How to Start a Wholesale Distribution Business from Scratch


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Have you ever thought of starting a wholesale distribution business? Maybe you're ready for a new challenge or have realized the profits that you can make when you deal with larger quantities of product. In any case, you need to know what to do in order to be successful.

The first thing that you want to do is choose the products that you will be selling to retailers. You may want to choose products that you already know something about in order to use that expertise to choose quality products that you can then sell and make profit from. Make sure that you are testing the products prior to purchasing larger quantities. You want to be sure that you are always selling a superior product.

These products will need to be stored somewhere, so choosing a warehouse is the next step in your wholesale business. You need to choose an area that is both secure and easy to manage. You might want to consider renting a space or using your own facilities if they are large enough. Determine how much the cost of the warehouse will be in terms of square footage and make sure that you are comparing multiple warehouses to ensure that you're getting the best deal.

You might also want to consider setting up your warehouse in one of the southwestern states in the U. S. as this will allow you to be accessible more easily from Mexico or South America – where manufacturing is expected to skyrocket in the next few years. This will not only be more efficient, but it can also cut down your distribution costs.

To start off right, you will want to create a system that will allow you to monitor the progress of your products from the manufacturer all the way to the customers. This can be called an order flow system. To build an effective strategy in these areas, you will want to coordinate product movement within the warehouse as well as the movements into the warehouse. This can be achieved through the use of computer systems that monitor package label numbers.

You will also want to establish a working system of moving the products from the trucks into your warehouse – without damaging anything along the way. Try to envision how the shipments will come in to determine where you will need to set up inventory lists for double checking the incoming products as well as areas for products to be packed and sent to customers.

And since money is truly everything in business, you will want to establish yourself as a competitive wholesaler by offering something that your competitors do not: easy payment terms for buyers. By allowing your customers the ability to extend their payments or have higher credit limits, you will show how your services might be the better choice for their needs.

If you're able, you might want to consider looking at other wholesaler businesses to see if there are any tips that you might want to consider along the way. Talk with the owners to see if you can meet with them to ask about setting up and maintaining your business. If you find another wholesaler that distributes different products than you do, you may be able to help each other successful as well.

Jorge Olson is a consultant, speaker and entrepreneur and owns several Wholesale Distribution companies. Learn how to start your wholesale distribution business from scratch at


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