We’ve listed everything you’ll need to navigate market, including a few quick tips. Now that you've become a buyer, here are your next steps.
As a new business, the first thing you need to do is acquire a Duns number from Dun & Bradstreet. Contact your regional Dun & Bradstreet office at (800) 333-0505, and ask for Information Resources. Dun & Bradstreet can assign you a Duns number over the phone, if you provide them with the following information:
A factor is a business organization that provides financial support, customer credit protection and other services. The top four leading factors are:
Factors purchase the accounts receivable of manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. The factor assumes the receivables, as well as any accounting and collection responsibilities.
Establish a rapport with the factor in case of any problems. It is very important that they're informed about late deliveries, quality and returns.
When placing initial orders with vendors, have the following information available:
In addition, any business in operation less than five years should provide a resume of the officers or directors, owners or partners. New businesses should provide details on the structure of starting capital, and if operating less that one year, a Pro Forma financial statement.
Open-To-Buy refers to the amount that you can spend for merchandise within a specific time period, as determined by the Dollar Merchandise Plan. Calculate your Open-To-Buy to keep your merchandise investment in line with your merchandise dollars.
Your Open-To-Buy is the amount of planned purchases that have been budgeted for a given period of time, minus the actual orders (on order) that have already been placed, but haven't been delivered. Open-To-Buy may be expressed in dollars, units or both.
Open-To-Buy is like your checking account. Your purchases are deducted from your balance. For each month in your six-month plan, allot an amount for retail purchases. Because most merchandise orders are not received as they are placed, keep an eye on your balance. Information from unit control can help you calculate your Open-To-Buy.
Beginning of the month dollar inventory
- Retail sales
- Markdown $
= End of the month inventory
When writing orders, detail the following:
Original order forms are given to the manufacturer. Duplicates are needed for the receiving and accounting departments. Use the third copy to determine:
Until an order has actually been placed, you're free to change your mind about the order. Once the order is placed, it is considered a contract between the store and the vendor, and you have committed to receiving the merchandise.
Showrooms recommend that you write the orders and leave them before you leave town. Otherwise, mail it in upon your return.
A ship date refers to the date the merchandise leaves the manufacturer's warehouse. It does not include the time it takes to arrive at your store.
Always confirm the exact ship date and estimated delivery time.
An "in store" date refers to the date the merchandise will arrive at your store. If you are targeting a specific date, you will need your merchandise at least three to five days before that date. Request in store dates for shipping and write them clearly on each order.
In addition to determining the form of FOB, determine the best method of shipping. Time and cost are important when determining transportation and storage.
The main methods of shipping after UPS are:
Before shipping COD, most showrooms require a deposit.
Specify the method of transportation when placing your orders.
Remember, vendors rate and analyze the profitability of doing business with your store. They rate your store based on how well it does with their merchandise and on the fairness with which you treat them. Excessive cancellations, returns or customer service problems can cause some to rate stores as unprofitable.