Taking a wholesale business into the retail sales business involves paperwork, re-structuring, and determining the right sales outlet. There is a difference between selling products to consumers and dealing with suppliers and vendors. Figuring out how to gain the attention of customers can be more challenging than re-structuring and finding the right sales outlet.
Wholesale distribution is all about buying and selling, and knowing how to negotiate a great deal on the latest up-and-coming products. The goal of wholesaling is to purchase at a low price then sell at a higher price to make a profit. It helps to have robust work experience that includes a sales background, people skills, the ability to make cold-calls, and chasing leads.
Operational skills are a must when running a wholesale business. Everything from finance and business management skills, customer service, back-end functions such as warehouse setup and organization, and shipping and receiving are essential operational skills you need to have. Your goal is to operate efficiently and turn over inventory quickly to turn a profit. Wholesaling is a service business that deals with business customers, or sellers and suppliers. You need to understand customer needs and how to serve them when branching out into retail.
Why go from wholesale to retail?
Branching out from wholesale to retail often happens in online marketplaces or smaller boutiques where direct-to-customer brands can gain attention. Having a wholesale channel increases your sales without increasing marketing spending. It costs money to attract each new customer, but when you have wholesale products, another business can shoulder the costs of attracting customers while you invest time and resources into business operations.
It’s a great way to leverage other brands’ audiences who can help sell your product through word-of-mouth. Just as gaining new customers costs money, so does maintaining a loyal customer base. Having a wholesale partnership with an established brand and built-in customer base in your niche allows you to leverage your product offering direct to customers.
Partnering with an established brand allows you to enter new markets with less risk. At the end of the day, a wholesale business model creates efficiencies for both the wholesaler and retailer. The retailer gets new products without investing in research and development while the wholesaler saves on marketing costs.
Many people take daily dietary supplements such as probiotics for their health benefits. There is a growing demand for high-quality, dependable supplements and probiotic products. For example, Makers Nutrition is a B2B probiotic manufacturer whose manufacturing facility produces probiotic supplements with high colony forming units (CFU)s. The manufacturer can create tablets, capsules, or powders probiotic products in a cGMP compliant manufacturing facility that are marketable to customers seeking digestion help.
The end-to-end dietary supplements manufacturer can handle everything from planning your probiotic formula to labeling and package design and fulfillment. You can choose from a variety of probiotic strains or customize your own formulation, and always rest assured that your probiotic products are made with superior manufacturing processes.
Changing Business Structures
Growing your business by branching into retail sales may require a change in your business’s legal structure. Incorporating your business allows you to maintain wholesale and retail locations as separate divisions under one business. Incorporation also gives you limited liability against business debts. Most states require you to establish corporate bylaws, name the professionals sitting on the board of directors, name your business, and declare how many stock shares exist within the company.
Check with federal and state tax authorities, as well as the IRS, to determine if you will need to register for a new Tax Identification Number for retail sales. You may be required to have a license to collect state sales tax, depending on what you are selling to consumers. You may also be required to have a business license that’s valid at the local and state levels. Lastly, if you are selling federally regulated products such as firearms or tobacco, it’s mandatory that you obtain a business license from the appropriate federal agency.
Online Business Options
Online business options allow you to save on the costs of physical retail space, but you will be subject to local, state, and federal business license requirements. Working with web development professionals to create a custom website, create a user-friendly purchasing system, and integrate business software that helps improve workflow is an important part of your online retail success. You’ll need to establish business accounts with shipping companies who help you pass on accurate shipping quotes to customers.
Your unique online retail store will need a unique IP address that users can reliably search for. When it comes to buying IP addresses on the secondary market, it’s important to purchase a clean-reputation IP block from a reputable broker. Brander Group uses proprietary blacklist software to check the reputation of each IPv4 block to flag blacklisted IP addresses. The broker is the IPv4 market’s preferred partner to buy IPv4 address blocks for ARIN, RIPE, and APNIC regions. Their support team ensures quality control during the IPv4 buying and transfer process and adheres to the protocol that protects both buyers and sellers. Take the headache out of purchasing an IPv4 address space by working with a reliable broker who can ease the process.
One of the most popular platforms for small businesses in need of a wholesale-retail storefront is to set up a Shopify store. The channel’s ease of use streamlines the setup process, allows you to set custom pricing, offer volume-based discounts, and generate sales reports.
As a wholesaler, you have daily sales and marketing, accounting, shipping and receiving, and customer service functions to get through. You’re also tasked with customer leads and follow-ups, processing orders, customer support, and market research. One of the wholesaler best practices is to utilize software programs that make daily functions more efficient.
One of the most important functions you are responsible for is asset management. Using the right asset management software will increase efficiency of your asset management system. The best asset tracking software is customizable to your business’s needs and can be shared with designated end-users, such as managers and contractors. Consolidated asset tracking software replaces spreadsheet records with full action histories, warranty information, user manuals, and photos in one centralized place.
Asset Panda’s asset management solution features a mobile app that allows you to support workflows, see enhanced accountability of assets, receive custom alerts and notifications, and it comes with a built-in barcode scanner. Other key features include real-time data and analytics, streamlined inventory management, full life cycle history, maintenance history, custom fields, and custom QR codes. You can transform your asset management system with a mobile solution that gives you on-demand insights when you need them.
The success of your wholesale business depends on a reliable flow of products from suppliers and vendors. Your job as a wholesaler is to find the right suppliers or vendors to produce the quality products that consumers are demanding. Wholesale distributors sell directly to consumers (Busines-to-Consumer function) and other distributors who sell to end-users (Business-to-Business function). Keeping tight control of your asset and inventory management keeps your budget on track by giving you accurate insights of when to stock up and when to focus on turning inventory.
Keep these pointers in mind if you are considering going from wholesale to retail. If you have the skills, business savvy, a knack for operations, and a willingness to work directly with consumers, branching into retail can be a seamless process.