Your company has this amazing opportunity with a big retailer which is so exiting! This increases brand awareness, market share and more opportunity. However, I have witness startups crumbled due to mishandling these opportunities by not having the proper knowledge and strategy in place. I will be sharing a few steps to help you prepare on your new exiting journey with a retailer. First thing to do, talk to a broker. Research brokers that have experience working with that retailer. This agency can provide the value you will need by helping you navigate how this particular retailer likes to work. Second, once you have the contract in your hands, do not sign it until you can negotiate the terms you want. Guess what? Yes, you can negotiate!! Items to look for are fees and consequences for non compliance with delivery times, short quantities, damaged product, slotting, advertisement to name a few. This one is very important lesson that many startups have learned the hard way, “Do not overcommit!” Most retailers, will over forecast the demand for your product. Let’s be honest, this is a new product with no proven demand on the shelves. If you have built brand awareness selling product direct to the consumer thru your website then the odds may be in your favor. However, if this is not you, don’t forget about velocity! In simple terms if you shipped all the quantities that were in the forecast, but velocity moving these products thru the pipeline is not high enough, this can become a big problem. This product is not moving fast enough and this can originate new fees. It is your responsibility as a founder, CEO, COO and CFO to analyze the data. Talk to your retailer, adjust metrics based on the demand for your product, and then make the decision that works for your company. Enter the industry humbly, limit your number of retailers and quantities until you know your data. Finally, Cash is King! In the startup world, any small or big decision will make you or break you. So you will need to research partners that can help you fight any deductions. Retailers and distributors will deduct fees (the ones in the contract) plus any additional fees for example product not moving fast enough. Partnering with an agency that knows the process on how to handle these disputes will bring some cash to your pocket. Lastly, it is exciting to enter the retail space, specially with the right partner. Don’t know which partner to go with? Contact us and we will be happy to help you. Your success is our success!