Finding the right wholesale supplier could be one of the most important business decisions you can make.
A wholesale supplier is a company that handles the logistics of directly buying the raw products from a manufacturer, storing them, and selling/shipping them to other businesses. When choosing a wholesale supplier, it’s important to consider multiple criteria, including (but not limited to):
- Finding a supplier that will connect you with the manufacturers/products you need
- Prices that are right for your business
- Reach to you and your region
- A trustworthy reputation
Where to look for wholesale providers
Doing your own research into your industry’s supply chain and wholesale supplier networks can pay dividends in the long run. Regardless if you’re running a restaurant, selling board games, or even serving craft beer in a taproom, knowing the ins and outs of your market sector can’t be beat.
Network within your industry
If you’re just starting out in your industry, learning from your peers about best practices/wholesale is a great reason to actively network. Reaching out to your local competitors is a great option to get the ball rolling and introduce yourself in a professional setting. This will have the added benefit of being able to tell you the pros and cons they’ve faced in your local area.
Local business networks are also available, such as your Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Join your national trade association(s) to participate in networking events, online forums, and other informational opportunities.
Attend Industry Events
Industry trade shows are a great opportunity to connect with others and learn about wholesalers. There are both consumer-facing shows, and B2B/Industry-specific shows, which will be the more lucrative approach when it comes to finding wholesale vendors. A good tip is to join your industry’s trade association, following them on social media, and subscribing to their publications is a great way to stay up to date on when the next industry event is.
Before you go, check the website of the trade show to get a list of all the events and booths available at the convention to get a sense of what and where everything will be. Take the time to make a personal itinerary of all the things you want to attend, like keynote speeches, product demos, and panel discussions.
Once you’ve identified what you want, and if you’re ready to make a deal, contact the wholesale dealer before the tradeshow. Oftentimes, convention floors can be loud and chaotic environments, not conducive to business negotiations. By messaging them ahead of time, you can demonstrate your seriousness about moving forward, and the vendor should be happy to meet with you.
Hiring A Consultant
Sometimes you can end up feeling stuck, locked up with so many different options available to you. After all, choosing a wholesaler is a decision that can have a dramatic effect on your business, so making the right decision can be crucial. If you decide that you need some outside help, hiring a consultant can be the right idea.
Before you dive into a Consultant, a few things to consider are that professional’s credentials, namely their previous clients. Does their past business reflect on your industry? What can that professional deliver to you as well? If you’re looking for a list of wholesalers, perhaps ask for it based on your previous sales. Ask that they do the legwork of introducing you to the wholesaler. Provide a final report at the end of the contract for your records to look back upon.
First Contact With A Wholesaler
Once you’ve gone over all the steps listed above, start reaching out to the wholesalers on your list any way you can in order to ascertain wholesale unit prices, minimum order prices, and what region that they supply (it can be handy to open an Excel sheet and keep a list of pros and cons for your records). Be sure to let the distributor know that you’re new to the industry, and you’re shopping around to try and see what different prices are around, honesty goes a long way.
Let Aloe Labs Help Your Business with Wholesaling
There are loads of reasons you might need a wholesaler and many more reasons you can benefit from it.
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