Eileen Fisher, owner of B & R Laundry Soap
. B & R Laundry Soap is a bio-degradable, eco-friendly laundry soap hand made in Abbotsford, BC. Each batch is made by hand and sold locally.
In business since: 2013
Business highlights: Two months after B & R's official "launch," the product was available for sale in a local retail store!
Business question: My biggest question right now is about the difference between selling directly at farmer's markets as opposed to retail. Should the price for the consumer be the same, or should we maintain our profit margin to be the same?
Spark’s insights: The difference between selling retail (directly to the customer) and wholesale (to a store, which will then sell it to the customer) can be make-or-break for manufacturers. The rule of thumb is that the retail price should be 200% of your cost. So, if you make a product for $5, it should retail for $20. The wholesale price should be a 100% markup — in this case, $10. Many smaller, local manufacturers struggle to compete with mass-produced products on wholesale pricing, and some choose to focus instead on retail sales. However you proceed, make sure every sale is a profitable one.
Eileen’s advice to other entrepreneurs: Go with something that you love, trust your gut instincts. Be positive and accept criticism as a challenge.
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