It's wonderful that you are writing in on her behalf, because I believe that the most important step to having a successful business is to have a strong support system. Whether it be a supportive spouse, friends or family members, it is very difficult for someone to start a business without the emotional (& sometimes financial) backing of those around him or her.
I have met many moms who tell me that they "feel guilty" that they are not at home when their children come home from school because they are at work, or "feel guilty" they cannot stay later at the office, because they need to run home at the end of the day.
I have found that if my husband and I are happy with our work/family situation, then our children are happy as well. They are proud of me and my job, and they love going to "mommy's office". I think a positive attitude is what is most important. Again, there is no "perfect" situation - it is whatever you and your family are most comfortable with!
Thank you for your continued support of our collection!
Again, my recommendation is to do your homework and know your target customer. Also, don't forget your core business when working on your new product line.
Inventory is an issue that haunts many small business owners.
In my industry, I bring our new designs to our annual trade show, the National Stationery Show in NYC. I bring samples only to the show. I will never produce product until I know that it is going to sell. From the orders I take at the show, I am able to have an accurate projection of how much product to produce. Most of my products are made locally, so our turn-around time to fulfill orders is still very fast.
There is never a right answer to projecting inventory. Of course, you have to look at past numbers of other products and make projections as to how many you will sell. My suggestion is to be conservative on quantities when producing new products. It always is better to tell customers that your new product was a "hot seller" and is temporarily out of stock, than ending up with a warehouse of goods that doesn't move.
Good luck with your business!
Congratulations on the success of your business!
It sounds like your wife has a unique product, which will help her to stand out from competitors and help her to take the business to the next level.
I think she should use that as the key ingredient when pitching to retail stores. Perhaps she could try to get some local press about being a working mother and her unique product line. Once she has the press in hand, it will help her when approaching retailers to buy her product - local retailers may even find out about her and contact her directly!
Best of luck!
Bank of America has a wonderful selection of tools to help small businesses. I would suggest researching the options that they offer, or visiting your local bank to discuss your business arrangements with them. My account executive at my local Bank of America actually helped me to set up my business and my first bank account six years ago, and she is still the person I turn to if I have any questions!
It is amazing the support and guidance that I personally have gotten from them. Try to find someone locally who is willing to learn about your business and help you grow.
Best of luck.
To all Community Members
Thanks for your wonderful feedback Karen!
We are in the process of adding a number of fabulous tote bags to our collection - look out for them in the stores in the fall!
Also, we have been working on a few licensing agreements and our popular designs should be available on paper plates and other party related products in the near future.
Of course, mittens are a wonderful idea as well!
Thanks again for your feedback!
Trade shows have actually helped our growth tremendously. The first year we were in business, we had a booth at the National Stationery Show in New York City, and we picked up over 200 new customers, including many national chains!
Trade shows are a fabulous way to meet and network with people in your industry.
I would highly recommend walking a trade show, before actually investing in having a booth, to make sure it is an appropriate venue for your company.
Once a company has an established customer base with a known quality in the market, customers are usually comfortable with purchasing products online. In fact, our top 10 retailers are actually our online retailers. For a list of our retailers, please visit http://www.bonniemarcus.com*
Community members, while our session with Bonnie has now concluded, please feel free to discuss today's session and the questions answered. Again, if you'd like more information about Bonnie and the Bonnie Marcus Collection, visit: