Retail is an aggressive place for product startups. Opportunities are abundant; however, each opportunity represents a chance to make a mistake. This article talks about the advantages of outsourcing your retail activities (not just sales or strategy, though sales are a vital part of any business; services like telemarketing from companies like are good at achieving this).
For many product startups, young brands, or inventors – having the time to understand, manage, and execute retail activities is nearly impossible. Creating a product is already difficult enough and usually requires a high level of design or engineering skill, and because of this many new product startups do not have adequate retail experience.
Many product startups will attempt to rely on sales agencies or distributors for their retail growth, but they forget all the other requirements being left on the table – such as having a truly defined retail strategy or channel marketing activities.
New product brands want to get into retail but have these challenges:

  • They can’t afford to hire one or more in-house employees with retail expertise
  • As a 1 or 2 SKU (product) vendor, it’s extremely tough to get a retailer’s or buyer’s attention
  • Because of unknown retail variables or retail lingo, they aren’t sure where to start or have already made mistakes
  • They simply do not have the time to mitigate risk and perform day-to-day retail tasks, thus avoiding retail logically becomes the best option

Retail Growth Model: Outsourcing

The idea of outsourcing is not new. Companies have been outsourcing more and more general tasks as time goes on – whether it be web design, SEO, office cleaning, etc. It is important to understand what areas you and your business can excel in without any outside help, and what parts may need an expert in their own right to come in and manage. As one example, keeping up with the cleaning is an important part of maintaining a spotless and productive work environment and so enlisting the best commercial janitorial services is, of course, a key concern for many businesses. When done right, outsourcing can save a ton of time and money, and the best part of outsourcing is its flexible nature as opposed to hired employees, by having a look at this green facilities resource you can see some of the features businesses may look for while outsourcing something such as their office cleaning.
Outsourcing your retail activities can be tricky if you don’t have a general understand of how retail works or what you need from a retail partner. Finding the right experience, track record, and scope of work can be difficult without a friend/trusted referral.
Having an outsourced retail team (or contractor) typically allows you to adjust how much work is needed on a weekly or monthly basis while also focusing on certain priorities to see ROI quickly.
Generally the advantages of finding the RIGHT retail partner means:

  • You can afford greater retail expertise at less cost than an employee
  • Multiple areas of retail can be covered under one solution – sales, retail marketing, channel management, etc.
  • Flexible scope of work (or hours) with important tasks being prioritized for ROI
  • Easier to view outsourcing solution’s track record, client base, and have a strong prediction of success

If you haven’t explored the idea of outsourcing your retail activities, perhaps it’s time to learn exactly what the cost and time advantages can be.

This article is written by Benjamin Ertl – Business Development at Retailbound – a full-service retail firm near Chicago helping global product brands cost-effectively prepare, manage, and scale retail activities. Contact Benjamin at