How to: Start a Wholesale Distributor Business
A wholesale distributor is a business that trades goods for profit. They supply products to retailers who then sell them to consumers. Most wholesale distributors in the retail industry buy tailored products from a manufacturer that they then distribute to retail stores. If you are looking to start a retail wholesale business these are the necessary steps you will need to take.
Coming up with an idea
The first step when starting your wholesale distributor business is to think up an idea of what to supply. It should be something that you are passionate about, something that interests you for one reason or another. Your idea should be unique and exciting, it shouldn’t be in high supply with low demand. Something that isn’t currently on the market is what you should be aiming for, or something on the market that you are putting a unique twist on.
Manage your Finances
Before opening up a wholesale business it is important to manage your finances. You need to estimate your outgoing and incoming costs and figure out if the business has the potential to be profitable.
Figure out how much money you will need to start the business and save it up yourself or look for outside investors. There are a few ways to get a start-up grant so look into your options and see if you qualify.
Before you market your business anywhere you need to trademark the name and get any relevant copyrighting or patents made before you announce your idea to the public. If you are opening up a business, you will need to apply for a tax identification number. Once you register your business and open a business account with the bank you can do this. It is worthwhile getting a lawyer if you haven’t opened a business before to make sure you are doing everything legally and by the books.
So, you’ve come up with an idea, but you don’t know how to implement the design and manufacture the product. You will need to look into connecting with suppliers who can create the product/s you have in mind at the right price. Ensuring there is complete transparency between you and your supplier is more important than ever. Retailers who are looking to stock your brand in their store will want to be in the know about where the products come from so they can then relay that message to the end consumer.
This year’s trade show Spring Fair will host manufacturers from all over the world. Wholesalers can find the perfect manufacturers and suppliers for them without the hassle of travelling overseas, or the uneasiness of doing deals without speaking to the supplier face to face, you can register for your free ticket here if you want to source products or just get a better understanding of how you can in the future.
Marketing and Sales
Once your brand is all set up logistically it is time to start selling to retailers. If you are new to the industry you may not have as many connections as needed to even break even, never mind making a healthy profit. Now is the time to set up a website and social media accounts and start marketing your brand and products. Writing a business blog, investing in PPC, and growing your social media accounts are all relatively cheap ways to start marketing.
For wholesalers, one of the most effective and prominent ways of making connections and selling your products is through wholesale trade shows. Retail trade shows will attract your target audience and give you a platform to sell to retailers of all sizes. Choosing the right trade show is important, and the size, location, visitor numbers, and price should all be taken into consideration. Spring Fair is the largest UK retail trade show and is the perfect place for wholesalers looking to break into the industry. It’s a vital part of the business year in a lot of wholesaler's calendars because of the connections and sales they have the potential to make.