Running a Successful Wholesale Business

The wholesale business is one business that needs you to strike a balance between your suppliers and your retailers. 

As a wholesaler, you play a vital role by filling a gap in the supply chain by meeting the different demands. You need to meet the suppliers’ demands as well as your retailers’ demands. Their demands are different but serve each side symbiotically. 

Your cash flow is the bottom line of your success and your business operations determine your cash flow. Importantly, your wholesale business’ success counts on the structures you have put in place. Therefore, you need efficient structures to ensure flow in your business operations. 

1.Adjust your business operations and adapt 

Things are not guaranteed to stay constant. State of things are bound to change from time to time and your operations should be able to adjust to change. 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has clearely shown us that change can happen fast. And only businesses that can adjust and adapt fast survive. 

As a wholesale business owner, you need to be able to pivot your strategies as fast as possible in line with happening changes. Find ways to help you adjust and adapt by shifting your operations. 

Streamline your systems

Your systems are the base of all your business operations. When there are ‘bumps’ in your systems, there will be ‘bumps’ in your business operations.

‘Bumps’ are basically delays or disruptions in your systems that are not necessary.  Therefore, you need to make sure your systems are smooth without any bumps causing unnecessary delays. 

To streamline your systems, look for any activities or steps in your processes that are time-consuming and remove them. This will save you money and time in the long run. 

Automate your systems

Business operations have many processes. And a wholesale business has many of these processes in systems due to the many suppliers and retailers the business operates with. 

A wholesale business for example has a lot of inventory. And managing this inventory manually can be tedious and prone to mistakes and irregularities from time to time. These mistakes ultimately affect your business as a whole. However, automating your inventory management can save your business time and money. 

Consider automating your manual processes in order to remove system hiccups. Thus, even when new sales, products and orders come in, you will be able to deliver. 

2.Suppliers and sales channels

Diversify suppliers  

As a wholesaler, your customers(retailers) count on you to supply products to them. That means your supply is your main tool of trade.

You need to make sure you are able to give your retailers what they need and when they need it. Retailers will need a variety of products from your business and you need to have a wide array of products from different manufacturers at all times. 

Thus, you need to ensure you have a wide source of suppliers to supply you with the different items. This calls for multiple partnerships with multiple suppliers or manufacturers to succeed in your wholesale business. 

Diversifying your suppliers guarantees stock and customer satisfaction for getting supplies  on time. 

Diversify sales channels

If you want to grow your wholesale business you cannot rely on one sales channel. Relying on one sales channel increases the risk of not distributing supplies to your retailers on time or even not distributing at all. Ultimately, you will lose valuable customers to your competitors. 

The greatest advantage of using multiple sales channels is the ability to reach many customers and different customer bases for your business. Choose the different multiple channels for your business and come up with strategies for each channel. 

3.Build customer relationships

Growing your wholesale business highly depends on the customer relationships you have. 

You have to value your customers and build relationships with them. Your customers are fellow businesses but in retail and manufacturing. 

As a wholesaler, focus on giving your retailers and your suppliers the best customer experience. Besides, you depend on them to be in business. They could go to your competitors to get supplies for their businesses but if they don’t come to you, your business will run out. 

Prioritize your relationship with your suppliers and your retailers. Whether that means having fair prices for your retailers or ensuring a smooth deliberations during your acquisition processes with your suppliers. 

Behind every business there are people and it’s important to foster good relationships with these people. These relationships are the ones that will help keep your business running even on bad days. 

Invest in B2B eCommerce

As a wholesale business, the people you are in business with are other businesses. Thus your main dealings are Business to Business. 

Times have changed now and unlike before, business dealings do not mainly depend on in person interactions. Business dealings now take place online. 

Actually, the same way a consumer will shop online for products or services, businesses also shop online for supply. Therefore, as a wholesale business, you could consider going online and connecting with potential retailers and suppliers as well. 

4.Set minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements

A good way to grow your wholesale business is setting requirements for your order quantities. You could do this by setting an MOQ (minimum order quantity). 

Setting the minimum quantity for each order helps you get more value for your time and effort. Importantly, setting an MOQ helps you attract serious customers to your wholesale business. 

However, that does not mean you should not be open to selling to individual consumers who are not businesses. Some households shop for their house supplies in bulk and they can be a huge boost for your business. 

Final Thoughts…

Remember the role you play as a wholesaler in the supply chain. To efficiently meet the demands of your customers, your business operations need to be efficient as well. 

Whether retailers come to your store or order through email, calls or online and you deliver to them, these practices can help grow and build your wholesale business to success.