware of because you have to be able to handle it because there is alot of competition knocking on their door...Make sure you have a fax. Buyers fax everything. It is rewarding to experience big time retailers. Best of luck!!!

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The only thing I can say, if you want to do this, is talk to the SBA for advice , or someone who does business managament. I have had some large opportunities that I have turned down because I could not make the numbers work. Also I love my craft, but realize that for me, taking it to a mass production level will eventually burn me out. I like smaller accounts and the privite orders I get, which is increasing yearly. Now if I could get that damn website up, that would make me happy. Good luck whatever you decide. Do what is best for you and your family, nobody can make that call for you. Nice that you put your child first. If you are going to have guilt over that, then do what you think is right. Hope this helps.

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