By Bob Goldstein
Wholesaling to independent groceries and convenience stores has many rewards and challenges. Here are the Top 7 Tips for making your Wholesale Distribution Route Business as success:
1. Pick the Best Products: The best way to get off to a good start is to find products and / or services that have both high turnover and strong profit margins. In a convenience store, batteries, lighters, air fresheners, travel size health & beauty care items are always winners. 2. Find Excellent Suppliers: There are 100’s of wholesalers-to-distributor companies that will sell you merchandise for your convenience store route business. Visit www.wholesalecentral.com Tip: When you contact the supplier, tell them you are want case quantity, distributor pricing. Many of these wholesalers sell to retail stores and have special pricing for distributors.
3. Variety is King: When you first start a distribution route business, have a wide assortment of merchandise with you in your service vehicle. The idea is to be able to replace your retail store location’s out-of-stocks. This is a valuable service for your stores and will not impose on their regular suppliers if the items is low or out of stock at the time you are there.
4. New Product Introductions: Think out of the Box! Always be on the search for products or services that are new and exciting. Offering your retail store locations new products will make you a valuable supplier and they will look forward to your return each week or two. A guaranteed sale will make it easy for your stores to take your products and assure you that the valuable footprint on the checkout counter is making money for both your and you retail store location.
5. You are in a Service Business: Yes, you need to over-deliver making you reliable and a pleasure work with as a convenience store distributor. If you order a product for a store, give yourself extra time to deliver accounting for possible delays from your supplier. Take a few minutes in the store and help your store owner or manager merchandise the products. Just simple things like taking the empty boxes, dusting off a display, facing off merchandise, etc. will make you stand out from the other distributors that just drop off the merchandise, get the cash and move on.
6. Locations, Locations, Locations: Build your wholesale distribution route business with lots of locations. Stop at every independent and franchised grocery and convenience store you can find in your city, town and county. Call on any stores that have checkout counter sundries. They are your customers. Many routes start off with 200 locations servicing every 2 to 3 weeks. After a few years, they have 75 of their best stores on a weekly service call and write consistent and profitable orders.
7. Enjoy your Wholesale Route Business: Hard work is easy if your work at it hard! Go to the trade shows, expos and join the trade associations for your wholesale industry. Keep learning and your will keep your route fresh, exciting and most of all, an enjoyable, profitable venture.
Bob Goldstein is the founder and President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, Inc. Visit http://www.mrcheckout.net to subscribe to his ezine on Wholesale Distribution Opportunites.