Starting any business is a lot of work. As a retailer, you know that firsthand — you’ve jumped through the hoops of starting your business, whether you sell online or at flea markets. Starting a wholesale business isn’t any different — there’s a lot of time and effort put into it, but luckily for you, as a retailer you’ve already got a foot in the door of the resale industry, making it that much easier for you to get started as a wholesaler.
All About Perspective – As you set about planning your wholesale business, use your perspective as a retailer to your advantage. As a retailer, you know what obstacles you have encountered in the past. You can anticipate what your customers need before they even know they need it, and you can offer resources to help them navigate the worlds of E-commerce and flea market selling.
Take the time to think about the wholesalers you purchased from. What did you like about them? What did you dislike? Of the qualities you disliked, how could they be improved upon? Plan ahead and figure out how to use your competitor’s’ weaknesses as your strengths.
Cultivate Connections – As you continue your work as a retailer while planning and setting up your wholesale business, take the time to get to know the people around you. Your current competition could be a future supplier or customer, so be wary of being too aggressive or burning bridges. Maintain as many positive contacts with suppliers and fellow sellers as possible.
Keeping good relations with your suppliers is especially important. As you make the transition from a retailer to a wholesaler, having a good history with your suppliers can make all the difference in the world in what you have to work with. If you have a long history of on-time payments with a supplier, they may be more lenient in how much you can purchase at once with payments, whereas a company you’ve missed payments with could demand all payments up front, which can easily stifle your business. Do your best to cultivate positive relationships with suppliers that offer good prices, good quality, and great customer service.
Brace for the B2B Schedule – While working as a retailer is far from a 9 to 5 job, it does have a measure of predictability to it. If you’re selling online you can have set shipping days, track steady sales, and order more supplies from wholesalers as needed. If you have a brick and mortar store, you have set store hours and can likely usually plan your days with some degree of certainty. As a business-to-business (B2B) seller, you will need to learn to be a little more flexible.
Oftentimes your suppliers and importers will be functioning in a wide array of different time zones, so when you need to communicate directly with them, you will have to be awake at odd hours to do so. Likewise, your customers will need to know they can depend on you, which may mean being available when they have a chance to contact you. Keeping the clients you have, earning new ones, finding great suppliers, and staying on top of market trends means you will likely be working 7 days a week at least until your business is well-established. A lot of work, yes, but worth it for the income opportunities working as a wholesaler provides you.