If you’re not in line for your turn as a guest “pitcher” on the TV show Sharks then you are probably trying to figure out what you need to do in order to set-up some kind of distribution system for your company’s product(s). You’re not just thinking there is a demand for what you have, you have in fact experienced a quantitative demand that your small staff can no longer handle on its own. It’s time to move forward so your business can grow, but what do you do?
The first thing you do is understand it takes time. It can be a slow process, and it will come at a cost, but it can be worth it in the end. A lot of word of mouth will go a long way in the beginning, that and a lot of cold calls, but is your business really ready?
How Solid is Your Business Plan?
Even if you have been in business locally for a while, it is still wise to go over and possibly re-think or even re-work your business plan. Is there anything that can be changed or adjusted to better embrace technologies demands and gifts now that you have gotten your feet wet? Are you working smarter (not harder) by shaving off loss leaders and zeroing in on cost-effective products that have legs? Is your marketing consistent and on point?
Can You Cut Manufacturing Costs?
Is your product(s) being manufactured at the best possible cost without jeopardizing quality? When was the last time you really looked and compared vendor and other costs? Things can change dramatically and quickly so you may not be getting the best deals currently available. Take another look at your business and see where you can currently save both time and money. The extra cash can help with setting up a new effective distribution process.
What Will the Distribution Costs Be?
Setting up distribution has a lot of costs involved, from data processing, to packaging, to warehousing and shipping; the expenses add up. Research comparable business models for money saving options to help you keep within budget. Can national distribution centers work better for what you have in mind or do you need to increase your facilities and staff?
*There are many eco-friendly packaging and shipping options for companies who wish to explore a greener business. Some states offer any kickbacks or discounts for going green.
Do You Have a Solid Marketing Plan?
Just because you are feeling a demand right now does not mean the feeling will be the same next week, next month, or next year. Businesses that do not market properly and consistently can rapidly decline. Do not cut marketing in order to implement or finance new protocols. What you will lose in the way of new prospective customers you will not gain in any other way.
Your Likely Rewards
Every step forward in business is growth and with growth comes choices. How big can you grow? How big do you want to grow?
Moving from local to national distribution is a logical step. When you are ready you shouldn’t let anything stop you. A little time spent crunching numbers, comparing like business models and making informed choices will make all of the difference in the world. The rewards can be greater than any headaches or obstacles along the way.