Starting your own wholesale or reselling business can mean a couple of different things. Either you’re manufacturing or getting items at cost, then selling them at wholesale prices to other sellers. Alternatively, you’re simply sourcing your items at wholesale and selling them to customers as a retail business. Either business model can be effective, but the latter is probably the easiest to do. This is because manufacturing your own products can be time-consuming and costly, and getting them at cost is nearly impossible.
The reason most people go into the wholesale business is that they already have a product they’ve designed and have done relatively well selling it directly to consumers. A good example is a candle-maker. They might start out making candles for craft shows or online marketplaces. Let’s say their customers love their product and start spreading the word. Suddenly, everyone is clamoring for their candles, and small boutiques start approaching them to sell them in their stores. They then figure out a price to sell the candles to these boutiques that is less than they sell to individuals but still allows them to make a profit. They are now in the wholesale business.
The other type of wholesale business would be where you become the middle man. In other words, you purchase items from wholesalers and mark them up to sell to your customers. This can be in a brick-and-mortar store, online marketplace, or any other venue where the sale of products is permitted. There are several rules and tips that apply to either of these types of businesses. Here are a few to get you started.
1. Find quality wholesalers.
Your wholesale business is only as good as your suppliers, so it’s important to find some you trust. For example, if you decide to go into the popular niche of new and refurbished electronics, Gowholesale is a good place to start. They’re a trusted wholesale company with good reviews, a user-friendly site, and excellent deals on prices. As with any wholesaler, you can usually get better prices with larger orders. However, it’s always OK to start small and figure out what works for your business.
Things to look for when deciding on a supplier are incentives for larger orders, the least amount of time for deliveries, little interruption in service, and a smooth workflow. You’ll, of course, also want to make sure that they do good work and offer exceptional customer service.
2. Keep expansion in mind.
When you first start your business, you might be bootstrapping it all alone, and that’s a great way to start. However, keep in mind that as you grow, you’ll probably need to get help in one area or another. This might include hiring employees and outsourcing certain services. It all just depends on the number of tasks you have to accomplish and how those decisions affect your bottom line.
The point is that you should be thinking about and planning for these things early on so that, when your business does take off, you won’t be suddenly overwhelmed with the added costs and additional team members. Start thinking now about how you’ll become a good supervisor, and encourage employee productivity.
3. Develop effective organizational systems.
The organization methods you use will depend on your chosen business model. If you store your own inventory, it will be important to physically organize those products so that they’re easy to find. Any extra time spent on trying to locate things to ship is time you could spend on more productive and profitable tasks. If you don’t have physical inventory, you’ll still have software, customer information, and ordering procedures you’ll have to organize. There’s plenty of great advice online for how to do all of this. A quick internet search should give you some effective ideas.
4. Offer excellent customer service.
Finally, it probably goes without saying, but providing great customer service should be your number one priority from the beginning. This applies to your business contacts as well as your customers. After all, without any of these people, you don’t have a business. Providing good customer service doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can go a long way toward fulfilling a company’s mission. Look for small ways every day to enhance their experience. That could mean knowing your product well, responding to emails and phone calls promptly, and listening intently to their concerns or complaints. These small acts could be what puts your business ahead of your competitors.