The Rosehip Specialists is a full service manufacturing, importing and distribution company, family owned by the Diamonds, nimble to market and taking their Australian expertise to the world with an ambitious export plan.
Plan and Research
Do your homework, research the market, and aim to fill in the gaps. One of the best places to unearth new brands or discover new products are international trade shows - but you must plan and research. Take the time to investigate what sort of brands and products are being showcased and have a goal in mind before attending a trade show. Going in blind is a waste of time and energy as it can be very overwhelming. Most shows will have brand directories that will enable you to plan your approach, map out who you would like to visit and speak to, and what sort of products will be on offer.
Know your customer
Understand who you are buying for: know exactly who your customer is, what makes them unique, and what is their point of difference. Be sure to familiarise yourself with what they already sell, work out what are the gaps from their ranging, and provide a solution. Offer your customer a product that they cannot buy or have access to themselves and create a dependency on yourself for a product only you can supply.
Secure distribution rights
There is no point in importing a product range or brand that everyone else has access to - why put in the hard work building up a brand to only hand it to someone else? Ensuring you secure exclusive distribution rights is critical – if you don’t have exclusivity, forget about it.
It is hard to compare importing and manufacturing as both are completely different with their own sets of pros and cons – at The Rosehip Specialists, we do both.
Importing is about discovering a brand that could be already established and assisting the brand owner’s passion in growing their brand abroad. In one way, importing can be seen as ‘easier’ as the sales can be easier to secure if the brand already has a reputation, is more established, or if there is already an existing demand.
Manufacturing on the other hand means that you are building on your passion and developing a brand and a range of products from the ground up. It is your brand, you own everything about the brand, and have full control over all decisions – it can be all consuming with plenty of blood, sweat and tears. The battles are harder, but the successes are sweeter. However, it’s not always for everyone and requires a lot of hard work and commitment. You need to build a range from the very beginning, and understand all the facets of creating a product. Then create the demand for your product, educate the consumer.
For me, there is no real criteria - a lot of it has to do with gut feel and my intuition. If you know your market and understand where the product will sit, you will have a greater chance of success. Stick to your principals and make decisions based on feedback from your customers. Involve your customers in the process as they are just as important as the actual product that you are importing or creating. Without them you have no business.
“Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like hell.”