Sunday, October 28, 2007

Small Business Initiation

“You have to pay the toll before you can make the bucks”

In business there are no easy ways to get suppliers to deal with your company the same way they deal with bigger more established companies. Even if they know you and want to help you they still have to play the game. The game simply put is MONEY TALKS.

To a certain degree that is true but TIME TALKS also. If you spend 2 hours researching a product and have been given a certain discount for the quote, only to find that my competitor beat me by 10% it can get one down.

Unfortunately, old established rules are out of place in the new market place. The “small is the new big” as Seth Godin writes. As manufactures start to realize that more people are selling their product which in turn opens more doors for dollars and profit. An example would be if you have 5 people carrying brand X you have to put more money into advertising and sells representatives. But on the other hand if you have 500 people out banging the bushes for your company that sales team you have to supply can be cut saving money and advertising dollars.

Putting pressure on the small companies is a better way to establish distributors. Thoughts like, “We will give you a competitive edge for 6 months. If over that time you can reach said amount of money you keep that discount however, if you don’t your discount will be cut in half and we will reevaluate your status with us at that time.” That is such a fair way of doing business.

If you are a manufacture saying, “Well, how do I reward my big distributors.” Don’t worry about it. They are not going to look somewhere else. They have customers that are going to them and have been for years. They pull out the book, give a quote, the customer pays and away they go. That is unless they stop providing customer service and lose the respect of their clients.

Here is the call to action. Keep quoting and talking to the manufacture. Let them know that you are a serious player. Let them know what you plan on selling and to whom. Let them know your goal numbers that you want to reach and see if they will reconsider their old approach and allow you to sell on a level playing field.

If they will not you have hundreds of companies that sell a similar product. Research, find out how they are different and go another way. Someday you will be one of those companies and can help them to see the hardship you had coming up through the ranks.

Jon Mullender

Summit Fence Supply, LLC


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