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.