This is a short post on what must be done and what must not be done, when it comes to starting a new business. I found myself in this situation time and again and realized why "some people" will keep on failing at business.
First and foremost do your own research on the product and determine if it is short term or long term. This is very important to calculate sustainability and future competition and or if the supplier is giving you a good deal or not. It will also communicate if you are able to do rebate, carry parts and stock and other responsibilities warrantee/guarantee to keep the consumer council of your back.
Second aspect is the financial burden, this connects to the first step in a strong way. Buying stock is but one aspect, storing and distribution will also carry cost and with it responsibility towards the product. All of us have seen a damage box sitting on the discount table right? That is a avoidable loss to begin with. Shelf-life is also a major aspect when buying the product, if it is short term especially, it would be worth noting how fast a product goes "if that is a constant or not" how long it will take to restock said product.
Thirdly, is getting the word out, simply having a product doesn't mean someone is going to magically find you. This is why systems like social media, internet, local radio and general advertisement is so important. It also locks into the second and first step. On your research it is important to know how you found your information and how easy or hard it was. It will also give you a good marketing strategy as to how to go about listing the product and it's information and how to draw the customer your way. It connects to the second step as well as you need to add the financial requirement for said advertisement.
Forth step is probably the most important step as this is the actual introduction between you and your supplier and the introduction between you and your customer. If you took the time to do step one properly you can show both interest in the product and knowledge of the product. The supplier agreement is an absolute must have and needs to accommodate your needs as well as their own. A strong agreement allows you to deliver to the customer, and handle returns from the customer and above all is able to minimize your cost in returns "where in if possible". Be strict on damage products and don't give your customer "something old" when they are paying you good money.
The biggest most important step is the fifth step! Don't involve people against their will like pushing your idea down on family/friends and expect them to pick up responsibility and become the primary driver of the business. A lot of new businesses have this and simply kills any chance it had. Identify responsibility and only reach out to someone if that someone is willing and able to accept responsibility. If you cannot accept responsibility it doesn't matter how much money is backing you, you will fail if not in the short them then in the long term because responsibility starts with YOU as the OWNER. Not the friend or family.
I have seen 41 businesses fail "to date" where the main responsible person FAILED to do these seemingly simple steps.
Yes there is much of that I have missed but I am sure each of us knows a few people that made these types of mistakes.
Please feel free to add to the list.