While beginning a small business can be incredibly rewarding, it also necessitates a large amount…
We need to identify the types of products we are willing to carry. It is in this process we may begin to establish connections with different suppliers of such products. Below are two basic group of items that are fast and more or less easy to sell.
FMCG – Fast Moving Consumer Goods are products that are sold quickly and at relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable goods such as soft drinks, toiletries, over-the-counter drugs, processed foods and many other consumables.
FMCE – Fast-moving Consumer Electronics are typically low-priced generic or easily substitutable consumer electronics, including mobile phones, MP3 players, game players, earphones, headphones, OTG cables, and digital disposable cameras.
We are not limited to the two classifications, we may also go into garments, furniture, and home furnishings, etc..
The first step, that I can see after the identification of items we want to be offering is researching possible suppliers.
Considerations for suppliers
- Years in business
- Terms they can offer
- Volume or Quantity commitment
- Array of product offering
We need to create a database from which we may add or delete suppliers. For easy searching, they should be indexed by product classification.
- Supplier ID
- Supplier Product Classification
- Supplier Name
- Supplier Address 1 and Address 2
- Supplier City/Municipality
- Supplier Region
- Supplier Country
- Supplier Telephone
- Supplier Fax
- Supplier Email
- Supplier Terms
- Supplier Rating (internal rating)
Important and Key product database tables needed for smooth search and organization
Product Classification Table
- Product Classification ID
- Product Classification Name
- Product Classification Description
- Product Classification ID (cross-referenced with Product Classification Table)
- Product Name
- Product Description
- Product Packaging (ex. packed in 4’s)
- Product Bar Code (from packaging, this already serves as the Product ID)
- Product Photo
- Supplier ID (cross-referenced with Supplier Table)
After we have our initial list of suppliers and have created the product categories and more or less have our base products, the next thing to do is to establish the system for the following:
- Site/App concept – in conjunction with branding, how do we package the site? full-blown e-commerce? gifting site? soft-sell? target market? areas of coverage? What is our unique selling point?
- Branding – Name brand, how we call ourselves, culture and all the boring paperwork stuff for developing and building the project from the ground up.
- Business Aspect – purchasing/merchandising, pricing policies, return policies, refund policies, IP and anti-piracy, finance, marketing budget, etc.
- Transactional and Technical – creation of tech team of shopping cart system
- Order Fulfillment – creation and determination of fulfilling orders. Stocking, Shipping, Recording, etc.
* Note: suppliers also include companies offering services that we need like parcel and deliveries, banking and payment facilities, printers of our packaging, etc.
4. Key Responsibility Areas (KRA)
We need to distribute the work so work gets done faster. We need to establish KRA’s so that we know the “go to person” when we need something in a particular aspect of the business.
- Site/App concept – Owners and Corporate
- Branding – Corporate
- Business Aspect – Owners and Corporate
- Transactional and Technical -Tech Team
- Order Fulfillment – Logistics Team
This very short guide is not very definitive and you may add or delete on you own, but it should already get you started.