You just created an amazing product that you have literally spent months working on. From the initial idea to the design, you have created something that you are truly proud of! Many think that the next step is to just jump right into contacting possible potential buyers but before doing this, take a deep breath and slow your roll because first, you will need a line sheet.
Okay, so you need a line sheet, but what is it?
Similar to that of a catalog, a line sheet is extremely important when looking for potential buyers. Picture a piece of paper that showcases your product featuring images, specs and pricing simply laid out in an easy to read format. A line sheet, or wholesale line sheet, is a necessity for any entrepreneur that is ready to put their vision on shelves.
Bringing your dream to a reality is exciting, but not to damper your spirit or anything, if you have a less-than-appealing line sheet, you can kiss your dream goodbye. Buyers are busy people that are always looking for the next best thing making first impressions extremely important. Many times, buyers will not even meet with you until reviewing a line sheet making that the very first thing they look at when taking your product into consideration. So needless to say, having a proper line sheet is crucial to your budding business!
Alright, so now you know that you need a line sheet. To make a line sheet, you can either use a line sheet template online, hire someone, or even create one from scratch, but how can you set yourself apart from the rest? Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax because we are going to dive into line sheets and go over 4 ways on how to improve yours!
After you create your product and are ready to bring it to buyers, you will want to make a line sheet first. Like we mentioned, a line sheet is a necessity and features important information about your product, but isn’t this the same thing as a catalog? Close, but no cigar! A catalog is a really great way to tell your product and company’s story. They usually have beautiful pages that are placed in a book allowing buyers to easily flip through to view each product. Catalogs feature images and include information about your background with an insight into the company and or designer. Catalogs are packed full of information regarding your company and product.
A line sheet is a kind of like an outline of a catalog or lookbook. Buyers are definitely busy people and sometimes it is hard for them to set an appointment with new entrepreneurs, let alone have the time to flip through every single page in a catalog. A line sheet makes things simple. It can consist of one page or a few and has a much bigger emphasis on the products that you are looking to sell – not necessarily your whole life and business back story. The best line sheets are simple, organized and easy to read. Think facts, not fluff.
When creating a line sheet, some of the important information that you will want to include are:
Historically, line sheets have always been used in the fashion industry to showcase different collections to potential buyers. Today, just about any industry can benefit from a line sheet when presenting a product to a buyer. In fact, if your business model includes retail, you will most definitely need a line sheet. Although there are many, here are some of the most common products that require a line sheet:
Like we mentioned earlier, line sheets are crucial to your growing business as they tend to set the tone and typically give the buyer the first impression of your product. Buyers talk to entrepreneurs every single day, constantly reviewing line sheets. They are busy people and if you present them with a line sheet that is less than par, many buyers will not even give you a chance to speak and will brush off your vision entirely. Don’t let that happen to you and follow our 4 steps on how to improve your line sheet!
This can be a little tough because when you create your line sheet, you want to avoid writing a whole lengthy and wordy story. Again, a line sheet needs to be simple, but still get the point across. Many people buy products because they feel a connection. When you present your line sheet to a buyer, you are technically selling yourself and your product in hopes that the buyer buys. If you can get the buyer to feel some type of connection from reviewing your line sheet, you are one step closer to moving forward to making your dream a reality.
Here are a few tips to remember when you are creating your story on your line sheet:
We know – we said it once, we said it twice, and too be honest, we may have even said it three times, but that is only because we cannot stress the importance enough of keeping your line sheet simple. We are sure you have heard the saying, KISS and although we know you are not stupid, we do want to reiterate the importance of keeping your line sheet simple to avoid confusion.
We know you are excited about your product and your vision and we are sure you have so many things that you want to say and include on your line sheet, but it is so important to keep it concise, organized and simple. Save all the fluff for when you put together your catalog. When presenting a line sheet to a buyer, they are going to want to review the facts – not the back story about how you had mimosas with your mother-in-law who gave you the idea to come up with your product.
Here are some questions to ask yourself avoid confusion on your line sheet and how to keep it simple:
You now know that you need to make a connection and keep it simple. Improve your line sheet further by removing as many obstacles as you can to reduce any possible complications. Be strict when you are putting together your line sheet by removing anything that could cause confusion or be a hurdle that the buyer may have to overcome.
Some of the obstacles that potential buyers may run into are:
When you begin to search for potential buyers and are reaching out to stores directly, your line sheet is essentially the entire representation of your business making it important to keep it concise, clean and organized. However, if you are going to trade shows for an example and are just handing out your line sheet, then you can add a little bit more fluff to tell your story without bearing so much responsibility for actually selling your product.
When you are preparing your line sheet, keep in mind what job you are looking for it to do. Whether that is to sell, remind, promote, convince or simply just provide details, tailor your line sheet when applicable