Thinking about opening a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Industry Overview: Religious Merchandise Wholesaling
Religious goods are a major industry in the U.S. According to CBA, the trade organization for Christian retailers, its members' total product sales amount to approximately $5 billion per year. This doesn't take into account non-CBA Christian retailers or retailers in other religious traditions.
Despite ongoing volatility in the religious merchandising sector (particularly in religious publishing), the outlook for emerging religious goods wholesalers and manufacturers is good. But to tap into the market's sweet spot, your startup will need to become adept at connecting the right buyers with the right products.
This may mean adjusting your startup's expectations and strategy to accommodate current market demands. As much as possible, we advise manufacturers and wholesalers to create flexible product lines that can be easily modified to meet variable price points and retail requirements.
Creating Relationships with Religious Retailers
It doesn't matter whether your startup is strictly wholesale or a combination manufacturing/wholesale operation: your first priority must be to establish long-term relationships with retail vendors.
In the religious goods market, retail vendors come in a variety of forms. Independent bookstores and religious merchandise retailers comprise a large share of the market. However, you'll also need to develop relationships with catalog retailers, chain stores and church-based bookstores – especially bookstores sponsored by the nation's leading mega-churches.
Networking and glad-handing are inevitably part of the relationship building process. But making friends with retailers is only the first step. In order to bear fruit, your relationship must eventually progress to the level of listening and responding to each retailers unique product needs.
Profitable Product Categories for Religious Goods Wholesale & Manufacturing
There are many different product categories that have the potential to be profitable for religious wholesalers and manufacturers. Religious jewelry, rosaries, prayer beads and other items are perennial favorites among religious consumers. Other popular product categories include religious supplies (e.g. communion wafers, donation envelopes) and equipment (e.g. pulpits, lecterns, offering plates).
In general, you'll want to orient your product portoflio toward items that allow consumers to have more meaningful religious experiences. By designing product lines that meet the changing needs of religious consumers, you will automatically meet the needs of your retail customer base.
Characteristics of a Good Religious Goods Wholesale & Manufacturers Company Business Plan
Looking for a one-size-fits-all business plan? Good luck. . . because it doesn't exist. But if it's done right, your religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business's plan should contain a handful of sound business plan elements:
- Mission Statement – Your description of your religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business's reason for existing.
- Goals & Objectives – A list of mile markers on your religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business's road to success.
- Financial, Marketing & Action Plans – More detailed descriptions of how you will carry out your mission and achieve your religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business's goals.
Check Out the Competition
Prior to opening a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business in your town, it's essential to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of religious goods wholesale and manufacturers businesses in your area.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
If you are interested in starting a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business, it's essential that you learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby religious goods wholesale and manufacturers businesses will give you advice, think again. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Thankfully, an owner of a a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business in another town may be more than happy to give you a few tips, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How does one go about finding somebody who runs a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business in another community?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Three Arguments for Buying a Religious Goods Wholesale & Manufacturers Business
At Gaebler, we think it makes a lot of sense to explore a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business purchase before committing to a startup.
Although buyers should always perform thorough due diligence, there at least three reasons you should consider a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business purchase as your entryway to business ownership.
- Initial Revenue. Startups struggle to bring in revenue right out of the gate while existing businesses usually have a steady stream of income.
- Operational Efficiency. When you're shopping for a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business, be sure to look for ones that have all of the necessary processes and systems to ensure seamless operations from your first day of ownership.
- Capital Acquisition. Lenders, investors and other funding sources almost always prefer business purchases to startups.
Explore Franchising Options
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of achieving your top business goals are much better if you purchase a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to starting a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business, a smart move is to assess whether franchising might be the right move for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a religious goods wholesale and manufacturers business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to religious goods wholesale and manufacturers businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.