Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The economy ate my wholesale accounts

I've been seeing a slow but steady change over the last couple of years in my business. It started with just a few of my retailers ordering less. Then, a few stores actually closed shop. Over the summer I had a fairly large customer stop sending birthday gifts to his clients. That was a nice chunk of change that we relied on each month that vanished overnight. Two more stores closed. One large retailer stopped ordering all together...and now the first store to ever carry our products, the Anchor Room, has closed their doors too.

Honestly, except for the emotional attachment to Anchor Room, and the relationships built with employees, I haven't really minded the loss of the wholesale accounts. I am a busy mom, with lots on my plate. My day doesn't begin and end with DipSticks, so losing wholesale seemed manageable. After all, I work just as hard on those orders as I do for direct, retail orders, but I make half the money.

Then, the busiest season of the year rolled around and I held my breath. You just literally NEVER know what's around that crazy corner called Christmas Shopping season. As expected, I had very minimal wholesale orders, but I did increase my corporate and retail orders. I think all in all it evened out. I wasn't nearly as stressed this year, which came in handy, given the whole stress eating issue going around here. But, I'm certainly not knocking anyone off the Forbes list anytime soon either.

But, I'm okay with that. For now. I have many things to deal with that are more important than sales and profit loss reports. Kids for one thing. Health is up there pretty high too. Once both kids are in full day school (which will be this August!! Woot!) I will have lots of time, and if all goes as planned, my health will be back on track by then too. So, look out!

I know the economy had a lot to do with my sales decrease locally, but I've witnessed two other food businesses in LA and New York quite literally explode with sales this year. That tells me there's a lot out there in the big ol' interwebs that I have yet to tap. Very exciting and motivating....so now I'm making my list and checking it twice, to make sure I am ready for next years Christmas Shopping season. Many changes to come, but change can be good.