When you get the formula and products just right, a mail order catalogue can generate some excellent profits, so it is well worth taking the time to get your start-up catalogue launch fully tuned up and ready to go.
There are a number of components that are all important in their own right but when put together, they give you the best chance of success. From sorting out the credit card machine rental to the design and print aspects of your catalogue, here are some of the things you need to organise.
Deciding what to sell
If you are launching a mail order business from scratch, it is definitely advisable to work exactly what you want to sell and your reasons for doing so.
If you are particularly passionate about a certain sport like golf for instance or have a hobby that you are knowledgeable about, you might want to consider selling products that are related to these interests.
Knowing about the products you are selling and who they are likely to appeal to and why, will help you to put together a catalogue that you would be interested in and therefore like-minded enthusiasts will feel the same way.
Check the numbers
You will have to be realistic about the size of the marketplace you are hoping to break into. The merchandise you want to sell needs to offer you broad scope for expanding and finding customers.
A lot of successful mail order catalogue businesses tend to develop a reputation by exploiting a niche market, so don’t be afraid to specialise if you are confident there is an un-tapped demand. That is normally better than selling too broad a range of products which makes it hard for customers to define exactly what you are selling.
It’s a balancing act getting the right products but there are tools available to help you research keywords and find out what potential customers are searching for, so that you can see what would be popular items in your catalogue.
Consider drop shipping
Having decided what you want to sell through your mail order catalogue, the big dilemma for many start-ups is to work out how they are going to finance their stock and find the shelf space to store it.
Drop shipping is the cost-effective way to launch a mail order business, as you handle the business of generating the orders from your customers and then use a reliable drop shipper who will ship the product from their warehouse straight out to your customer.
Develop a relationship with the drop shipper of your choice and you can soon work out the price you need to charge in order to cover the cost of using this service so that you can earn a profit and keep your overheads to a minimum.
Don’t skimp on the printing
A professionally printed catalogue creates the right impression and it has to, as it is your shop window and how customers will perceive your business.
Full-colour catalogues are considered to be the most effective and if you invest the time and money in getting the layout and copy right, it should pay dividends when the orders start coming through.
If you follow some of these tried and tested formulas for launching a mail order business but add your own unique slant to what you are selling, you will give yourself a good chance of generating good profits.
Georgia Perry is an online reseller. She loves to write about her business experiences online. Her articles can be found on many startup and ecommerce sites.