The business is selling restaurant/cafe/bakery supplies like baking machines, cooking utensils, restaurant tableware, restaurant/cafe furniture and disposables. How can I get started without holding inventory first?
Long-time entrepreneur and consultant here. My experience is in software and tech but the below is applicable to any business.
Some thoughts and questions for you:
- In a commoditized market, price, speed of delivery, better customer service and trust from years of operation are common differentiators. How can you differentiate as a new entrant? Maybe focus on a couple of the products you listed to start ("niche down"), and do those products better than incumbents. Make that your obsession.
- Are there opportunities to innovate with your supplier relationships? Reducing how much and how long you have to hold inventory is of course advantageous. If you can reduce the amount of space you need for holding inventory, you can pass savings on the the customers.
- Speak to potential customers, what don't they like about their current suppliers? Speak to 100 restaurants/cafes/bakeries and look for common answers. Build a business around the most common answers with the highest revenue and growth potential. Do this before spending any money on inventory. Read up on "Customer Discovery" to learn more.
Brutally honest... Just start selling
There are two ways to do this...
With some money to invest - Buy a couple of appliances / machines / products the ones that you most like and think you can sell faster. Yes at the beginning you need to go with your gut and with what you like and enjoy the most... So get yourself in front of a mirror and imagine selling to yourself a particular product.
With no money to invest / or if you just don't want to risk that much - In today's day and age you can just choose some products, download some pictures, create a pdf with the specs and post it on social media.. Invest a couple of $ to make a campaign.
Don't forget to create your perfect client's avatar so you can target those campaigns.
But don't stay there,, those pictures, specifications and documents you have for the campaign print them and go visit restaurants / cafes / bakeries, etc... show them your catalog and give them a special price for ordering in advance. That way you can get some money so you can then buy the products.
Hope this helps and if you need anything else or have some follow up questions, don't be shy and click the button to contact me.
Have a great day
I don't like to say this "more risk more return" - it is quite applicable sometimes.
The nature of the business is physical supplies - can be fast-moving or slow-moving and the selling approach will be different, you need to choose one to focus on.
Normally in this case, if you don't hold inventory, you can't sell (especially for those fast-moving type) as customers cannot wait. You may choose a slow-moving type, but make sure you target the correct market.
Alternatively, you can kick-start on project-based and use the profit earned to invest in future inventory. Just need to note that project-based also need to invest some money in the inventory before getting money from the progress claim.
Another important point to note:
"after-sales support such as warranties, training, replacement, repair/ maintenance needs to budget in"
Thus ... the first step is to know select one or two most possible approaches (like the above examples) and test them with the business model to check on business validity.
Selection and testing already very tough, hope you now have the direction, you know what to do. If you face any problem do contact for quick doubts clearance.
The most important thing that before start your business u need to prepair for accept challenges
Accept competition and accept all the difficult things that coming before opening or start ur business.
And second things u need complete knowledge about ur business that u open
As per the current market situation where everything has shifted online, from selling and purchasing of daily use items to expensive items to services like loans etc.
The first step in the digital world should be “Planning to build your own website/app for sell products”
The online website is a convenient way to list and sell your products whereas it also helps in expanding your customer base.
The concept of this website can be similar to online food delivery platforms where instead of food items you will list your supplies like machines etc.
For more details on website feature with respect to restaurant specific niche read the features section if the following blogs:
First, sell the items you think will work first so that you can also test it. If you do not have the nventory, then get those products. Make a clear plan and start following it. You can attract customers by selling it with a low price. Make sure your items are worth buying.
Feel free to ask me anything regarding this topic. Use https://clarity.fm/asmahuss/parallel395 link for a free call.
You can't start a business without taking stock or having an inventory. You must know what is the capital you are investing in the business both in cash and in fixed asset. What stock are you transferring to help the start up. That's how you will be able to ascertain if you are operating at a profit or loss.
I would suggest you create a ledger (a book) where you list every dollar that you are putting in. This should include petrol, stationary, salary etc. Keep your receipts because every expenditure must be accounted for .
I would also suggest that since you are new at it set your inventory schedule where you can do regular stock count. This would give you a clear understanding and an early sign when things are not going as planned.
Hope this help. I would love to have a further dialog with you. Fell free to schedule a call so both of us could discuss further.
I think I great way to start thinking is back to the basics. Setting a firm foundation first helps you to nail your launch/relaunch.
-What issue or problem does your business solve?
-Who needs your solution?
-Where are those people/ businesses- where do they go, what information platforms do they interact with, who do they seek advice from?
-How do you get your message specifically to those people?
-Who else is out there claiming to solve the problem - your competition?
-What value can you provide that your competition does not provide, or how do you provide it better or more unique in that space?
-What do your current customers say about you (and your competition / other business in that space?