All business owners want to factor growth into their plans.
If you’re a wholesaler, you’ll face some unique challenges but should be able to build in parameters that will allow you to grow when you’re ready.
Not only will this ensure short term success, but should also get you the price you need when you’re ready to sell.
Six Ways for Wholesalers to Build Growth
Cashflow can be a sticking point for most types of businesses but for many wholesalers, cash ‘lockup’ is a particular issue, tying up your value in stock and production. You may find yourself having to purchase stock to then sit in your warehouse until it’s bought or paid for.
Work with your suppliers to agree payment terms acceptable to each of you and dedicate credit control resource, whose job will be to reduce your ‘lockup’ where possible.
- Monitoring and Controlling Stock
Inventories can be one of the wholesaler’s largest costs, factoring in insurance and storage but reducing these costs shouldn’t be done at the expense of your ability to meet the demands of your customers.
There are a range of inventory management software packages which could help you steamline and improve your stock handling, giving you invaluable control over what stock is needed, where and when.
- The Role of Technology
Technology can also help give you wider market insight, helping you respond to trends and seasonal variations and identify patterns of customer behaviour.
Automation software could be particularly useful to minimise waste and inefficiency in your distribution.
Distribution chains can be complex, leaving your workflow vulnerable to human error, but if you can automate part of your workflows, you can reduce unnecessary cost. Automation will also save payroll, by helping your employees to keep up without hiring more staff.
- Focus on Your Customers
If you’ve already got a loyal, profitable customer base that gives you much of your business, keep them with excellent customer service. Loyal customers will help you to introduce and profit from new products with reduced risk.
- Maintain Your Niche
When business is good, the temptation can be to look into expanding your product range. In fact, you should focus on your niche. Identify what’s already working for you and examine ways you can upsell to your current customers.
Maintaining your niche doesn’t have to mean staying small. Think about ways to expand your market share – one way could be to target new geographies. To do this, you’ll need to ensure your business model is scalable to safely achieve growth.
The End Goal
You may have more personal goals for growing your wholesale business – perhaps you want to see how far you can go in the industry, or view it as a legacy for your family. Whatever your motivation, your business is likely to be your most valuable asset so you should be building sellability in at all stages.
A growing business is a valuable business, and a valuable business could fuel your ambitions for the rest of your life.