Angel Wholesale

Angel Wholesale

Products to stock during the Summer Months

Summer is always a difficult season to predict due to our wonderful English weather but there are always products that will be successful over the summer months. Travel related items such as car sunshades, kids backpacks and sun hats, swimwear and beach toys always great lines to stock. Kids stationary/activity packs sell very well all year round but especially during the summer. Kids summer clothing sells right through to the end of July as children have a habit of growing so don’t leave your stock too low and more classic dressy items like the Zip Zap range we stock sells well for special occasions all year round as a cardigan and tights can be added to make it trans-seasonal.

Teachers and Graduation gifts sell well throughout June and July and although Weddings & Christenings are all year round there is a peak volume during the summer months so Wedding gift items and wedding crafts see peak activity from May onwards with many Brides leaving gifts to the last minute for Best Man, Bridesmaids etc. We have a great range of wholesale gifts for Grooms, Best Man, Mother of the Bride and Bridesmaids as well as wedding venue decoration items.

Back to School products such as hair bands/ hair accessories, socks, tights, lunch boxes, drinks bottles and back packs & key rings do very well during the summer months in time for schools starting back in September. 

Halloween is now a much bigger event in the UK and you need to start having stock from August to make the best of this . Party supplies, decorations, confectionary and fancy dress items all sell well for this event.

Last but not least is Christmas – we see customers starting to shop for wholesale Christmas lines earlier each year as some of the more popular lines can be sold out by September. Many of our customers sell bespoke/customised and personalised Christmas products on Facebook, Etsy and eBay and are taking orders from July onwards so you need to plan your ranges now.

Our red keepsake boxes sell extremely quickly, along with Christmas Elves, Santa Christmas Sacks , stockings and Christmas plush soft toys. Baby & Childrens Christmas clothing items are very popular to add to gift baskets and Christmas Eve boxes .  One of our best selling products that sells out super fast are Christmas mugs. Popular for all ages and we have a great selection from bone china collectibles to cheap and cheerful!

Christmas gift baskets and hampers are big business and you need to start planning to take orders from July onwards – we stock a great range of wholesale hamper supplies including Christmas Cello, ribbons, hamper trays & baskets and paper shred. For smaller hamper gifts we sell felt & hessian bags which are great for confectionary and preserves.

How to Sell Your Products Successfully Online

Nearly all businesses now need an online presence to succeed and grow. The number of people that shop online continues to grow.  If you have a retail store, market store or sell at craft fairs you and your customers want to be able to continue to connect with your business after they buy from you – your physical store will become more and more about personal experience and showcasing what you can do. An online presence widens your potential market and enables you to sell outside of your local area so you can compete with online stores. For example if you have a gift shop in a tourist area you can then continue to sell to your customers who just visit you whilst in that area and they in turn can recommend you to their friends. You can capture more business from busy Mum’s who can’t always get in to shop and end up buying elsewhere online.

An online presence does not have to be a website – it can be social media in the form of Instagram, Facebook Store,  Etsy or Not on the High Street . Modern marketing is all about the social connection and trust. The modern retailer needs to make these social connections . It is important with every sale that you get where possible an email address so that you can continue to market to the customer after their purchase – as an incentive to do this  you can offer a voucher off their next purchase. ‘A thank you for your custom’ email with the voucher and then a link to your online store front will then encourage future business. Many of the big successful retailers do this and for good reason. Have a think about places you like to shop and ask yourself why – what are they doing differently and how could we mimic this or improve on it? Take a look at their social media, blogs and email communications for ideas.

The quality of the communication that you have with your customer is so important as you can’t sell to them all the time – sharing relevant and interesting articles or cute/funny images/quotes, asking for their feedback on new product ranges , important dates to remember ie Mother’s Day or offering new services are all reason to make contact as well as sharing new product information, competitions and special promotions. There are many great email easy to use marketing tools – many of them free or very low cost for smaller mailing lists take a look at Mailchimp as an example.

As a minimum make sure you have a Facebook business page as we have many successful customers that only sell on Facebook and Ebay without the expense of a website.Their advertising is good value and easy to understand. Once you have established yourself by all means get a website and then use your email and social media to drive traffic to it.

The beauty of selling online is that you can promote a much wider range of products – its one of the reason many of our pack sizes are in two’s so that  our retailers can stock a much wider range of products. One pitfall we do see with online businesses is selling items they do not physically have or do not update their listings regularily and then find they can not get the product any longer when it sells. You can normally tell if an item sells or gets a lot of interest within 48 hours you need to then buy a larger quantity – this way you sell more through much quicker and have stock of the right products.

Do not focus on being the cheapest – you need to be competitive but you can bundle items together, add value by including the item into a gift hamper etc  look at your shipping costs –  use an shipping aggregator like Parcel Monkey so that you can offer the similar pricing to the larger retail businesses. Competing on price usually on goes one way!

Payment method is also another big factor in your success as customers need to be able to pay simply and quickly. The quickest way is to use Paypal as most people these days are familiar with this , there are also many other payment providers that you can use that have an easy online console. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also have discounted rates with merchant service providers for their members and some great advise and support .

Do your research, think about how you can make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you and keep communicating!

Good Luck!

Jayne x

www.angelwholesale.co.uk

How to Use Social Media to Market your Retail Business

 

In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s a new marketing concept emerged that brought selling products into the home in a social way. A host invited friends and friends of friends into the home, laid on a few nibbles and drinks and the Party Plan host turned up with their goods. Potential customers browsed and ordered and goods were delivered a few weeks later. Dependant on the level of sales the host would receive a gift and some commission. These ‘parties’ still exist along with network marketing and pyramid marketing schemes but Social Media could be the new Party Plan!

We are often asked how do you sell on Facebook & Instagram and it struck me that Facebook has the potential to work in a similar way to the Party Plan concept. Most people already have a network of friends that could help spread the word about your business as they also have a network of friends that they can share with. Without spending a penny on advertising many of our customers already have a massive network to market to in a low key and friendly way just by asking your friends to share and like your business page. You could offer an incentive like a voucher or gift if you see fit but most friends especially when you start out are happy to share. Now that Facebook also own Instagram this has become a powerful Marketing tool.

Once you are more established and you have a good audience you can then pay to advertise in a low cost way on Facebook so you can grow your network further. You can run competitions and giveaways which are amazingly low cost to run but give you a great audience reach.

Social Media audiences do not respond to being sold to all the time so sharing relevant articles, great images and clear punchy messages are key. Regular postings 2-3 times a week are important too.

The other important point is to only sell items you can guarantee you can supply. Too many business under invest in stock and then can’t meet demand. Start off small with small quantities across several product lines and get a feel for what sells and then buy those successful lines in higher quantity. Bundles items together to create a gift solution or an outfit as your customers don’t have the time or inspiration themselves to do this. Use your friends for research – ask them what they would like your business to stock, what they think of your products, imagery etc. Don’t be shy as friends and family can be part of your success too!

Setting up a Gift Retail Business

Giftware retailing is a very rewarding business but there is lots of competition so you need to understand what will differentiate your business from other competitors. If you are considering opening a retail shop then location is key. There needs to be enough potential customers passing by your door otherwise you will need to spend more on advertising. When selling gifts you need to make sure you cover all aspects of gifting weddings, new baby, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthday’s etc. Men are notoriously hard to buy for so having a wider selection of mens gifts is a winner as it gives the customers more choice. A selection of soft toys are another good product to stock as they appeal to all ages. Consider gifts for pets and pet lovers as this is a big market now.

Mugs and plaques are one of our biggest sellers as they are low cost and display well. Consider making up gift hampers as this is a great way to use your time when business is slower and if customers see you making then up when they come in it will create interest.

Make sure you stock a good selection of gift bags, gift boxes, wrap and greetings cards plus sticky tape and ribbons as this is a good add on sale. Consider offering a gift wrapping service as many people are time poor now and men in particular hate wrapping presents!

Expanding your existing product offer by gift retailing is a great way to grow sales ie coffee shop, florist shop, pharmacy, clothing boutique – we have many customers who have successfully added gifts to their existing business and seen a big improvement in repeat customers and footfall. Many of the big retailers do this now and the garden centres.

Selling gifts online is a growing area but you need to be able to differentiate your website from the many others out there. Trial on Facebook & Instagram initially as you will quickly learn what people to react to and build up your customer base from here. If you have a retail shop having a website is essential too so and if you build up an email list you can then drive customers to your website as well as inviting them to store events.

How to succeed as a retailer in today’s marketplace

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with why some individuals are more successful than others and read countless books and articles and one thing that stands out is that they are very resilient and even after failure they step back, re-think and start again. This holds true on how to succeed as a retailer and now more than ever retailers need to step back and re-think their strategy. Due to the boom in online retailing pricing has become very transparent and for a long time it has been too focused on price. Some retailers feeling unable to compete have just given up. Online retailing based on price is a hard business. High street shops have been struggling too due to reduce footfall but there is another way!

Retailers now need to focus on selling a solution or a shopping experience rather than selling products.

Toy Shop Example

If you own a toy shop you may have had moderate success for many years and kept to the same trusted formula but with the advent of technology kids can experience multiples things at a time so a toy shop needs to grab their imagination and their concentration. How about freeing up some retail space putting a couple of small sofas, a play table and allow kids to engage with the products? Set up a loyalty scheme which you can then use to advertise events like a face painting & fancy dress morning, brick/construction building competition or creative craft workshops.

Stock gift wrap, greetings cards & batteries near to the payment area so you can upsell higher margin products. Also think about stocking a small range of children’s party items which do not take up much room but can add extra margin. Think about offering a gift wrap service or gift delivery service.How about offering a toy subscription scheme where customers can buy a 3,6 or 12 mth subscription of toys as a gift. This is offering your customer a solution by solving their gift choice dilemma’s .

If you have a shop it is so important to also have a good retail website too so that customers can find you and they have the choice to buy online as well as come into your store.  Don’t underestimate the power of social media. If you have a retail business you must have a Facebook business page & Instagram – you can run giveaway competitions to increase your reach and really engage with your customers and drive online business.

Ideas for Selling Solutions as a Gift Retailer

Much of what applies to the toy shop owner applies to gift retailers – look at what is working for retailers you admire. Gift retailing is so broad from Wedding, Baby, Special occasions, Interiors and collectables so there is lots of opportunity to shine. The Garden Centres have really grabbed hold of the whole experience focused retailing by keeping their customers engaged for longer in store by offering coffee shops, outdoor clothing, gifts and the core business of gardening. Some even hold gardening workshops and talks. How could you as a gift retailer offer something similar? May be pop up shops or preview evenings with drinks & nibbles, gift subscription packages, gift wrapping service, special occasion reminder service, personal shopper, wedding gift list etc. There are some great gift wrapping courses that you can attend for a low cost or watch online tutorials and then offer gift wrapping workshops. If you have the customers captive in your store for longer you are more likely to engage with them.

Some customers simply can not choose so why not help them by offering a gift basket and hamper service?

More and more floristry shops now offer gifts, greetings cards and gift wrap. I often find in my local shop whilst they prepare and wrap my flowers I end up browsing and coming out with a lot more than flowers plus its my go to place for last minute gifts so they truly are offering a solution to me which why I keep going back.

As well as Facebook, Pinterest is an invaluable marketing tool for presenting your products and gift ideas. There are lots of how to tutorials that can guide you through how to use social media to your advantage.

Ideas for Selling Solutions as a Clothing Retailer

This is a very competitive market so display is key here and a good range of different lines . Deciding who your customer is key – age range, budget etc. The supermarkets really have the edge on  the price of basics so the clothing retailer now needs to look at packaging basics in a different way either as a gift set or sold as a bundle with other items. Many people need to have their imagination inspired on how to put an outfit together and its important that you are on top of current fashion trends and each season’s colours. Selling gifts alongside clothing is also a great option – small pick up items like scarves, fluffy socks, beauty products, jewelry , candles and trinkets are great lines to stock in addition. Running fashion evenings, seasonal preview evenings or how about you get a ‘Colour stylist’ in to offer a mini style workshop – they will get new leads and its adding value to your customers plus I am sure she will use your clothing as a prop to demonstrate what suits your customer – I real opportunity to sell!

If you are a children’s clothing retailer adding baby gifts, toys and baby products is a must plus looking at offering Newborn starter packs, baby gift monthly subscriptions is a great solution led sell. An comfortable sitting area and a small play area for occupying children makes it more welcoming for mum’s. One really key thing is making sure you make it pushchair accessible. So many shops go for filling every available retail space and Mum’s can’t move around with a pushchair and get frustrated and leave either buying very little or nothing at all.

Again social media is vitally important for networking with customers, increasing sales and engaging so get that Facebook page set up asap.

How does Angel ‘Solution’ Sell to you?

I started Angel Wholesale to serve the smaller independent retailer and the new start up company by offering very small pack sizes and no minimum order. We have over the years realised that we also need to offer a broader range of products so that our customers can keep refreshing their offering without having to commit to big quantities. Our customers can trial a range a products and then stock the ones that sell well in more depth. We also offer lots of advice and guidance to small businesses and have helped many small businesses to succeed. We want our customers to be successful longterm . We also give our customers lots of ways to engage with us so they can get in touch easily and find out about our products and services in a way that is convenient to them. Many of our customers are busy working Mum’s just like me and many of our staff so we understand the pressures of being a working parent.

Passive retailing does not work long term and successful businesses need to engage with their customers, understand what they are looking for and be creative by offering them product solutions and shopping experiences. Remember too that less is sometime more – a well laid out shop with space for customers to browse, sit down, a children’s play area, product demo or creative area rather than over filling the retail space will be more welcoming and your customers will stay engaged longer. The same is true of websites – they must be clearly laid out and not just be selling products and truly engage your customers.

Keep communicating with your customers – find out what they want you to stock, get to know them and engage with them in as many ways as possible!

Angel Wholesale Reviews

Take a look at our genuine customer reviews about Angel Wholesale!

Thank you to all our customers for your appreciation!

“Fantastic gift bags / customer service ”

Written on: 06/04/2017 by Debs1876 (1 review written)

This is the first order I have placed after finding this company on line.

I can’t praise them enough. Communication has been excellent, goods are top quality lovely and such a good price.

I have even used two tonight as I could not wait to try them. I would highly recommend to all.

Well done on the great customer service

“Just brilliant”

Written on: 06/04/2017 by HealingBearProject (1 review written)

The Healing Bear Project is a small charitable organisation that provides bears to children in hospital who are in distress.

We researched several companies to find bears that were suitable for all ages and could be purchased within our meagre budget.

While many companies come back with competitive costs Angel Wholesale were the only company that took the time to understand our requirements and back up their quotes with test certificates.

Since our conception in July 2015 we have donated over 400 bears to children’s units, each one supplied by Angel Wholesale.

Each time we place new orders the staff are very helpful and investigate the most cost effective way of supplying our order.

We would certainly recommend Angel Wholesale to any other organisation that is looking for quality products at competitive prices, backed up by excellent customer service.

“Amazing customer service”

Written on: 24/03/2017 by Humphriessd300 (1 review written)

I am a new customer and I’ve had a great experience dealing with a very helpful team. They are very friendly and go the extra mile to help you. Also amazing prices from this company I look forward to making these as my only wholesale company I use from now on. I’ve spoken to two lady’s recently bout my products and they were both very helpful. I would recommend angel whole sale to anybody.

“Brilliant service and quality”

Written on: 20/03/2017 by AnnikaLittle119 (1 review written)

The Angel Wholesale team supported us on a large scale project by providing 1,000 bears of varying size and style. The service was great and the team went above and beyond for us. We were also really impressed with the quality of the products that they provided us with and how flexible they were with regards to delivery.

“Fantastic service and products.”

Written on: 07/03/2017 by Taniahf (1 review written)

Very pleased with this company. Customer service were very helpful in keeping me informed of when my items would be delivered. Products are amazing as well. Thank you for your help and quick delivery. Would certainly recommend this company 😀

“Great products”

Written on: 07/03/2017 by LeannaMaynard18 (1 review written)

I placed my first order for my new business just over a week ago and it came within 5 days (even with the weekend in between). I am really pleased with the quality of the items. The only downside is that quite a lot of my order was out of stock but due in within a week so isn’t so bad. They shipped what was in stock and it came really quickly. Keep up the good work! 🙂

“Friendly Helpful efficient service ”

Written on: 06/03/2017 by heleng868 (1 review written)

I would recommend Angel Wholesale 100% they are always very helpful & friendly and ideal for a small business as you can order small quantities. They always get back to you if you contact them needing help & They keep you up to date with stock queries. Occasionally items that have shown in stock are not but the email updates are frequent and you are never left in the dark about what is happening you have options of having what is available delivered and the rest in a separate delivery or added to your next order. I have been ordering from them for three years and cant praise the staff enough.

“Excellent service and support”

Written on: 13/02/2017 by 1991Miles (1 review written)

I am a new business just starting out and my very first supplier order was recently placed with Angel. The website is fantastic and so easy to understand. Once I purchased my items a supply issue arose with one product, it was quickly resolved by the customer service team with great ease. Being that my order was under £100 I didn’t expect the fast and customer focused service I received. Now my items are on their way with a fully tracked service with yet another confirmation email from the customer service team. Absolutely fab, hassle and worry free service with angel. I already have a list of items I will be ordering this week.

“Delighted with my order”

Written on: 10/02/2017 by Carib201 (1 review written)

I recently ordered a number of different products from angel wholesale and I found it to be a very pleasant experience. Their prices are excellent as is the customer service. If my new business takes off I will certainly be doing a lot more business with them.
Thanks angel wholesale

“Fantastic customer service ”

Written on: 26/01/2017 by MadameBonBon (1 review written)

I am now to the retail/wholesale world and looking for items I need in my work is a nightmare. Gift bags is the biggest one of all. But at Angel wholesale I have found everything that I wished for and more that I hadn’t thought about. This was due to their customer service when I phone they not only helped me with all my questions but also helped me look for the products I needed. So big thumbs up they are friendly and go beyond the call of duty. I also found their prices exceptionally reasonable for all their products. After care is just as important to Angle wholesale, although I had phone and explained that some of my order was preorder items and that I didn’t mind waiting for all the stock to be posted altogether as it’s a international order, they still sent me an email pointing out all the options I had for deliver, ensuring that my order or part of my order wasn’t urgent. So big thumbs up to them and their team how lovely of you all. Will use you again no hesitation. Highly recommended.

“Excellent service”

Written on: 25/12/2016

I cannot rate these services too highly, I have had nothing but great service and great products all year… Read Full Review

“Great Communication”

Written on: 23/12/2016 by Jan409 (1 review written)

We use Angel Wholesale on a regular basis and have their communication to be great.
Stock levels are accurate online and always a phone call if something i have ordered is not in stock.
Would always recommend Angel

“Great Service”

Written on: 17/12/2016 by Devanc303 (1 review written)

Great customer service, updating me with the status of my order regularly together with a solution incase product cannot be supplied also Wide range of products to help promote your business.

Well done Angel Wholesale Team.

“Wonderful Organic Bodysuits”

Written on: 16/12/2016 by MyPipsqueak (1 review written)

I am really pleased with the organic bodysuits that I ordered and received. Top quality and beautifully made. They took a little longer to arrive than expected but Angel Wholesale kept me informed every step of the way through emails and a phone call. I will definitely order again.

“Great customer service”

Written on: 10/12/2016 by Lollz (1 review written)

While working on a project with transition year students doing christmas eve boxes and christmas boxes for the homeless I stumbled on this gold mine just sorry I didn’t find it earlier. It was by far the best service I had received during the entire process and would highly recommend to anyone.I for one will be using again on future projects.I received prompt updates on my order great work guys.looking forward to receiving my package and will give a further review.

“Fantastic, can’t say more!!”

Written on: 09/12/2016 by qiHiggins5 (1 review written)

Great range of products, always friendly staff. Good prices, quick to let us know of special offers/clearance. Never had a problem with quality. If at all tiny quibble would be website plays up for me when I’m trying to find products, otherwise can fault company or its products/services and for me as a very new small business that means a lot xx

“Angel saved Christmas, quick and easy ”

Written on: 07/12/2016 by GlampingJohn (1 review written)

We run a catering business in France and this year has been very busy. Orders for Christmas shot up and we need supplies quickly. Angel made useful suggestions and help us put our order together and save us money. The staff take a genuine interest in our business and made us feel special. Being an international delivery was not a problem and our order arrived in good time. We have used Angel for the last few years and they have never let us down, even on small orders. Angel really has saved our Christmas. We wish all the staff a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and we look forward to doing more business with Angel in 2017.

“Always very helpful”

Written on: 05/12/2016

I’ve been a customer of Angel Wholesale for over 4 years now and as my business has grown they have given me lots of support and will happily try to source new products when there’s an item I need but can’t find already in their extensive range. They assigned a member of staff to handle my account and she is such a star! She replies to my calls and emails quickly and keeps me fully updated on my order. Yes sometimes items go out of stock for long periods (most recently due to brexit) but this is out of their control and they go out of their way to source an alternative for me and get my order to me as quickly as possible, even splitting the order and sending out items as they arrive. They are always polite and friendly and their prices are very competitive. They are ideal for small businesses too as you don’t have to order huge volumes to get a good discount. I have enjoyed working with them and look forward to working with them for many years to come.

“Amazing”

Written on: 19/10/2016 by 340Dwyer (1 review written)

Amazing service and great customer service thank you I email them when would my order be dispatched cause I hadn’t heard yet and they emailed me back straight away good quality in stuff

Starting a Nappy Cake Business

As one of the leading wholesale suppliers to the Nappy Cake market we have gleaned lots of information on what makes some Nappy Cake businesses more successful than others and how you can be successful.

Why set up a Nappy Cake Business?

  • Start up costs are low
  • It can be done from home
  • Its a rewarding occupation
  • It can be fitted in around children or another part time job

You need to have a creative streak and lots of patience to make nappy cakes as the finished products need to visually appealing and original . You can’t copy another businesses designs – they have to be unique to you. You can use the same basic ‘ingredients’ ie blankets, soft toys etc but its the arrangement and finishing touches that make it your own signature style. Its a good idea to practice your technique and experiment lots before you start selling anything. Many people start off making them as gifts for friends and family and it grows from there. There are lots of online tutorials on Youtube as well as some we have done and practice is key.  Take a look at our tutorials here:

How to Make Nappy Cakes

You also need a dedicated area in the home that is clean, smoke free, dry and away from pets and food smells – it does not have to be a large space but you need to have good storage and everything easily to hand.

Research is very important before you start to invest in your business venture.

You need to ask yourself:

Who am I selling to?

This is an important question as this helps determine where you need to market your products. Nappy Cakes can be bought by all ages – friends, neighbours, work colleagues & relatives so word of mouth is a great way to start. They are usually bought as a gift for a new mother or mum to be as a Baby Shower gift.

What is your product range going to be?

If you limit yourself to just nappy cakes you may be missing out on other opportunities to sell other products. For example think about the other gifts such as Mum to be Hampers, new Dad gifts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. If you think about the stages of a baby’s development there are others things the new parent will need over the next 12 months that you could sell on afterwards such as development toys, baby accessories etc. Baby Shower packages, wedding shower cakes & birthday hampers are other options. Making Nappy cakes are very time consuming so it is good to have other products to sell that you don’t have to make yourself that can bring in additional revenue so you are not reliant on just one product. Unless you have someone else to make nappy cakes with you it makes it difficult to scale so its important to have other things to sell.

I often see businesses using inferior products, own brand supermarket items and poor quality ingredients to keep the cost of the cake down. You need to take a step back and think how you would feel receiving one of your products as a gift. Would you use the items yourself, would you be happy with the quality – if not then you need to change it. As a gift people like to receive something original, good quality and with a little touch of luxury that the recipient would not normally buy for themselves. It is better to keep the design simple & using higher quality products than using lots of cheap, inferior products and over embellishing with items the new Mum has no use for.

It is always worth offering a natural organic option in your product range as well as many parents are really concerned about allergies especially if eczema and asthma runs in their family.

I received a baby clothing bouquet  many years ago from my husbands HR dept and the when I unravelled the items the clothing was over stretched and poor quality and my baby never wore any of it but more importantly I did not recommend the company who made it to anyone else nor did I ever buy from them. You want repeat business so quality is so important.

How can I sell/advertise my products ?

If you have Facebook page you can start informally by setting up a business page and asking friends and family to share and once you are more established you can start to advertise. Are you near any large companies that have a high proportion of female employees or friends that work at companies like this as this can be a great source of business. Once established, indoor markets or renting space in a shop can be another great way to sell but you generally need a broad range of products to make this viable. Setting up a website is important as your business grows so you can direct your customers to it. If your plan is just having a website it needs lots of investment in advertising so you need to understand how much it will cost to drive traffic to it.

Other options to sell are www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy, Amazon & Ebay. These all have fees associated with them but you get access to their enormous customer base and branding so its worth trialling.

Invest in a a good camera and learn to use photo editing software if you are going to sell online. Take a look at a business you admire and see how they present their products. The quality of your images is vital to your success. If you can’t do it well yourself then see if you can find a friend or family member to help that can do it more professionally – you will be surprised how willing people are to help.

Your descriptions need to be clear and your terms of business must be clearly displayed or provided so that customers understand your cancellation, returns & payment terms. Always as a minimum take a non refundable deposit that will cover your costs especially for custom items.

To help grow your business make sure you have a business card or compliment slip included with the gift and why not add a discount voucher – one for the recipient and one for the person that is gifting it to encourage repeat business.

How do I cost my products?

This is probably the most important element of your new business and one of the reasons many businesses fail to make money. You need to cost every element of your ‘creation’ not just the raw materials. You need to include your time, petrol, postage,advertising, insurance and the little elements like glues, packaging and ribbons. The national minimum wage is £7.50 per hour and you should be paying yourself at least this and this includes your time ordering /sourcing products etc so be realistic. You need to keep records of all your purchases and sundries to keep track of costs.

There will always be people selling an inferior product cheaper and those that do not cost their products realistically do not last long so don’t get hung up on what other people are charging and don’t try to compete at the lowest price. The most important element to your business is to be unique, do not copy but offer something others are not whether it be unique designs, better customer service, follow up marketing and best of all a combination of all of this!

Try to offer a set range of products so that you have repeatable designs where you know the exact cost. If you offer customisation you must price it accordingly. One of the most common reasons I see for Nappy Cakes businesses failing is due to offering too many customisable options or in some cases every nappy cake is bespoke which is almost impossible to cost and to estimate your time.

What is my break even point?

This is important – this means what is the lowest price that I need to sell the product for to recover all my costs. You need to know this to set your prices at the right level to make money.

How much do I need to earn?

This is also a very important as you need to be realistic as to how much you want to earn from the business, your initial investment needed and how long it will take to start earning an income from it.

Other considerations:

If you are selling products to the general public you will need Public Liability Insurance to protect you in the event that some thing goes wrong. There are lots of companies that offer this and a quick check on a comparison website will help you choose or you can call a specialist broker for advice.

You will need to check with HMRC regarding tax and your business and whether you need to register. Citizens Advice & Trading Standards are also very helpful regarding any regulations regarding the product range you are selling. There are strict safety standards in place for baby products so if you physically alter a baby product in anyway it may invalidate the safety certification it has – for example decorating a soother, adding ribbons or embellishments to baby products or adding embroidery etc – you may have to get it re-certified. A simple check with Trading Standards will ensure you are covered.

Be careful not to infringe copyright laws. Do not use brand names to advertise a product you have put together ie ‘Famous Brand X’ Nappy Cake, do not use other businesses images/products to advertise or promote your products unless you have permission and do not copy other peoples designs. It is illegal and could land you in hot water.

If you are adding food products to your nappy cakes or gifts you need check with trading standards regarding regulations for labelling and packaging and for alcohol you will need a licence.

Packaging is an important consideration as you will need to make sure that your items arrive clean, dry and in one piece to the final recipient so sending one of your products to yourself is a great way to test it plus try a few delivery companies – the cheapest is not always the best!

Best of all you must enjoy what you do as this reflects on your business and success. Don’t give up at the first hurdle – keep experimenting until you find something that works for you! If you ever need advice please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will try and help or point you in the right direction.

Your success is our success!

If you want to get started we offer a low cost way to practice your designs with our Nappy Cake Starter Kits. They have everything you need to make a nappy cake apart from adhesives and nappies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan your products for 2017 with our quick guide

To maximise your sales take a look at our quick guide to when to stock up for key events.

Valentines – February 14th – Buy products NOW
Mother’s Day – March 26th – Buy Products NOW
Easter – 18th April – Buy products February onwards. Craft makes start advertising and planning now
Confirmation – late Spring
Father’s Day – 18th June – Start planning ranges from March and buy stock from April
Graduation – Summer and Autumn
Teacher Gifts – buy from April – they also sell at Christmas too so don’t worry if you have stock left over
Halloween – from September
Christmas – buy stock from July.

Peak season for weddings & christenings is late Spring & Summer but offering gift lines & venue decoration etc all year is a good option. Baby Showers are all year round also.

Free Business Start Up Guide

portait of small business owner: proud woman opening her baby store

If you are just starting out in business or looking for ideas to refresh your current business take a look at our Business Start Up Guide. First written by me over 10 years ago and and kept updated to keep up with current trends it has proved an invaluable guide to many of our successful Angel customers.

 

Click here to get your FREE copy!

Pets Appeal!

Pets Appeal!

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Yes they really do! Did you know that people spend more on their pets than they do on children? With more and more people delaying having children or not at all this market is booming. Adding a range of pet themed gift products or bespoke pet hampers is a great way to extend your product offering. New puppy/kitten hampers, pet gift hampers or personalised pet blankets are some ideas but also adding animal themed mugs, photo frames and other gifts is a great way to appeal to this market.Some people even have puppy showers now to welcome the new arrival and our paw print cupcake stand is perfect for this! You could also consider adding home baked dog treats to your product offering.

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The biggest increase we have seen is the market for pet clothing and now Angel stock a range of themed outfits that are proving very popular!

This is an enormous market and one to consider as an add on to your business.

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SHOP Pets Now!

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