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  • #1000072
    Jeff999
    Member
    • Total posts: 10

    I currently own a small business in Sydney and I am in a situation where I am unsure of where to turn to for advise on how I should proceed.

    I started a business in Sydney about 2 years ago which imported specialty formwork products used for construction. I already owned my own warehouse which I leased to my business,I imported some goods, purchased a truck, forklift and got the products tested. At the beginning I offered about 5-6 different kind of systems and products to customers here but slowly after about a year or so into the business when I finally was able to make contact with some companies to trial goods it became clear that these products would not be suitable for the Australian market or it would be an impossible feat to compete with this large competitors.

    One product though was able to find a niche use in a totally different industry which was furniture and joinery. There is nothing like it on the market and it has no competition, the downside being it’s very niche. For the last year I have been pushing this product onto the market to see if it has legs and it is gaining popularity. I have return customers for this product and now have designers using it for their drawings.

    Along the way I have met and helped people use my product within their new product designs and helped source niche items from China for their furniture though these are quite low profit margins.

    The big problem I have now is that I have only really have 1 product I am selling to customers and I don’t know where to turn to advice on what else to sell or service to provide to compliment what I am doing. It’s so niche that there is no obvious kind of product to start including to offer to my joinery customers.

    With my one product along I’m fine covering my overheads but not much else. I’d appreciate any thoughts or advice on the kind of people who I could consult with.

    Thanks everyone

    #1222810
    kimberley.burton01
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi Jeff
    The only thing I can think of is to sit down with your customers and ask them if there are things they are looking for.

    Products they are having trouble sourcing.

    Build a reputation as a go to person for the niche products.

    #1222811
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    Hi Jeff,

    I agree with [USER=117361]@kimberley.burton[/USER] . You could offer your current customers a free lunch in return for picking their brain.

    Getting an in depth understanding of what problems they have around sourcing supplies will really help you.

    Is your warehouse big enough to sublease some of it? Could you even run a small 3PL out of it?

    Cheers

    #1222812
    Jeff999
    Member
    • Total posts: 10

    Hi Kimberley and Paul,

    Thanks for the advise. I think it’s definitely the best way to start and hopefully I get a sincere answer from them.

    The warehouse does have space to sub lease but i’d rather avoid going down the route since there is potentially a lot risk when sub leasing to others.

    Cheers everyone

    #1222813
    eightknots
    Member
    • Total posts: 16

    you could also search Facebook upholstery business group pages , there are a number out there both just for Australia & international , like the professional upholsters network , if nothing else im sure they would give you ideas on what there needs may be . we have a number for the auto and marine trimming industry here , as i don’t know what the product is not sure if those groups would be useful for getting information from

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