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How to Get Inventory For A New Holistic Business

Let's talk about how to get inventory for your new business. Years ago I used to run a metaphysical web store online. It was really fun! It was such a pleasure to meet people from around the world and to send out magical items. My original vision was very specific to magical candles, but I knew early on that I wanted to expand my inventory for more balance. Right away I ran into a block--other than a vague notion about wholesaling, I didn't know where to find wholesalers for metaphysical products! Once I did find them, there were so many items to choose from, I wasn't sure how to create a winning inventory profile. So let's get into it!




WHERE TO FIND METAPHYSICAL WHOLESALERS


Back when I started, the internet was still pretty new, but the first thing I did to find wholesalers was that I looked online for "wholesale metaphysical supplies" and "new age gifts." I began my wholesale journey with Azure Green and Kheops, and a few very small wholesalers that have gorgeous things I couldn't find elsewhere. It was fantastic. Today there are dozens of wholesalers that come up in a simple search because most businesses have learned the value of an online presence. 20 years ago--not so much.


Start by doing an online search. Open a document and copy/paste the most interesting wholesale businesses and their links into this document. You may want to refer to this several times as you do research, so it helps.


Also go to your local metaphysical shops, book stores, and gift stores. Look at the products you love, and if there are any that you could imagine carrying, notice their tags. You'll want to look that business up directly. If there's a phone number, call and speak to a real person.


This kind of leg work really pays off. In the past I have connected with magical local jewelers and gifted artisans who didn't have a web presence, and didn't have the interest in business to formulate a wholesale plan, but who were perfectly happy to work with me for regular inventory. These are the kinds of small detective actions that make amazing relationships and magical retail shops.



Look for small artisans on Etsy, at local craft fairs of other cities, and in specialty online forums. For example, I found a supplier for beautiful leather bound magical grimoires by looking up the local creative book binders branch in the nearest city.


Add everything you find to your master document so you can reference it and keep track. You may be tempted to create relationships with all of these places but when you're beginning, less is truly more. You'll need to meditate on what you envision your store looking like.


When I originally began, I sourced candles, but I also made my own herbal blends, candles, etc. I plugged my purchase dates into my planner, making sure I accounted for shipping times. That way I could run inventory checks regularly to be sure that I wasn't running low when placing an order.


All of my inventory was connected online, so all I had to do was run a report to see what was in stock. If you are reading this and your inventory isn't online, I humbly beg you to take real time out fo your busy schedule to set it up. You will save yourself hundreds of man hours by figuring out this system now, before you get any larger. You will still need to do physical inventories, but not nearly as often or as intensively.


I would also look weekly at my oils, herbs, and waxes in my apothecary stash, used to for my own proprietary crafting.


HOW TO DECIDE ON INVENTORY


There are several points to consider when choosing inventory for a new holistic business:


1. PRODUCT DEMAND IN YOUR SPECIFIC COMMUNITY


Do people want it? Is it hard to find or does everyone carry it? Are there reasons you should carry it even if it's pretty easy?


For example when I started my store, I knew there was a need for more figure candles from a smaller personable shop in the online space.


When looking at the trends in the industry to try to anticipate what customers will be looking for, look at your local market. If there's a drop in economy, or a rise in housing sales, it makes sense to focus on the kinds of products that will support people through their personal experiences around that. For example, when the economy dipped, my most popular candles were prosperity, house blessings, cleansing, and protection candles. If there are seasonal forest fires and you're an herbal shop, perhaps carrying a high quality tea for lungs would be wise.


Choose products that will appeal to your target audience, but that also have the look, feel, and vibe of your business.


If you are creating products, create for specific favorite clients in mind. What would it be nearly impossible for them to say no to? What do they desire?


2. COST OF POTENTIAL WHOLESALE PRODUCTS


Consider the price point of the products, and what that will look like after you mark up the prices from wholesale. Make sure you can make a profit on the items you are selling. Is your purchase price a true wholesale? When you factor in shipping for your products, how quickly do you have to sell them to start making a profit?


How many units would you have to sell to make it worth it? Is there a mitigating reason why you should still carry the product even if there isn't a cost benefit?


For example, in my store there were a few items I carried that were quite expensive but they created a look a quality to my web store and pop-up shops that I felt was essential. They took longer to sell, but I planned for that. At the same time, I also made and sold small spell kits that were only $5 each. I made pennies off of these kits, but were the gateway for customers to feel my energy and order ore expensive customized products and healing services, so it was worth it.


As you create your inventory overall, you'll want to work within a small budget, and you will discover over time how much to stock. You may want between 3-10 of each item you choose, so your costs will add up quickly. Make real time and space to run your numbers so that you stay within budget while creating conscious and beautiful profile of goods. You don't need a lot of inventory to be successful!



3. VISUAL APPEAL OF YOUR PRODUCTS AND STORE


Can you stock it? Is there space to keep multiples on hand? Will it visually work with the aesthetic and energy of your brand, your space, and your biz?


If you are creating an online store, you will still want to be able to photograph it in a way that speaks to your brand aesthetic. There is so much support online nowadays for learning about these types of things. You can really craft a beautiful store with your products as a key part of that.


Consider the space you have available to store inventory. Don't overstock your space, but make sure you have enough product on hand to meet customer demands.


4. LOVE YOUR HOLISTIC PRODUCTS


Look for products that align with the values and mission of your business. This will help you attract customers who are interested in your holistic approach. Do you love it? Would you use it if you had that need? Is there a better option? Can you stand behind the product?


If you are creating your own products, even more so.


5. CHECK THE WHOLESALER RELATIONSHIP


Consider the supplier for the products you are considering carrying. Look for reliable, reputable suppliers that offer high-quality products. Do a little research. Read their "About" page. Talk to someone live.


When I first started my business I made a list of 25 potential wholesalers. However as I read through wholesale terms, I realized some of them required too large of a minimum for my budget, so I saved those wholesalers for later as my business grew.


In general, I say no to terms that don't match the flow for how I want to do business. Some wholesalers required more frequent purchases than I was comfortable with. Others required annual minimums. I learned to say no to anything that wasn't a total and complete "Heck YEAH."


As I developed more financial flow, I expanded some lines with existing wholesalers, and added some wholesalers. Later, when I chose to pare down offerings to focus on my own handmade products and vintage metaphysical find, I only kept a few wholesalers with whom I had a flexible, positive relationship.


Don't be afraid to approach businesses you wish were wholesale. They might be willing to strike a deal with you. Many people are willing to do business who don't have fancy websites. Working with micro wholesalers is always a choice, and they may become your favorite resources. You never know, if you scroll into pages 7-9 on web search you just mind find some really sweet lesser known wholesalers who don't do well with SEO/visibility but have wonderful products to offer.


Create good and respectful relationships with your wholesalers. Say please and thank you. 😊 It's better to have 1 or 2 good working relationships versus 10 anonymous ones. Retail stores go through seasons, and when you have a good working relationship with vendors, they will help you fill back order crunches, or extend credit if you need it. You in turn will purchase a lot of product from them.



MORE INVENTORY REMINDERS


I know we mentioned this earlier but just another reminder: don't forget to tag your inventory in a system, so you can easily track when you are low, or out, to reduce confusion.


Review inventory or run reports monthly to see what's trending.


Over time you can compare this info across the years to see what you need more of and when it will become important. This is so helpful!


Processing the real facts on paper rather than in your head will help you ground your numbers in reality, resulting in higher yields. It also makes it easier for you to hand off inventory to others, and still see at a glance what is happening in your business.



For large businesses, this may happen weekly, or even daily. But for most small and starting retailers or healers with a sideline retail of 5 or more products, once a month is the average you can probably stick by.


If you are doing seasonal popups or fairs, run those reports after each event, and compare to the last event.


ARE YOU READY TO GO GET SOME INVENTORY?


I hope some of my thoughts have been helpful in your new journey. I really love connecting with my readers so please don't hesitate to send me a message and let me know what you've been discovering in your inventory process. If you need support, let me know that too. Otherwise, just drop a line and share your journey with me at my contact page.


❤️ Dailey Little

 

DAILEY LITTLE is a highly skilled life & business coach who specializes in helping new and established businesses reach their full potential. With a unique blend of energy healing and marketing strategy, she guides her clients through the foundational phases of business for financial stability and growth. She is particularly passionate about working with creatives and healers, and is dedicated to helping them clarify their dreams and bring them to fruition.


Dailey provides clients with the tools and strategies they need to achieve success in their business and personal endeavors. Her ability to help business owners work through their limiting beliefs and negative patterns, in addition to her creative approach to market strategy, helps business owners become empowered. To help her clients achieve this goal, Dailey has created a magical 90 day program called "Healers in Business" which helps individuals to align their healing practice with business success. If you're interested in learning more about Dailey's work, or connecting with other like-minded individuals, join her active Facebook group today!

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