common mistakes that potential retail suppliers

Setting Yourself Up for Success: Key Mistakes to Avoid for Potential Retail Vendors

We get to talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, inventors, and small suppliers. While most of them have good intentions, there are mistakes made before they become our clients. Here is our top 10 list of common mistakes that potential retail suppliers make:

  1. Getting advice from people who have little or no experience in guiding entrepreneurs into retail

“There is a sucker born every minute” was a phrase coined by the famous P.T. Barnum of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. There are many people on the internet more concerned about getting your money than actually helping you sell your products to retailers.

  1. Not having the knowledge or experience in one or more areas of product development

While you may not be the person who invented the product, you better know all the facts and details of your product (concept, competitive info, pricing, etc…) before you present it to a retail buyer.

  1. Not following the proper steps of selling to retailers

There are no shortcuts when it comes to selling to retailers. From determining what costs to offer to a retailer to completing the vendor packet in its entirety, not following the proper steps of selling to retailers will result in a quick exit from the retailer’s office.

  1. Spending lots of money on manufacturing hundreds of pieces of their product before a deal with a retailer has been made

While it’s important to have samples available for retail buyers to review, it is foolish to bring in containers of product before a deal with a buyer has been made. Many buyers may want to change or tweak the product or packaging before an order gets placed.

  1. Not completing a business plan or marketing plan

This is a common mistake amongst many small suppliers. Not having a solid well thought out business or marketing plan is sure-fire recipe for disaster.

  1. Thinking it’s easy to sell products to retailers

Selling to retailers is one of the toughest jobs out there. There have been recorded instances where suppliers have gone bankrupt due to underestimating the time, effort, and money needed to sell to and work with a retailer. With this in mind, it is important to understand how best to manage any debts to prevent financial problems from arising. You can learn more about the risks associated with debts and bankruptcy here:

  1. Not doing marketing research to validate their product

Having your neighbor or family member like your product is not proper marketing research. Spend the money with a legitimate marketing research company to make sure there is a need for your product.

  1. Not having a lawyer perform a patent search on their product

Every small supplier thinks that their product is “unique”. Do a patent search to make sure your product does not violate any patents or trademarks.

  1. Not realizing that it takes many months to even years to develop and market their products

While there have been stories where some suppliers got lucky being at the right place or the right time, it takes months, even years to get products developed and sold into the right markets.

  1. Trying to save money by doing everything themselves

While there are tasks that a small supplier can do themselves, there are tasks that they shouldn’t do alone (i.e. packaging design, quality control, reviewing retailer’s contracts, etc….). Spend the money to get expert advice so it does not cost you more down the road.

To learn more about how to avoid these common 10 mistakes, visit


The only question is: How high do you want to soar?

Thank you for your interest in The LaunchPad Agency.

So we can direct you to the right person, which services are you interested in?
Please select one of the following:

We appreciate your business!