Always lots of Decisions....
So i'm going to say it first we've been terrible at trying to update the blogs fortnightly. This has been down to two factors 1) Baby Beautiful Co. has been wonderfully busy during November 2) Our newborn baby (well kind of - he's 9 weeks!) has started hitting the 45min disturbed sleep cycle point. That said it's Sunday and i'm going to give you an update on some things that I feel could help a new business starting up....I will keep it to 2 !
This sounds really simple but i assure you it really isn't or hasn't been for us. There are so many beautiful pieces of baby clothing out there so the decision between retailing existing products vs designing and manufacturing our own has (and still is!) a hard decision. You are faced with the desire to create great quality baby clothing, you really want unique and amazingly cute designs, you ideally want it produced in the UK and want someone to realise your dream and give confidence in a way that isn't so technical you then question it. We set off initially wanting to design and manufacture Baby Rompers and Muslin Swaddles. After all who doesn't love a super cute Romper or All-in-One and the versatility of a Muslin Swaddle (we take them everywhere....As Baby's are often very Refluxy :). So you've got your designs, first question from manufacturers - do you have it in Vector, do you have them in numeric colour codes, whats the MOQ. Sounds technical but honestly, we found after hours of research you can get a lot of free software to convert into Vector so worry not on that front! Then you have to build a relationship with a Manufacturer - this is really hard....We want quality and a fair price so it can be affordable to customers however, many factories want very large quantities or MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) and once you try to certify the quality to ensure things are ethically sourced and 'are as they say they are' then you see the volume and price creep up further. So after many, many discussions with different factories we found two that seemed to hit the mark - one in India and one in the UK. You may have an ambition to sell 30 different designs of Baby Rompers but honestly, the best advice we can give is to pick 5-10 of your best designs and manufacture in an array of sizes otherwise it doesn't become viable anymore. By no means is this a plug as it isn't even live yet but you'll see if you check out our Instagram page @BabyBeautifulCompany our recent post with Giraffe design....We made it! The purpose of sharing it is to say if we can do it anyone can but you will be faced with challenges just keep going - you will get there! We are now producing our own clothes alongside retailing anything else we like from customer testing around Baby clothing. Big point is that ONLY if it is a) Quality b) Affordable
I could spend about a week writing about the do's and don'ts of Marketing. There are some huge players in this space....Google (automated, very few people to speak to when in goes wrong IMHO), Instagram, Facebook etc. Once you've decided the best medium/channel for you, you will then be opened up to the world of collaborations (this was very new to us!)....How much do we pay? What will they help us achieve? How quickly will we see results? The truth of all of those questions is it really depends. In the first few weeks many people reached out wanting to endorse our Baby Rompers, some had lots of followers and therefore rightly (we thought) could demand more free products. What we learn't very quickly is that some (not all) of these have attracted followers through a 'follower loop' meaning lots of people agree to follow each other to grow. The problem for us was that it looks like they have say 20k followers but then there is very little engagement because of the way they were attained. So lesson for us - always ask have they used a follower loop or can they confirm/give you assurance they have grown their followers organically. This may not sound a big thing but it will make a massive difference to engagement and therefore the results you see! As for us we have used mainly Instagram to drive marketing and social awareness; it is tough, you have to be creative and it is relentless. Plus be prepared to enter the world of paid promotions in the early days.
When we started this company we always said that whatever happens we would help others, whether thats to understand what is going well and why, along with any pitfalls we've experienced. I have to finish by saying we had our best month ever in November, we are listening all the time to customers and responding quickly to any issues! That goes a really long way.
So until next time....We hope you liked reading, if you need any help at all drop an email across, even if you're not buying anything and want any help/support at all we want to help other small businesses - customer@babybeautifulcompany.
Finally, please do check out our giraffe design baby romper that went into manufacturing recently. High quality, affordable with personalised service - Baby Beautiful Co. xx