Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Creation, Development of a successful small business initiative – PART 2

Having decided to seriously consider the Nottingham Lace giftware market, the next phase is quite vital

Market research

The products to be manufactured and offered to the public must meet certain criteria. Criteria which can only be established by visiting, looking, recording, taking photos and discussions with sales people within local. potential sales / tourist centres and outlets - This is phase is VITAL

All the information obtained ( names, addresses, emails, images, footfall, competitive product ranges, sales prices  etc etc ) must be carefully logged together with the mileage to/ from the outlet with grid and other cross references for quick access and future route planning (sales, merchandising, delivery and route scheduling.

Having created a discovery file , it is now possible the begin thinking about a product range which accommodates and are within selected acceptable "sales price points" incl VAT  ie £3.99, £5.99, £7.99, £9.99, £14.99, £20.99 re bearing that these are sales prices the sales outlets will want/ need to sell at. We must also take into account/into consideration that an Distribution/Sales outlet will expect to offer the goods to the consumer at 2x the price they have to pay..  ..

Do I hear you say ?   Wow! That throws a spanner into the works , particularly when considering the manufacturing costs plus a margin for yourself . This is exactly our initial thoughts . However NOT to be dismayed,  more often than not there is an acceptable solution. This is where clever design, astute buying, flexible manufacturing and a unique merchandising technique comes into the equation  - providing a WIN/WIN situation for everyone in the chain

Now we had conducted our market research , we wre much better equipped to begin the next phase - creating our own individual collection Nottingham Lace gift products, targeted towards the tourist sector.

We had established the price points our product sales prices should meet, which in turn dictated and controlled product design, manufacturing cost, distribution AND merchandising involvement/cost, Sales margins etc.
However, inevitably adjustments and small comprises will always be necessary during the overall process.

A major factor in the project was manufacturing. This is one, if not THE most critical elements in the overall project. Here is where our background and family genealogy came into play. Our ancestors in the mid 1800's were "Stockingers"  and "Bagmen" in Burton Joyce and surrounding villages, this involved "everyday" individuals working in and from home, on their own or rented machines, producing whole or part of products, in and for the local lace/textile industry (designated as "Home" Workers). This is the procedure which we successfully revised and re- established in BJ & the surrounding area.

The next phase in the project will be to locate a local supply of relatively LOW quantities of VARIOUS patterns, sizes and styles of genuine Nottingham Lace materials at a VIABLE COST .  Possible, yet not an easy attained achievement . However we will keep this particular phase of the project to ourselves at this point.

So once having established production and sales merchandising costs - the availability of material patterns/sizes and manufacturing capability  - we began to investigate and create product designs within the perimeters of the actual costs limitations and the ultimate requirement of the selected Sales Price points at the Distributors ( noting our material costs/manufacturing cost/ and own profit margin),

Here are a few of the products we successfully included within our portfolio

Keep an eye out ;-) for

The Creation, Development of a successful small business initiative – PART 3 


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