Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

3 Must-Follow Tips for Start-up Producers

3 Must-Follow Tips for Start-up Producers 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

Despite how much you love your product and how much you know that everybody else will too, you still need to master these fundamentals in order to thrive.

1. Cash Flow Management

Get paid faster by how you sell. Extend credit by how you pay. Lower costs by how you buy. Consider these suggestions:

  • Treat your vendors the same way you treat your customers: They can extend credit and cut costs. Sell them on your mission and your brand’s future. Make them strategically—when you grow, so do they. If you think you won’t be able to pay, give them a payment plan in advance. They have bills to pay, too, and they’ll appreciate that you care.
  • Whenever possible, buy in quantity with terms: Your supplier’s goods have much more value as a receivable from you than they do sitting in a warehouse with no buyer. If you create your goods on an as-needed basis, your supplier might be able to hold your purchase until you need it.
  • Offer discounts to any buyer that purchases in large quantities and pays upon delivery: In general, retailers sell big when they buy big. Selling quickly creates more space in their warehouse. Then, they’re more likely to provide it at a discount. This gives the retailer (and ultimately, you) more customers. And it gives you your money before bills are due!

2. Channel Distribution Management

If your product will eventually be sold by a retailer, it must go through distribution channels. Each part of this system purchases your product for different reasons. Here are just a few:

  • Brokers or salespeople buy it for commission: They visualize how they can sell their customers, jobbers, chain stores, or distributors. They see the benefits. They know it’s a winner for them, and they’ll put in the extra effort.
  • Distributors buy it because it fills a gap in their current offerings: If your product fulfills a market segment they’re looking to sell to, or if one of their larger buyers wants to purchase it, they will want this exclusivity in their territory.
  • The public purchases it because it’s in stock and at a great value. If it isn’t in stock, they’ll choose something else: Keeping a product in stock is the greatest challenge for any start-up with a great product.

3. HR Management

You’re in the Human Resource Management business no matter what you’re selling. Your staff members are your greatest assets. They represent your product and your brand. Maintain your crucial buyer and vendor relationships and reduce turnover within your company by considering the following:

  • Make sure your staff knows exactly where their paychecks come from: Their check doesn’t come from you—it comes from the customer and everybody else involved in the process. Create a graph that shows how their paycheck flows from the customer to them with all steps in between.
  • Employees will do what they’re paid for: A start-up that’s strapped for cash can’t afford to pay just for attendance. Performers can’t afford to leave, and non-performers can’t afford to stay.
  • Once you find your top performers, learn about what they like to do and reorganize your company so they can excel: Orientation and mentoring are just the beginning! Your people need to be convinced that you really do have their best interests at heart. Acknowledge them publicly on a job well done, and they will be motivated to stay loyal.

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/

 

 

 

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