You don’t have a plan

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the first point from the prior post :

1. You don’t have a plan.

If you want to accomplish anything, including getting your product on the shelf at retail, you need to have a plan.  The plan can be simple or complex, detailed or generic, but it has to exist, and you have to use and reference it!  

A plan to get a product to retail could be as simple as answering the following questions:

  • Do you have manufacturing, packaging, and landed cost of goods figured out?
  • Know what retailers you want to sell to – what types of stores do you want your product in?  Cell phone channel? Consumer Electronics? Mass Merchants?
  • What are the requirements for those channels?  Margin, MDF, Co-op, Returns, etc?   You need to know if your margins will let you play in the above channels.
  • How are you going to get in front of the buyers for those channels?  Are you hiring internal sales people?  Are you using a distributor?  Independent reps?
  • How are you going to ship the product?  Will you establish your own warehouse?  Outsource with a 3PL?  or use distribution exclusively?

These questions alone could be enough to generate a plan of attack – a place to start from, to base your launch into retail from.  It should be referred to, modified, expanded, and used.If you don’t use it, you might as well not even spend the time putting it together.

5 reason’s why your product is not at retail

There are probably some good reason’s why your product isn’t on the shelf at the retailer of your choice.  Some of them may be on this list:

  1. You don’t have a plan
  2. You’re not a ‘sales guy’ – and you think that matters
  3. You don’t know who you should be selling to
  4. You have handed off sales to someone (rep?) and are sitting back waiting
  5. You don’t know your competition

The good news is that all of these can be changed, fixed, and addressed.  I’ll review each of them in turn, diving into each one in some depth.  We’ll talk about the issue and some solutions for each one. 

This is my list – are there others that you are familiar with?  Something that you have faced or are facing?  Let me know in the comments below…