Thinking of getting into the wholesale marketplace? Here are a few of the positives for artists who want to wholesale:
Your schedule becomes less hectic. Tired of running out the door every week to yet another retail show? When you consider the studio hours lost when traveling, and the time you aren’t spending with your family while you are at fairs, you might find that doing at least some wholesaling in your business makes it possible to stay home more often. There is a lot to be said for having your life back under control if you are heading toward burn out on the road.
Your work is sold before you make it. Wholesaling is efficient because you are able to schedule your production calendar to make work that is already spoken for, not on “speculation.” In many cases, you charge the wholesale customer’s credit card before the package is shipped, which means you don’t have to worry about a lot of collection problems either.
It helps even out your cash flow. It’s always a good idea to consider multiple streams of income that provide cash flow throughout the year. Oftentimes, you can create and ship wholesale orders when the retail season is at a low point. If you have a family to support, this is especially helpful and keeps your financial planning on a more even keel.
Repeat business makes wholesale sustainable. As you build an account base of regular wholesale customers, your business grows. And – because repeat orders are much easier to obtain than opening orders, you don’t have to work so hard to make sales. This helps you stay in business and make it through any tough spots when bad weather or other factors make retailing less profitable.
Wholesaling dovetails beautifully with other ways of selling. When wholesaling, you can keep a production schedule and choose how much you will produce during any particular month for your accounts. Plan additional studio time to build inventory for retail sales, and make commission work, etc. that provides the other income streams you have. You can wholesale (or not wholesale) any collections or designs that you choose. You have control, which makes it possible to plan all the ways you sell to work together.
You can have an exit strategy. Your stable of wholesale accounts is one of the biggest assets of your small business. That means when you are ready to retire, or decide to sell your business, you have an account base that is quite valuable. Another artist may be very interested in purchasing your business, taking over the production of your line and continuing to sell to those already buying accounts you have acquired.