So, you’ve finally brought your vision to life and have created an incredible product that you are head-over-heels in love with. You have spent countless hours and long nights brainstorming and crafting your dream into a reality and are finally ready to take the next step: finding buyers. After spending as much time as you have to cultivate your masterpiece, we are sure you are nothing less than excited to get in front of potential buyers but first, you need a line sheet.
A line sheet, or wholesale line sheet, is an extremely important document that you create when looking to present your product to buyers. In fact, it tends to give the buyer the first impression of you and your business, but what is it?
Also known as a sell sheet, a line sheet is very similar to a catalog. Both are very useful sales tools, but they hold different purposes. A catalog usually has many more pages than a line sheet because they provide comprehensive information about your product or collection. You can expect to find beautiful photos of each product with different angles and detailed info regarding all the specs. Catalogs tend to paint a picture because they usually will include the full story of your company and your brand, information on the designer, and list all of your wholesale policies and terms in detail.
The best way to think of a line sheet is that it is essentially just an outline of a catalog listing only the important facts about your product. Line sheets should not be long with a ton of pages. They should be clear, organized and concise providing any potential buyer the important facts they need to make a quick decision as to if they want to spend their time with you and your product.
Okay, so what next?
You are an entrepreneur. You probably have a family, a job and or are juggling a million other tasks while trying to get your amazing product off the ground. If you are like us, then your time is something of importance and it is not something that you take lightly. Life gets busy and although you want to jump right into the buyers’ market feet first with your product, you can’t because you have to create the line sheet. However, line sheets can take hours on end to create and perfect on your own which can set you back on your business timeline goal. Sure, you could pay someone to do it for you, but we both know that you poured all of your heart and soul into your product spending every penny you could to make it what it is today – so that’s not an option.
If you are feeling stuck because you just do not have the time to put together your line sheet, then take a deep breath because we have the solution: a line sheet template.
What Exactly is a Line Sheet Template?
Before we hop right into what a template is, lets dive deeper into line sheets so you can fully understand what they entail. Line sheets originated from the fashion industry. Back in the day, designers would come up with a collection in hopes of getting picked up by a buyer. They would create a line sheet that easily displayed the collection listing important product information to the buyer. Sku, product descriptions and shipping costs are important to include as well. Today, a line sheet is not limited to just the fashion industry but can be found anytime someone is looking to pitch a product.
For many businesses, line sheets are a requirement. In fact, many buyers will not even give you a moment of their time without having one. When you are creating your line sheet, you will want to include the following:
Branding and Contact Info
Your brand is important. It makes a memorable impression on consumers and allows customers to know what to expect from your company! You will want to make sure that your brand is clear, and your contact information is easily accessible when creating your line sheet. Some of the important information to include are:
- Phone number
- Sales representative phone number (if applicable)
- Email address
- Website address
It is important to include pictures of your product on your line sheet to give the buyer a visual. It is also a good idea to include a blurb that describes the product in the photo, however, keep it short to avoid clutter. Make sure each photo is of high quality making it easy to see what your product is. When incorporating pictures into your line sheet, you will want to make sure your photos are well lit, cropped and in focus, professionally staged, and as accurate as possible in terms of color.
Product Name and Number
Every product that you have will need to have a name and a unique number. This will help customers to know exactly what they are buying which will then help you to know where to find that product in inventory. It is also important to include this on your line sheet so the buyer can easily refer to the product number if they have specific questions.
If you have a product that you are looking to present to a buyer, it is important to lay out all the options. For example, if you are trying to sell a beautiful button-down cardigan, but only offer it in one size, you will want to make this known on your line sheet. All product options must be available, so the buyer knows exactly what you have to offer. It is important to list every size, color and style to prevent any confusion down the road.
One of the most important items to list on your line sheet is the pricing. If a buyer is interested in your product, they will want to know exactly how much it costs. Your line sheet needs to include the cost to make your product, wholesale price and suggested retail prices. This is what will help them to gauge profitability and get an idea as to how much an initial order might cost.
Turn Around Time and Quantities
When preparing your line sheet, consider your order form. You will also want to include turn around time and quantities. The buyer will need to know what you have in inventory and how fast you can turn around your product from the moment it has been ordered. Let them know how much you can handle, how much you have in stock, and if you require an order minimum. Including this information is important because it lets the buyer know upfront whether you are offering a limited run of special products or if they will have immediate access to a steady stream of your product.
Terms and Conditions, Policies and Payment
Every business is unique and comes with their own set of terms and conditions making it very important to clearly list these on your line sheet. You will also want to list your policies on shipping and returns as well as include acceptable forms of payment. For an example:
- Will you accept credit cards?
- Do you offer payment from Venmo?
- Can consumers use PayPal?
- Is it cash only?
- Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
- Do you accept damaged returns?
- Do you even offer returns or is the sale final after purchase?
- Do you offer free shipping?
- Can you ship internationally?
Cool, so what is a line sheet template?
Now that you fully understand what is included in a line sheet, you can see that it definitely takes quite a bit of time to create something that is eye catching and simple, but also informative. Life gets busy and we know your time is valuable. This is why line sheet templates are so great, but what exactly is it?
Like we mentioned earlier, you can easily pay someone to create your line sheet for you but that can come with a hefty price tag. Another option is to create it from scratch, but that takes time. Luckily, line sheets have been around for decades meaning you do not necessarily need to recreate the wheel when creating yours.
A template serves as a starting point for a new document. You may have used a template in the past when creating a resume or preparing a professional letter. Templates are pre-formatted and act like a guide to help you properly create your document. We already know how important a line sheet is and that it needs to be as simple and organized as possible. However, many times entrepreneurs try to incorporate too many things into their line sheet making it look cluttered and even sometimes unprofessional. A line sheet template is an easy way for entrepreneurs to stay on track, including only pertinent information regarding their product.
Some of the best benefits of using a line sheet template are:
- You save time. Your time is precious and creating a great line sheet on your own can take countless hours and endless nights. Complete your line sheet in as little as one weekend with a template! This will help you to keep on course to complete your line sheet in a jiffy!
- You save money. Did you know that you can pay $200+ to have a professional create your line sheet? We don’t know about you, but we would much rather keep that money in our pocket to spend on a much-needed relaxing weekend once all of this is said and done. Also, we have all heard the saying, ‘time is money.’ Templates will save you time and are a cost-effective approach to creating your line sheet.
- Guidance. We get it. You are excited and want to pile everything you know and love about your product into your line sheet. Templates are great because they will guide you and help to make sure you are only including what is important to a potential buyer.
- Professional results. Sure, you can hop on your computer and open a blank document to create your line sheet from scratch, but keep in mind that this important document is going to be the first thing a buyer will see when reviewing your product. A template will help to make sure that your line sheet is as stunning as it is organized to make a great first impression to any potential buyer!
- Share your line sheet in a snap. The whole purpose of creating a line sheet is so you can send it out to potential buyers. If you create one on your own, you will be left with a finished product – and that is it. You will not be given any steps or an avenue to take next. When you opt for a template, there are usually some benefits that are available to you such as a built-in email function. This will allow you to send your line sheet template directly to your list of buyers!
- Easily make edits as needed. Another great benefit is that you can easily hop right back into your template to make edits as needed! When creating your line sheet, it is important to take into consideration what you are using it for. Whether that is going directly to a buyer at a store or if you are just passing it around at a trade show, you will want to tailor your line sheet and make edits to your template accordingly.
Creating a line sheet does not have to be tough. It does not have to take a ton of hours or cost you hundreds of dollars. In fact, it can be fairly simple. All you need to do is pick a great template, customize your layout, review, make edits, and send!
Line sheets are important and can literally be the make-or-break for your product. We are sure you put blood, sweat and tears into creating your work-of-art. Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by sending a poor line sheet to potential buyers. If you are an entrepreneur and are looking to create a line sheet, we highly suggest using a template!