You have a Brilliant Business Model – Now all you need is a Wholesale Supplier!
Wholesale suppliers are in the business of distributing products directly from the manufacturer, breaking them down into smaller more manageable segments, then selling those to other businesses.
Wholesalers are the connectors between you – the business owner – and the Manufactures, which are often based in Asia.
If you own a store, sell through e-commerce or are a start-up, you’ll find that wholesalers play a crucial role in the success of your operations.
Find the Right Small Business Wholesale Supplier
For all small to medium sized businesses, it’s crucial to find a wholesaler that you can rely on. Doing so will guide you on the path of smooth selling. There are several question you’ll want to ask the wholesaler, like:
- What is your distribution region?
- What are the MOQ’s (Minimum Order Quantity)
- Are the Products customizable?
And lastly, ensure the supplier has steady communication with honest answers, this will save you a lot of headaches later on.
1. Analyze your Distribution Needs
There are endless ways to find the right supplier for your company, but first you must determine the basic needs of your business.
Understanding your order volume, variation of products and customization, and delivery frequency will guide you in the right direction. Here’s a glance into the type of discussions you’ll have with any manufacturer.
What product EXACTLY do you need supplied?
Manufacturers naturally love sharing their catalog of all the products they have available. Many carry a large SKU list, while others focus heavily on one or two products. Come prepared with the ideal product in mind for your company.
This will help you, and the supplier, determine if they are the right fit for you.
Remember, customization is often POSSIBLE, so don’t close the door immediately if what you want isn’t available. Open discussion works best here.
Estimate your projected sales volumes
Yes, this seems nearly impossible! Unless your business is fully functioning, it can be difficult to calculate your potential volume. Market research and competitor analysis are your two best tools.
While you may not want to warehouse excess overstock, keep in mind that OUT OF STOCKs impact your sales AND company reputation. In this light, calculate your projections with a positive margin, if possible.
Warehousing, Deliveries, and Inventory
Your new manufacturer will want to know the order sizes and delivery frequency, they may likely have minimums as well. It’s best to get these questions answered first to determine if you are the right size of customer.
When shipping from overseas (Asia primarily) to North America, sending a 20” or 40” Shipping Container is the most cost effective method.
Bulk shipments, warehousing, and 3PL, like NewEgg Logistics, services continue to prove themselves as the best method for redistributing products, unless of course you’re dealing strictly with small parcel e-commerce.
We can assist with international and domestic shipping to help keep your inventory stocked.
2. Maintain Good Relationships with Your Wholesale Supplier
You’ve made first contact with a manufacturer, they have the products you need and can support your business. Great, off to a good start!!
Now is a good time to build a relationship with them, maintaining positive communication. If your manufacturer is based in a foreign country, like China or Vietnam, communicating in the same language might be a challenge.
However, using translators is encouraged to work together.
Our entire team at Proud Planet are Native English speakers, ensuring seamless communication with North American business practices.
It’s recommended to add your point of contact on a messenger platform, such as WhatsApp, Alibaba Messages, or Skype. This way, you’ll always be in the loop and set the path for long term cooperation.
3. Follow Suppliers Groups, Media Accounts and other Professional Networks
Get involved with your industry’s community through online groups or newsletters. Experienced business owners of a similar niche can subtly point you towards products and industry news.
Once connected with online groups, reach out to your manufacturers of choice – ask for their LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media accounts. You’ll find that the majority of suppliers use LinkedIn and can be reached through there.
Manufactures, on the other hand, can be far more difficult to reach. Their exclusive to the suppliers and often refrain from dealing directly with retailers.
Connecting with your Supplier online will give you a sense of who they are, what their other customers are like, and their true capabilities. Investing the time into networking will build the confidence you need to trust a manufacturer.
4. Discovering Trade Shows
Trade shows are a powerful resource, specifically designed for suppliers and retailers to connect with the manufacturers. It’s a time to meet up in person (though virtual trade shows are becoming more popular), and discuss the ins and outs of their business.
And get FREE samples!
Check out the local trade shows in your area or head over to Trade Show News Network for up to date information on upcoming events.
You can arrive prepared, or just go for a visit, either way you’re bound to find industry information.
5. It takes Time
The first manufacturer you work with might not be THE ONE. This will require a period of trial and error as your business needs change and other hurdles approach.
If you follow the guidelines above, you’re already on your way to developing a profitable relationship with the Supplier. Finding a perfect supply chain network doesn’t happen overnight. Keep your goals in mind, and leave room for flexibility as the course of business may change.
The team at Proud Planet is here to assist you with all your distribution needs. We work directly with Vietnamese manufacturers to bring you high quality Food and Beverage Takeaway Packaging, following North American Business practices.
Contact us anytime for information.