The Power of the Preorder
Over the past eight years we have spoken with thousands of gym owners.
We have identified one of the biggest issues in the small business arena today: excess inventory. Inventory is a pain for any business. Whether you’re a big box store, a corner store, or a fitness business with 100 members, excess inventory and “stuff that just won’t sell” will always be an issue. However, over the past three to five years, we have worked with small business owners to mitigate their risk.
A little background information before I get into the strategy: The screen printing and decorative apparel industry is the victim of “well here Sonny, this is how we’ve always done it…”. The problem here is a case of misaligned incentives. Screen printers have a sweet spot of 288+ items per job. The more jobs a production facility can take on with that volume, the more profitable the job. Unfortunately for the small business owner, 288 shirts at one time can be tremendously risky and a gigantic investment. If you are a small business owner who can move 300 shirts at a time, congratulations! I know how hard that is to do and it is impressive. However, if you can’t move 288+ shirts at a time, we have identified a strategy for you.
A quick fix that we have shared at many businesses is putting your apparel or retail items up for pre-order. A pre-order is simply having your members reserve the item before it arrives. This applies to supplements, jump ropes, apparel- whatever. It just gives you an accurate head count of what you need and to gauge interest.
Here are some of my quick thoughts on why you should set up a preorder:
1. You collect money up front- This forces people to commit to something. If you don’t collect money up front, you run the risk of someone saying “Yeah sorry I actually don’t have the money. Keep it for me though! I’ll get it next week!”…Spoiler alert: they will never purchase it.
2. You stimulate demand. The average American views thousands and thousands of ads each day. With so many business jockeying for their attention, the easiest way to stand out in the crowd is to make something scarce. By letting your clients or customers know that inventory will be very limited or non-existent, you force them to act.
3. Put your ego aside. You don’t need an order of 100 shirts if you historically only sell 50. Does this sound familiar? “Our previous apparel vendor said they would give me a good deal if I ordered 150 of them so I ordered a few extra just in case!”… If you’re waiting for just in case, that day will never come (unless you are a very, very high drop in traffic gym).
You’re probably wondering “How do I even go about organizing this. This seems like a lot of work”…In my video (https://foreverfierce.com/pages/preorder), I propose some logistics for setting up a preorder that is totally specific to each business.
So to recap:
We identified one of the biggest headaches for businesses today: excess inventory
We reviewed why apparel providers steer you to big quantities
We reviewed some of the reasons why you should organize a preorder
I provided access to my video discussing the different options and strategies you can use to organize a preorder
If you want to run your plan by us, feel free to shoot us an e-mail and we’ll be happy to help and develop a plan for you.