5 ways you can make a costly product more affordable

Sonto Pooe founder of hair product, Native Child.
Sonto Pooe founder of hair product, Native Child.
Image: Supplied.

Sonto Pooe has turned many bad hair days upside down for many customers with her much-appreciated business, Native Child. Created to ensure more black women can embrace their hair, Pooe has gone on to create many jobs as she is also responsible for manufacturing Native Child products.

Not limited to just hair care, Pooe’s products also provide care for the body in a way that promotes the use of few chemicals in the manufacturing of products.

While one would assume the niche product would be expensive, Pooe shares her top five tips to ensure any entrepreneur is able to give the best quality product without being inaccessible.

Do your research

“Never take the first price you get whether it’s a raw material, packaging or a label. Make sure they’re the best price for what you need. There are many smaller companies which can provide what you need to create your product for less. So take as long as you need to look for the best price so that your costs are low.”

Negotiate lower input costs

“Ensuring that the starting point is lower will ensure that the end price is lower. There are always people who are willing and happy to give you a good price. When negotiating you can offer a long-term relationship or contract which will bring down your costs greatly. Some companies are also willing to give lower prices to start-ups. Just make sure the quality of what you need isn’t compromised.” 

Outsourcing has a higher cost to it

“Manufacture yourself or in-house, whichever is possible. When you outsource to another company, they factor in the cost of delivering that product and then add a markup for their profits which will increase the cost. Learn how to do things yourself or employ someone, in-house, who can. That way you have control of the costs and ultimately reduce the output price.”

Do it yourself

“One of the biggest mistakes some start-up brands do is employing or hiring too many people which increases costs. Learn to do as much as possible yourself. For example, you can keep costs low by doing your own social media, marketing, PR, graphic design, website etc. Do most of the groundwork yourself or in-house and only hand over to ‘experts’ when necessary to avoid unnecessary costs.”

Keep your market in mind

“Lastly, we all want to be billionaires but be reasonable when working out your markup. The more people that can access your products or find them affordable the better. Think about your target market and what they can afford. If you are planning to sell to the South African market for example, be aware that there is high unemployment, salaries are not keeping up with inflation and household monthly expenses are high. If your product is not a basic need and then you overprice it, you will have fewer clients. Make sure your product is great value for money.”

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