The really tough part of running a wholesale business is starting one. The really easy part of starting a wholesale business may also be starting one. This might seem confusing, but starting a wholesale business all depends on what industry you want to specialise in. Is it hardware, software, clothes, or services? Is it strictly an online business or you need brick and mortar stores?
Starting a wholesale business relies on many factors. You also have to seriously consider your market, and you need to hire very competent staff. You have to really brainstorm what products and services you will be selling, and you need to observe customer buying trends and how well those products do or have done, on the market, which entails knowing the life cycle of products and keeping up with economic trends. After considering these and a host of other things, you may be ready to start your business; and a wildly profitable one too.
Wholesale Business: Is It Profitable?
Starting a wholesale business, as mentioned earlier, all depends on a couple of things:
- The industry you want to specialise in. You need to know it inside and out and be truly conversant with how this industry works
- The location of your business. You want your business to be sited in the best places possible to have access to customers and to keep up with the competition
- Whether your business is going to be online or require a physical premise and stock. Starting a wholesale business entirely online sometimes costs nothing, while a physical premise with stock may be more costly, both financially and time-wise.
- The type of wholesale business. Will you be selling products and services, or just products or services? You need to choose the type of wholesale business you want to start.
- Identify your customers. Know your customers and ensure that there is an actual need for your products or services
- Check out the competition. See what they are doing and determine how you can do even better.
- Know your suppliers and make sure that they are dependable and honest, and can supply all you need to run your wholesale business.
- Make sure your wholesale business is viable.
What Makes A Good Wholesale Business?
The things you do that get you a good reputation with customers and suppliers alike is what makes your business a good wholesale business. A good wholesale business should be able to meet the demands of its customers in good time, without any delays. If there are going to be delays of any kind, the customer needs to be informed on time. A good wholesale business should be able to meet the customers’ needs in terms of price, quality, and quantity. No wholesaler is worth their salt if they cannot meet orders at great prices and provide quality products or services. You can’t offer very low prices and deliver sub-standard products either.
Product Life Cycle
In order to ensure that your wholesale business does not fall into deficit, one key area you need to know is product life cycle. It refers to the stages products go through, from when they are first introduced on the market, to when their demand falls due to the emergence of a new product that can replace it. A product life cycle can be described in four stages:
- Introduction stage
This is when the new product has been manufactured is introduced on the market. This is the most expensive stage of the cycle for the manufacturer and the marketer, due to the cost o production and promotions and campaigns for the product
- Growth stage
This is the stage where the product has caught on and is doing well on the market, bringing in profits for the manufacturer and the sellers.
- Maturity stage
At this stage, the product has been established on the market, and the seller’s aim is to keep the market shares steady.
- Decline stage
Over time, the market or this product reduces greatly, because all the customers that could buy it already have it, or customers are switching to a new product.
It is important to know the product life cycles of various products on the market to know which ones you will sell and how to market them appropriately.
Growing Your Wholesale Business
What are the steps you can follow to grow your wholesale business? Some of them are:
- You should give additional incentives to your sales team. Encourage them and motivate them to make those sales by incentivizing them by giving them bonuses or gift packages, all-paid family expenses, deals on company products, things like that. Once they know that they can get something or reach a certain target, they will work hard to grow your business.
- Chase cold calls down and stay in touch with customers or potential clients. Set up a mailing list and send out autoresponder emails regularly to give updates on company promotions and sales.
- Aggressively follow up on leads, because the competition is there doing the same thing. Getting there first means more growth or your wholesale business
- Improve your sales process by getting it online, streamlining your ordering and delivery systems, and providing several payment options for customers
Promoting Your New Business
Promoting your wholesale business gives you visibility and exposure. This will get customers to notice you and approach you to do business. Things you can do to promote your wholesale business are:
- Get a website.
Every business now needs a website, as more and more people are spending their time on the internet. Create a responsive and attractive website for your business, make sure it is fully functional, and it is optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation).
- Be on Social Media.
Social media is the new generation of marketing. It can do more for your brand than any other platform.
- Place ads online.
Place ads on your website ad on other company’s websites. You can also place ads in emails that other companies send out to their mailing lists.
- Go to Trade Fair.
Go to trade shows or trade fairs that are relevant to your industry and rent out booths to advertise your product.
If you proactively give your customers a quality product and make them see its value, they will reward you for it. It can be in the form of a wholesale deal, or by spreading the word about your business.
Soon enough, word of mouth will do the rest for you, and your wholesale business will become a household name.
Best Wholesale Business Marketing Ideas for 2017
There are a great many ideas out there or marketing your wholesale business. As for the year 2017, some of the hottest marketing tips are:
- Blogging has become a powerful affiliate marketing tool for wholesale businesses this year. Your business website should also have a blog, where you write articles pertaining to your business and wholesale business in general. Blogs are able to drive traffic online, thus giving it great marketing potential.
- Social media marketing is a big deal now. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are just a few of the social media tools that provide strong marketing potential and branding presence for wholesale businesses. With millions of people worldwide on social media, social media marketing is one of the best marketing ideas for 2017
- B2B directories are another marketing idea gaining ground in 2017. Though this may involve a lot of work, getting your company listed in these directories gives you the opportunity to interact with customers and suppliers and make sound business contacts. It may be difficult, but it is worth it
Tying in every factor together with reliable manpower and strong management, you are on your way to great start to grow your business into a wildly profitable one.