Wholesaling can be a fun and rewarding career for the right individual. As the key connection between suppliers and end-users, a wholesaler sells new and used materials and goods in bulk to retailers, commercial, industrial and manufacturing firms and other entities.
Wholesaling requires a good business sense as there can be significant risk involved. Good organizational skills, problem-solving ability and strong work ethic are also key requirements for success. For individuals possessing these qualities, wholesaling can be highly lucrative, as the steps to start a wholesale business are not that complicated.
One: Product and industry choice. This may seem like an obvious first step, but one must decide on what they plan to wholesale. Many successful wholesalers started wholesaling goods and service they knew well, or had good connections in a specific industry. Another strategy is to research up and coming products or materials and look to get in early.
Two: Choose a business model. This comes down to deciding whether your wholesaling business will take delivery of goods or have them drop shipped to customers. Drop shipping is popular as it obviates the need to store and re-ship products, so it lowers expenses. However if there is some quality control inspections, repackaging or assembly required, a storage warehouse is necessary.
Three: Establish supplier relationships. This is one of the most important steps. Securing reliable and quality suppliers is the key to a successful wholesaling business. The internet has made finding suppliers relative easy, but just because a potential supplier has a nice looking website, it is important to do plenty of investigation. Suppliers ultimately have to deliver on the business promises made by wholesaler so establish relationships carefully.
Four: Arrange shipping suppliers. Shipping goods in bulk to customers is one of the larger expenses wholesalers must face so it is important to negotiate the best deal possible. Lowering costs boost profits so work hard on driving a hard bargain.
Five: Establish a web presence. In any business a website is a crucial element, but for a wholesaler it is often their only global storefront. Be sure to have a thorough and well-thought out site. Potential customers need to have good information about your products and how you deliver. More and more wholesale sites allow direct ordering so check out the competition and be certain your site is up to standard.
Six: Hit the pavement and sell. No start-up wholesaler will be successful without some selling. The most successful owners are always hustling for business. One can’t simply rely on a website or advertisements to do the job of good personal selling.
Seven: Marketing and advertising: This is another area where hard work pays off. Marketing in the wholesale world means to be active in trade groups and industry associations. If there are tradeshows and events, it is important to have a presence and make business connections. The most successful wholesalers are always looking for opportunities to sell their products.