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Tyler11

New Contributor
Nov 20, 2019
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We have a line of credit open to pay for re-orders. What is everyone's advice on loc's?
Should we continue to keep that open and use or should we want to try to pay that off and use only cash? Seems growth would be much easier leveraging with an loc as opposed to relying only on cash
 

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Tyler11

New Contributor
Nov 20, 2019
14
9
12
have you experimented with raising prices? for example, raise prices by 15% or something for a certain portion of the country, or for a certain small window of time, and compare it to similar locations/ days of the week or whatever makes sense.

Ideally, you'd find that you cut orders by a small amount with the price increase, but increase profit substantially.

We have. It's so hard to determine if that price increase slows down sales or hinders them in any way. Do you have any insight how we could potentially track that or find the correct price?
 
D

DeletedUser0287

Guest
We use a program called Shipstation

Isn't Shipstation just for managing Shipping Orders? I think what he meant was, your storefront. Unless Shipstation provides storefront services, that I am unaware of.

Thank you!
We sell online. We use different manufacturers for different products. Each seems to have their niche they're good at. Most all made here in the USA.

Maybe reanalyze value skew? Do your customers actually care about the “Made in USA”? Where are they located. If not, then you are paying extra for a product feature that doesn’t matter. So you do custom printed items?


This business seems prime for drop shipping then, not sure why you are holding inventory for these types of products.

Hard to give advice, if I don’t know what these designs look like.

1) how do you recommended adding value? I personally think our product has a ton of value. All custom made, in the USA, details galore, ver high quality materials
2) We can definitely do this. Keep in mind the machines to print shirts/hats etc are not cheap. We're talking $100k+ machines. Also add a $30-$40k salaried employee to operate.

But do your customers care about that stuff? If they do, Mark up. $25 is too cheap for what you stated. I ask this question again because majority of the time people in the printed items business just choose cheaper blanks because the graphic is the value, not the medium/canvas it is printed on.

Don’t add value where it doesn’t matter to your customers.
 

Tyler11

New Contributor
Nov 20, 2019
14
9
12
Isn't Shipstation just for managing Shipping Orders? I think what he meant was, your storefront. Unless Shipstation provides storefront services, that I am unaware of.

Maybe reanalyze value skew? Do your customers actually care about the “Made in USA”? Where are they located. If not, then you are paying extra for a product feature that doesn’t matter. So you do custom printed items?

This business seems prime for drop shipping then, not sure why you are holding inventory for these types of products.

Hard to give advice, if I don’t know what these designs look like.

But do your customers care about that stuff? If they do, Mark up. $25 is too cheap for what you stated. I ask this question again because majority of the time people in the printed items business just choose cheaper blanks because the graphic is the value, not the medium/canvas it is printed on.

Don’t add value where it doesn’t matter to your customers.


Maybe I'm not sure what he was asking then.

Yes...our customers are extremely critical in wanting products made in the USA and a lot will not buy or will make a big fuss if it isn't.

We've tried drop shipping and print on demand. In our experience, we lost A TON of quality and value with this method. The products were just not to our standards or our customers.


How do you determine where value matters to our customers? (We obviously found made in the USA does. How about type of shirt etc?)
 
D

DeletedUser0287

Guest
Maybe I'm not sure what he was asking then.

Yes...our customers are extremely critical in wanting products made in the USA and a lot will not buy or will make a big fuss if it isn't.

We've tried drop shipping and print on demand. In our experience, we lost A TON of quality and value with this method. The products were just not to our standards or our customers.


How do you determine where value matters to our customers? (We obviously found made in the USA does. How about type of shirt etc?)

Oh ok, great. $25 seems way too cheap then. Would mark it up.

If you have social media following, I would just creep on the customers. Look at what other accounts they are following and Facebook audience tool. Hang out where they hang out. Maybe there is a specific forum or subreddit. Read every comment and post. Your intuition will grow about your customer and you will know what matters.
 

Jon L

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We have. It's so hard to determine if that price increase slows down sales or hinders them in any way. Do you have any insight how we could potentially track that or find the correct price?
I don't have specific experience with this so take the following with a grain of salt. I do have experience doing general data analysis.

My general approach to data analysis is to export it to Excel, and then, using pivot charts and graphs, start playing with the data. Look at it from various angles - time of day, type of user (browser, OS, location, etc etc etc), quantity ordered on an order, and on and on and on. Eventually, you'll start seeing patterns. You'll get curious about something and realize, 'hey, if I looked at it this way, I could see this particular piece of data that might be interesting.' The only way to have this happen is to spend a number of hours/days with the data, playing with it.

You need to be able to compare like to like. In other words, time of day, day of the month, month of the year, type of user, mix of user, etc, should be the same, or should be controlled for, somehow. You can look at previous sales data to get a baseline. This is why playing with the data like I suggested above is important. You'll likely find that certain times of the day, days of the week/month etc will have the same type of sales, the same sales volume. Once you have that baseline, you could increase the price by a good amount and see what it does to sales for that item. If you have enough quantity of sales to look at, you can start to get a sense for whether the price increase had any effect.
 

csalvato

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How do you determine where value matters to our customers? (We obviously found made in the USA does. How about type of shirt etc?)
Remove the feature from your sales process (eg your sales page) and see how it impacts conversions. Is that possible for you?

also, pick up the phone and call 100 customers and send out a survey to all previous purchasers asking what’s most important to them.
 

Tyler11

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Nov 20, 2019
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Remove the feature from your sales process (eg your sales page) and see how it impacts conversions. Is that possible for you?

not sure what you mean here?

also, pick up the phone and call 100 customers and send out a survey to all previous purchasers asking what’s most important to them.

Great idea. We will implement this. We have an extensive email subscription list we can start utilizing in this regard.
 

Ronak

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Just some ideas off the top of my head:
Get your average order value up, split test either a 2 for $40 or buy 2 get 3rd free promo (maybe test with your customer/email list). Make sure your cash flow can support it, of course. Yes, margins as a percentage will go down, but absolute profit should go up. Do you have a free shipping threshold?

Another high value task is CRO. Use something like optimizely to run tests on your website and over time you can bump your sales up.

How's your inventory turnover? Unsold inventory eats up cash, as do returns, both of which can be huge in apparel. Try looking at SKU level data.

Are you ordering from your supplier and then just reselling, or is there some other processing in between? When you tried drop shipping, was it with your current suppliers or some other print on demand service?

I think the most important thing will be getting your accounting in order. Run numbers on both cash and accrual basis so you can see what's really going on, I think of it like a blood test for business. Ultimately, the advice above is like a Dr trying to diagnose without an examination.
 

Tyler11

New Contributor
Nov 20, 2019
14
9
12
Just some ideas off the top of my head:
Get your average order value up, split test either a 2 for $40 or buy 2 get 3rd free promo (maybe test with your customer/email list). Make sure your cash flow can support it, of course. Yes, margins as a percentage will go down, but absolute profit should go up. Do you have a free shipping threshold?

Another high value task is CRO. Use something like optimizely to run tests on your website and over time you can bump your sales up.

How's your inventory turnover? Unsold inventory eats up cash, as do returns, both of which can be huge in apparel. Try looking at SKU level data.

Are you ordering from your supplier and then just reselling, or is there some other processing in between? When you tried drop shipping, was it with your current suppliers or some other print on demand service?

I think the most important thing will be getting your accounting in order. Run numbers on both cash and accrual basis so you can see what's really going on, I think of it like a blood test for business. Ultimately, the advice above is like a Dr trying to diagnose without an examination.


Accurate inventory turnover is something we need to track. Is there any proven trackable methods we can implement?

Yes we order from our suppliers for a certain price point, receive and sell.
Dropshipping was with a company that specializes only in that area.

We have exact numbers from our accountant, I just am trying to learn how to take 100% responsibility by learning everything I can about our business and how to grow it, make it profitable, etc
 

csalvato

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Remove the feature from your sales process (eg your sales page) and see how it impacts conversions. Is that possible for you?

Assuming you're selling on a website, and that site has a page for each product, you probably outline the features/benefits of your product somewhere on that page, right?

Go onto that page, and remove any instances that says things like "Made in the USA!"

See if that impacts your conversion rate significantly. Ideally, do this in an A/B test with a tool like Optimizely or VWO. Do this with a few different features. You will see what people are really looking for in the product to buy using process of elimination, then you can probably cut costs by eliminating costly but useless features.

For example, if you remove all references to `Made in the USA` and your conversions aren't heavily impacted, you can probably get your goods produced in China or Mexico and instantly rocket up your margins.
 

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Tyler11

New Contributor
Nov 20, 2019
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have you experimented with raising prices? for example, raise prices by 15% or something for a certain portion of the country, or for a certain small window of time, and compare it to similar locations/ days of the week or whatever makes sense.

Ideally, you'd find that you cut orders by a small amount with the price increase, but increase profit substantially.

We have experimented with small price increases yes, it's just so hard to track and determine if we're losing customers, gaining profits etc.

We also always keep an eye on competitors to see what they sell for. We try to stay at or just under competitor pricing.
 

MichaelCash

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Did you think about additional funding to grow your company? Enter retail? Maybe you can apply to SharkTank? :smile2: They love giving money to businesses with good sales to fund inventory
 

Fassina

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80/20..

i.e focus on the 20% of products that give you 80% of your profits. Rank your products accordingly. Cut out the bad apples, invest on the good ones.

Like most companies, you probably have lines that are costing you and or breaking even, those get averaged out by your lines that are actually profitable. Cut out investment on the negative utility lines, invest heavily on the profitable lines.

Do that until it becomes inefficient.
 

VTK

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There's a book someone else on the forum recommended that I'm reading at the moment (linked below) which has a lot of good ideas you might find interesting.

 

avrashadrahman

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Dec 3, 2019
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Hi Tyler,
My name is Rashad Rahman i am from India .i have been in the fashion industry for the past 6 years. I had clothing store and also my own brand.so as experienced in this field I would suggest you to change few things in your business.
1.you have to decrease your manufacturing rate as I think you’re making it in your country it’s expensive you can manufacture it in Tiruppur India with half of its price and it can go Down depending upon the quantity of the products.As for your information in Tiruppur you can get top quality clothes for your clothing and it is a huge market for clothes.
2. Introduce your brand to international market and build a brand not a business
3. At the time reinvesting in your business is the best option as it can grow your brand exponentially and only take little from your business as to support your basic needs.

Would love write more .
If you Need any help regarding the Thiruppur manufacturing units would love to help you.
Thanks,
 

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