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Achieving_Wholesale_Success__10_Tips_For_Getting_Started

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					Title:
Achieving Wholesale Success: 10 Tips For Getting Started

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1297

Summary:
Whether you are just thinking about, or you have decided that you would
like to start running a wholesale business, there are a number of items
that you should spend considerable time planning and researching before
going full steam ahead. Proper planning and fact-finding up-front can not
only save you from a lot of headaches in the beginning, but can also mean
the difference between a successful wholesale business versus a monetary
disaster waiting to happen.

In this arti...


Keywords:
Wholesale Video Games, Wholesale List, Wholesale Distributor, Video Games
Distributor


Article Body:
Whether you are just thinking about, or you have decided that you would
like to start running a wholesale business, there are a number of items
that you should spend considerable time planning and researching before
going full steam ahead. Proper planning and fact-finding up-front can not
only save you from a lot of headaches in the beginning, but can also mean
the difference between a successful wholesale business versus a monetary
disaster waiting to happen.

In this article we will provide you with ten tips to help guide you along
the way as you begin planning for your business. They are presented in
chronological order so that you can use them as a way to plan out the
proper steps along the way. Remember, success depends on many factors –
and the most important factor is your determination and energy you put
into making your business a success!

Step 1: Ask Yourself Why?

Why do you want to get into the wholesaling business? It is because you
would enjoy working with other businesses and manufacturers being the
main point of contact between the two? Or is it because you think it is
an easy way to make money quick?

Wholesaling is a demanding business, and can require lots of up-front
capital, warehousing, logistics planning and customer service skills. As
the main channel between the manufacturer and retailers you may find
yourself dealing with hundreds of thousands of units of merchandise
needing to be shipped across the country on a moments notice. Large
retailers often pay on a Net-10 or Net-30 schedule, meaning payment is
made after the goods are delivered. What would you do if a retailer did
not pay or went bankrupt before you received payment?
Step 2: Study Your Competition

It does no good to enter a market where there already exist established,
credible wholesalers for a given product. Retailers want to know they
have a dependable supply source that meets their terms and often will not
change wholesalers for an established product. Just because you build the
warehouse does not mean they will come.

Use your local Chamber of Commerce, the Internet and even visit with
retailers to find out what wholesalers exist in your area. If you want to
specialize in a specific product, contact the manufacturer directly to
find out who handles wholesaling for them already in your region. There
may be none in your state, or there could be three down the street.

Step 3: Assess your Financial Situation

Wholesaling can require a lot of up-front capital and expenditures before
you even see one cent of income. Do you have the resources to spend on
setting up a relationship with a manufacturer who will most likely
require you to buy in huge quantities from them? Can you afford to wait
up to 30 days for payment? Do you have the money to invest in shipping
freight or setting up your own delivery service?

Be sure to look past the startup costs as well. Employees, taxes,
property rental and insurance are just a few of the things you will need
to factor in as ongoing costs.

Step 4: The Business Plan

A solid business plan is the foundation of any business. You need to make
sure that you have spelled out what you intend to do and how you intend
to get it done. Not only will banks require this for financing, but often
other businesses you deal with will want to see it as well. It should be
the guidelines that you follow every day in your business to achieve the
goals you have set forth.

For this part, it is often wise to work with a business lawyer or seek
professional advice from business consulting services. A good resource to
help you find people in your area with the necessary skills and
background is the Small Business Administration, located on the web at
http://www.sba.gov.

Step 5: Apply for Licenses, Taxing Certificates and Other Necessary
Paperwork

Nothing is as certain as death and taxes. It is no different in business,
with one exception. As a wholesaler you will be required to pay taxes and
other fees to your state and to the federal government.

The one exception is that you will be granted tax-exempt status for the
actual goods you are moving between the manufacturer and other retailers.
This can be a tricky process and is handled at the state level.
Again, for this part you will want to make extensive use of your state
taxing authority as well as local Chambers of Commerce. One wrong mistake
here can end up costing you not only money, but possible your entire
business.

Step 6: Establish Your Facilities

Location, location, location. Businesses must exist somewhere and like
most things in life there are rules and regulations on where they can be.
Will you be having semi-trailers coming to your location at all hours of
the day and night? Will you have a storefront for vendors and clients to
come calling at? What about electrical, water and sewage needs?

Zoning laws exist to make sure that the right structures end up in the
right places. Nobody wants a warehouse next door to them in a residential
neighborhood. Work with commercial real-estate agencies to find a
suitable place for your business.

Step 7: Establish Your Relationships
You have the facilities, you have the financials – now do you have anyone
supplying you product or customers for that product? Work with
manufacturers and retailers to build a relationship. This can be one of
the most difficult parts of the experience, and is where the rubber hits
the road.

In addition, relationships extend beyond your customers and suppliers. It
is good practice to establish relations with your local Chamber of
Commerce, retail associations and labor organizations in your area.

Step 8: Marketing

Wholesalers traditionally don’t advertise. That doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t market your business to others, after all how can you build
relationships or expand on existing ones? Wholesaling guides are
published and distributed to many retailers and this is where the bulk of
your marketing efforts will be directed. The other half should be in
going to retailers directly, meeting with buyers and outlining your
services. Just because you have a customer today does not mean you can
rest on your laurels.

Marketing works hand in hand with building a relationship and maintaining
it.

Step 9: The Machine in Motion: Servicing Your Customers

Product is coming in, retailers are placing orders – we’re all done
right? Not exactly. Getting the product to your customers, answering
questions about delivery timelines, working with vendors to obtain new
product lines, it is a complex and demanding part of the business.

In today’s “just in time” marketing model a delay in shipment could mean
the end to a business relationship. You must keep your customers informed
of any status changes, pricing concerns and product movements from your
facility to their loading dock. This is where backend systems come into
play by maintaining records and logs of all activity with that customer.
Do not underestimate the value of a good Customer Relationship Management
system (CRM).

Step 10: Employees, Accounts Receivable and Other Financial Matters

Once everything is up and running your next focus is your business
financials. Employees need to be hired and fired. Payroll needs to be
met. Money must come in, and money must go out. Here you should invest in
financial talent and services if you do not possess them already.

One oversight can mean the loss of   hundreds of thousands of dollars; a
missed payroll deadline could mean   your entire business comes to a halt.
It is critical that you constantly   keep an eye on the books and on your
expenditures. Know when to tighten   the belt, and know when to expand.

				
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