Are you a Freelance solopreneur who has a tangible product to sell, one that you feel is ready to get into the hands of many more customers? You have an efficient and reliable means of production worked out: you may manufacture it yourself, or have a great team working for you, or you have a reliable wholesale source who sells to you at a competitive price. You fulfill requests for product on time and seldom back order.
The product is sold on your company website and is also available in a network of local stores. Sales are brisk and there are lots of reorders. You come to see that without wider distribution, you are losing money. You conclude that it is time to look for a third sales channel, a wholesale distributor .
Congratulations! Selling your product through a wholesale distributor is a big step, a real validation of your business acumen. Be a real pro and take a minute to understand what will persuade a wholesale distributor to include your product in their mix.
A distributor is a middle man who makes money from products he sells to a wide range of retail outlets, so he will take on only those products that he expects to sell quickly. Show that you are a good risk by demonstrating healthy product sales both from your website and at retail outlets. Be prepared to sell your product to the distributor for less money than you sell to retailers. The distributor needs to see a certain profit margin before he takes you on. Moreover, the distributor must buy inventory and so must invest in much more product than a typical retail establishment.
The advantage for you is that your product will be much more widely available. Another advantage for you is that many more retailers will stock your product when it is available through a wholesale distributor, because they prefer to purchase a wide array of merchandise from a limited number of vendors. It is too time-consuming to deal directly with many small vendors, interacting with numerous salespeople and invoicing each separately.
Distributors also prefer business owners who have multiple products, because it is favorable to their administrative costs. It is easier to sell several products from one company, so the more products you manufacture for sale, the more attractive you are to a wholesale distributor.
When your sales are strong and the time you spend selling individually to retail outlets becomes unwieldy, it is time to contact wholesale distributors to see if you are considered a good prospect for them. Ask the retail establishments to whom you sell who you should contact and ask for a reference.
Thanks for reading,