You've stumbled upon the idea to build a bedding company and now you're ready to take the next steps.
There's a lot to think about when building a business, so we put together a guide on how to get started, launch, grow and run your bedding company.
We also provide you with real-life case studies and examples of founders running successful bedding company (and how much💰 they're making today).
💡 Introduction To Starting A Bedding Company
Is The Bedding Company For You?
Let's look at the pros and cons of starting your own bedding company
- Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of starting a bedding company is that you can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.
- Ability to start your business from home: It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!
- Little startup costs required: The cost to start a bedding company costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 1,052 to 28,819.
- Rewarding work: Starting a bedding company can be really rewarding and fun work. After all, you're bringing joy and excitement into peoples lives.
- Crowded space: Competition is high when it comes to your bedding company, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.
- Finding the right supplier: Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.
Creating a successful bedding company means that you will have the ability to sell, provide stellar customer service, communicate with vendors and motivate your team (even if it's down the road)!
- Kmart (4.17K Alexa Ranking)
- Musicbed (23.5K Alexa Ranking)
- Bed, Bath, & Beyond (25.3K Alexa Ranking)
- Sleep Number (38.3K Alexa Ranking)
- The Company Store (43.6K Alexa Ranking)
- Soaring Heart Natural Beds - Revenue $300K/month
- Sheets & Giggles - Revenue $200K/month
- Turmerry - Revenue $150K/month
- Ocochi - Revenue $10K/month
- Brooklinen Revenue $100M/year
- Buffy Revenue $12.6M/year
- Boll & Branch Revenue $14.1M/year
- RiLeY Sheets
Let's take a look at the search trends for bed sheets over the last year:
How to name your bedding company
It's important to find a catchy name for your bedding company so that you can stand out in your space.
Here are some general tips to consider when naming your bedding company
- Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
- Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
- Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
- As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!
Why is naming your bedding company so important?
The name of your business will forever play a role in:
- Your customers first impression
- Your businesses identity
- The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
- If you're memorable or not
It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your bedding company.
You can search domain availability here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.
It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.
As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.
Read our full guide on how to name your business ➡️ here
Colin McIntosh tells us how he invented his bedding company name: Sheets & Giggles:
I really believe that a good brand name and .com can make or break a company, so I looked through all the domains I owned to see if anything matched.
I owned SheetsGiggles.com, and I thought “Does bed sheets fit?” and it did, almost perfectly.
(Side note – I owned the domain because in the summer of 2017 I was watching War Dogs, and Miles Teller’s character tries to sell bed sheets to retirement homes that all reject his product. I couldn’t believe that his character didn’t do market research and validation before buying all that inventory, so I told my girlfriend to pause the movie so I could write a full business plan for a bed sheets company named Sheets & Giggles, and I bought the domain that night. She and I have since broken up because, well, yeah… who does that.)
In short, I built a business model I felt very passionately about, and then designed a product that I thought plugged nicely into that model.
🎬 How To Start A Bedding Company
Setting Up Your Bedding Company (Formation and Legal)
When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.
The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.
These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.
- LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
- S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
- C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.
Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.
Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Bedding Company
If you are planning to start a bedding company, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.
We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a bedding company and outline the costs you should expect for each:
- The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,052
- The estimated maximum starting cost = $28,819
|Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a bedding company.||Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs.||Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.|
|Office Space Expenses|
|Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space.||$0||$2,000|
|Utility Costs (office space): This refers to the first month's utility bill for your office space. If you are not responsible for this bill, this would not apply to starting your bedding company.||$0||$150|
|Office Supplies: Although these may seem like minor costs, things like your desks, chairs, pens, paper, filing cabinets do add up. To avoid these adding up too much, try to be as lean as possible and go paperless!||$25||$1,000|
|WiFi: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is an expense that's tough to avoid. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month!||$10||$100|
|Total Office Space Expenses||$35 (min)||$3,250 (max)|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses|
|Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time.||$500||$5,000|
|Total Equipment & Supply Expenses||$500 (min)||$5,000 (max)|
|Upfront Costs For Inventory: This includes all upfront inventory you will need in order to launch. Be sure to compare prices of wholesalers to ensure you're getting the best deal and margins remain high.||$300||$5,000|
|Inventory Storage: If you decide to have a physical space for your bedding company, whether it be used for inventory or as a showroom, you may have monthly rent payment or a large down payment associated with renting/buying the space.||$0||$5,000|
|Package Design: Packaging refers to wrapping and protecting products during distribution, shipping, and sales.Your package design is your customer's first impression of your brand, so it's important you spend some time and energy to get this right from the start.Many businesses design their own packages using design software and tools. There is always the option to outsource this to a design expert, but that route tends to be much more expensive.||$50||$3,000|
|Shrinkage: Shrinkage refers to the loss of inventory at any point between the purchase from your supplier and the purchase by your customer. Although you will try to avoid this at all costs, this does happen sometimes (especially in the learning stages of your business), and it's important to plan ahead financially in case this happens. Fortune states that retail shrinkage costs U.S. retailers approximately 1.4 percent of their total sales.||$0||$1,000|
|Distribution costs: Depending on what distribution plan you choose, expenses such as renting vans, hiring delivery drivers and gas costs can add up. If you are looking to save money upfront, you may want to consider conducting distribution on your own.||$0||$750|
|Total Inventory Expenses||$350 (min)||$14,750 (max)|
|Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo.||$0||$50|
|Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here||$0||$100|
|IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals.||$150||$2,000|
|Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses.||$0||$50|
|Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here.||$0||$25|
|Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms.||$0||$20|
|Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your bedding company, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business.||$0||$50|
|Payroll Software: The main purpose of payroll software is to help you pay your team and track each of those payments (so that you don't have to do it manually). If you do not have any employees or have a very small team, payroll software may not be necessary at this stage. Here are the 11 best payroll tools for small businesses!||$0||$200|
|Online data storage: It's important to make sure the information for your bedding company is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article.||$0||$299|
|Total Software Expenses||$150 (min)||$2,794 (max)|
|A Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website.||$12||$200|
|Email hosting: Email is a critical piece for running your business. Once you have your domain name, you will want to set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are GSuite (typically starting at $6+ per user, per month) or Microsoft Office (typically starting at $5+ per user, per month). The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown.||$5||$75|
|Total Website Costs||$17 (min)||$275 (max)|
|Advertising & Marketing Costs|
|Customer Research & Surveys: Many bedding company's conduct industry and consumer research prior to starting their business. Often times, you need to pay for this data or hire a market research firm to help you in this process.||$0||$300|
|Affiliate Marketing Commission & Fees: If you want to increase revenue for your bedding company, affiliate marketing is a great way to promote your product to a new audience. When determining affiliate commission rates you will offer, you will want to take into account the price and margin for your product to ensure affiliate marketing is worth it for your business. According to Monitor Backlinks, the average affiliate commission rate should be somewhere between 5% to 30%. To learn more about how to set commission rates, check out this article..||$0||$250|
|Influencer Marketing: Partnering with like-minded influencers is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence. Many small businesses simply gift a free item in exchange for an influencer post, or pay the influencer directly.||$0||$750|
|Press: If your business and story is unique enough, press and media attention may come to you, but odds are, you may need to do your own outreach and budget for this. We put together a guide here that discusses different press opportunities (both free and paid).||$0||$500|
|Google Ads: With Google Ads you have the ability to control how much you spend by simply setting a monthly budget cap. Additionally, with these ads you only pay for results, such as clicks to your website or phone calls! It's okay to start with a small budget at first and make changes accordingly if you see valuable returns.||$0||$300|
|Facebook & Instagram Ads: With Facebook and Instagram ads, you set your budget and pay for the actions you want (whether that be impressions, conversions, etc).You can learn more about pricing based on your impressions here.||$0||$350|
|Total Advertising & Marketing Costs||$0 (min)||$2,450 (max)|
|Credit Card Processing Fees: If you process credit cards then you will need to deal with interchange fees - which is usually around 3% of total charges. These fees are often forgotten about and can hurt cash flow if not taken into account.||$0||$300|
|Total Other Expenses||$0 (min)||$300 (max)|
|Total Starting Costs||$1,052 (min)||$28,819 (max)|
Since the startup costs to start bedding company range between $1,052 - $28,819, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.
Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:
- Launch your product on Kickstarter
- Raise capital by asking friends and family
- Apply for a loan
- Find an investor!
Sheets & Giggles Crowdfunding Campaign
I didn’t have much money in my bank account (working at startups will do that to you), and I didn’t want to raise VC right off the bat, so I knew I had to do a crowdfunding campaign.
With the help of a crowdfunding agency I trusted, I targeted crowdfunding lookalike audiences, told people the expected price and launch date on Indiegogo, explained the product with some punny copy, laid out a few fun pictures we had taken at a photoshoot that cost us $500, and asked for their email.
We budgeted 10 weeks to get ready for our Indiegogo (that’s a must), and we spent that time running Facebook ads to landing pages that were set up for email capture.
Working backwards from a $100K goal and an estimated $100 average backer value, we knew we needed 1,000 backers, and we knew that we had to get about 30% of those (300) in the first 24 hours to be successful.
Assuming a 3% conversion on our email list, that meant we had to get 10,000 emails to ensure 300 day 1 customers. I budgeted $1 - $2 per email lead, and I hoped to convert at a high enough rate to come in under that (ended up being $0.89 per lead).
Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need
There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.
Here are some factors you may want to consider:
- Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
- Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
- Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
- Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
- Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.
Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.
Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your bedding company.
Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.
For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.
You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:
- Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
- Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
- Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
- Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
- Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
- Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
- Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
- Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
- Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.
Learn more about how to write a business plan here
We've interviewed several different founders in the bedding company and asked them how much $ they're making today.
- $2.4M/year in revenue
- Sells eucalyptus lyocell bedding.
- Solo founder
- 6 employees
- $1.8M/year in revenue
- Sells natural and organic bedding
- 0 founders
- 3 employees
- $120K/year in revenue
- Sells home goods
- 3 founders
- 3 employees
- $3.6M/year in revenue
- Sells handcrafted beds.
- Solo founder
- 15 employees
How To Find A Supplier For Your Bedding Company
Here are the steps to consider when finding a supplier/manufacturer:
Know your design
One very critical step to finding the right supplier is having an initial idea of what your design/product will look like.
Sketching is one of the most simple ways to get started in the design phase.
What's great about sketching is that you can practically do this anytime, anywhere - even on the back of a napkin.
To get started, all you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start drawing - or if you are working on a virtual/software product this can be a diagram that outlines the user interface or experience.
Decide your supplier type
You'll want to identify the type of supplier you are looking for.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself prior to searching for a supplier
- Are you looking for a manufacturer to produce your product idea?
- Do you want to find a supplier that can simply purchase existing products for you?
- Do you want a drop-shipper to supply and fulfill orders?
- Do you want a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier? Read more about the pros and cons of each here
Where to start your search
Once you have an understanding of what type of manufacturer/supplier will be best to bring your idea to life, there are several areas you can start your search:
Founders of Ocochi discuss their experience with finding a supplier and the criteria they used to choose the right one:
The manufacturing process was a huge learning curve for us. With the Chinese being the artisans of bamboo and mulberry silk, our supplier journey was primarily focused on China.
Over the course of three years, we vetted over 30 factories. Initially, we had assumed that our focus would be on the vetting process and product quality, but we discovered a third and equally important element – relationship building.
Ultimately, in China nothing ends with a written contract, it comes down to trust from both sides of the partnership. Even with Jess’s understanding of the Chinese culture and language, gained at university and through working in Shanghai, there were still plenty of hurdles!
After significant vetting and the all-important go-ahead from Geoff, we finally picked our supplier.
So, you may be wondering why we chose this supplier ….
- They offered unparalleled quality of fabrics
- Repeatability in high-quality production
- They had long term partnerships with Western companies also selling bedding
- Factory conditions were excellent
- They provided certifications for products and good working conditions for their staff
- Last, but not least, we trusted them
Unfortunately for our bank account, they were the most expensive - at least twice the price of any other supplier. We knew this meant less profit for us, but we also knew that higher quality for the customer is what wins in the long-term.
We aren’t looking to make a quick buck. We want to be a trusted brand.
🚀 How To Launch Your Bedding Company
How To Price Your Bed Sheets
One of the most challenging aspects to starting a bedding company is determining how much to charge for your bed sheets.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.
Understand your costs
When pricing your bed sheets, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your bed sheets so you can factor in a profit.
The actual cost of your bed sheets may include things like:
- The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
- Shipping + overhead fees
- Operating costs to run your business
You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.
Create revenue goals
When determining the price of your bed sheets, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your bedding company to make.
This process is simpler than you may think:
- Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
- Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
- Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
- Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell
This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.
Evaluate your competition
The last piece in determining how to price your bed sheets is by simply looking at your competition.
The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your bed sheets fits best in the marketplace.
All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your bed sheets, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.
Ochochi set's price based on competition
The next step was to find out whether there was a market for the products. We loved the opportunity we had found and were passionate about it, but would anyone buy our products and, if they would, why and at what price?
We established that there were some bamboo and mulberry silk bedding players in the market, but these were far and few between. The few companies that were around were performing very well with multi-million-dollar turnovers. Assuming we could match them with our brand appeal this was a tick for marketability.
With our research of competitor price positioning and supplier costs, we confirmed that there were margins that would enable us to proceed and ultimately turn our love for a product into a business.
Launch Strategies For Your Bedding Company
There are various different ways you can launch your bedding company successfully.
Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your bedding company.
- Build hype with a landing page: you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
- Create a teaser video: even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your bedding company, and possibly even go viral
- Reach out to influencers: The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
- Get Press: Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
- Launch on popular sites: A great way to get buzz about your bedding company is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.
Here are a few popular sites to launch on:
Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here
Colin McIntosh built launch hype through landing pages and email blasts and resulted in thousands of pre-orders for his product:
Building our email lists
During this prep time, we used Kickoff Labs for our landing page software, and we ran a social sharing competition so people would share our landing pages organically as well (we got about 15% of our leads organically).
We ran about 50 different ad variants to about 12 different landing pages to find out what converted the best (different images, headers, subheaders, text, value props, calls-to-action, layouts, etc.), and then we picked the best combo of 4 ads and 2 landing pages that converted best.
We ended up capturing 11,000 emails in 10 weeks at about 46% conversion, which was insane – that’s when I knew we were on to something.
Building hype and the launch
We sent out one email per month to our list to keep them engaged, got customer feedback in the form of surveys (which colors to they want, most popular sizes, etc.), and that informed which colors and sizes we chose to make for our launch (had to hone in on 25 SKUs tops to ensure limited logistical complexity).
Ahead of May 1, we sent out “72 hours” and “night before emails,” and on May 1 we ended up raising $45,000 on our first day from over 400 backers! (We also did a ton of product development and testing / approvals, designed and approved packaging, placed our first PO in April with a deposit to our manufacturer, and spent time planning out the cadence of our Indiegogo communication and marketing.)
In June I traveled to India to inspect production and our facilities, and I made sure the production quality and pace was what we needed to succeed. Love our Indian partners.
We began shipping thousands of preorders on October 1 (pretty much all 5-star reviews!), and now we’re just holding on for dear life through the holidays.
Build A Website
Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).
- Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
- Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
- Make sure you choose the right theme and design
- Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)
To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.
Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.
Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.
One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.
If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.
Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right
The way you package your bedding company is often the first impression your customer has - so it's important to get it right.
You may want to ask yourself these questions:
If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:
- Will my bedding company stand out?
- Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?
There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:
- Canva - Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Stickermule - High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
- Noissue - Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
- Rollo Label Printer - A great tool to print all shipping labels at home
Sheets & Giggles explains the motive behind their "Premium Unboxing Experience"
I had a particular vision for our packaging centered around one goal: because we were a DTC company and wouldn’t do physical retail in year 1, we needed to focus entirely on an incredible unboxing experience that made the product feel as premium as possible.
Outside: a white box, nice wax coating, logo front and center with no other copy, easy to open, nice and sturdy.
Inside: make people smile from the get-go, have a social call-to-action, include free extra surprises (a knapsack that wraps the sheets and an eye mask), put funny copy all over the place, and add a donation bag that people could use to donate their now-defunct cotton sheets (sheets & blankets are the #2-most-requested item at shelters behind socks).
🌱 How To Grow Your Bedding Company
Grow Your Email List
The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.
One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.
This could also be anything from:
- Fascinating case study
- Video series
- Free week of the product
- Discount on the product
Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.
Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:
We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.
Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.
We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.
Improve Your Email Marketing
Different types of emails
Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:
- Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
- Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
- Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
- Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
- Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!
Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!
Build a Referral Program
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.
A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.
A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.
Bedding Referral Program Example
We have a ton of word of mouth with our customers and are starting a referral program that gives people 10% cash back for sales they refer when they share S&G with others and $10 off for their friends that use their link. (It’s already been used by large media outlets with good success.)
Improve your SEO
SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."
Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your bedding company.
- Google Ads Keyword Planner invaluable for discovering search trends.
- Google Search Console is very helpful once your website is up as it shows you what words/phrases are generating traffic.
- Ahrefs and SEMRush are paid tools that allow you to look at results of your competitor's website.
Publish Great Content
Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.
There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.
So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"
- Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
- Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
- Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
- Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
- Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).
Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.
If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.
Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.
Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:
Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.
Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.
Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.
For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.
Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:
- Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
- Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
- Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
- Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
- Leverage existing business relationships
Social Media Advertising
Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to bedding company.
There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.
Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:
- Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
- Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
- Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
- Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
- LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses
It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:
Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:
- Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
- Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
- Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?
From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!
Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.
🏃🏼♀️ How To Run Your Bedding Company
How To Retain Customers For Your Bedding Company
Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your bedding company.
Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.
Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.
That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.
Here are some ways you can retain customers for your bedding company:
- Responding to comments on social media
- Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
- Provide valuable content, for free
- Write a hand written thank you note
- Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers
To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here
Importance of Engagement Through Social Media
Advice from Colin McIntosh, founder of Sheets and Giggles:
I think the single best thing we do to drive conversion is answer all Facebook comments and messages within minutes. I have the Pages Manager app on my phone (it’s terrible but it at least works), and when people comment on our ads we respond immediately to almost every single comment with on-brand straightforward answers, questions, jokes, pics, gifs, etc.
I honestly think that some people are deciding to buy before they ever click on our ads based on our answers to questions and interaction with commenters.
A lot of people (especially customer service folks) don’t understand that you’re not just responding to the person who asked; you’re writing marketing language to convert the thousands of people who will read the comments before clicking.
Provide Great Customer Service
Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.
Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority.
Just remember: customer service represents your brand, values, vision and YOU as a person.
Customer service tips from Mike Schaefer, founder of Soaring Heart Natural beds
For more than 35 years, we’ve been building great beds and we believe you won’t find better products and customer service anywhere.
Our team of crafts-people loves what we do. We hand-sign every mattress and offer a 20 year warranty so that you can rest assured we stand behind everything we make.
We follow up with every sale asking for feedback and have an app that also follows all abandoned carts to understand where/why someone stopped in their shopping process.
Nothing is more important than connecting with these shoppers to be sure they are happy with their purchase or on-line shopping experience.
It takes time, and often there is a concern to address - but that’s what customer service means to a growing business.
Diversify Your Product Line
Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.
It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.
Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product
- Meeting the needs of your customers
- Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
- Resistance to downturns/trends fading
- Create new revenue streams
Colin McIntosh has big expansion plans next year
Next year, we’ll expand our product lines to new sizes (Twin, Split King), add new colors (red, green, beige), and add our first non-bedding product: a eucalyptus lyocell throw blanket.
We also plan to dip our toes into international sales next year with the UK, Australia, and Canada, and likely the EU too (gotta start translating the pun somehow).
Short term, I start paying myself in December (sheet yeah, only took a full year...), and next year we plan to grow 4-5x in revenue.
To accomplish that, we’ll expand to a couple new channels without going overboard or doing physical retail (Amazon in January, and HSN or QVC would be my Q3/4 target).
What does expansion look like in the bedding industry?
If you can afford to hire someone to help support your bedding company, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.
Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!
If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.
Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?
- So you can understand how long it takes
- So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
- So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
- So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
- Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.
Tools to get started:
As a bedding company, there are some tools and platforms you may want to consider when getting started:
- Platform tools such as Shopify
- Email tools such as Klaviyo or WeChat
- Reviews tools such as Judge.me or Stamped.io
- Accounting tools such as Quickbooks
- Productivity tools such as Slack
- Sales tools such as Bold Cashier or Bold Upsell
- Design tools such as Canva or Hypervisual Page Builder
- Crm tools such as Streak
- Other tools such as Storis or Gusto
We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your bedding company.
- Platform tools such as Shopify
- Email tools such as MailChimp, Klaviyo or WeChat
- Social media tools such as Instagram or Pinterest
- Reviews tools such as Judge.me, Stamped.io or Loox
- Design tools such as Canva or Hypervisual Page Builder
- Productivity tools such as Google Suite, Slack or Asana
- Accounting tools such as Quickbooks
- Crm tools such as Streak
- Sales tools such as Bold Cashier or Bold Upsell
- Brooklinen: Luxury Bedding Business by Brooklyn couple
- People & Business - The Story Behind Brooklinen Luxury Bedding (Worth $15million)
- Starting A Bed Sheet Business Making $600K In First 8 Months
- How I Started A $150K/Month Natural And Organics Bedding Products Brand
- How We Started A $10K/Month All-Natural Bedding Brand
- Running A Furniture Company For 30+ Years and Moving Online