Creating an effective business strategy for your wholesale business
Some people confuse business strategies with business planning. In actual fact business strategy is a merely a part of overall business planning. In short, business planning includes business vision, business mission, and business goals, while business strategy is the road that you will take to reach that goal. You may not need to set some fancy goals for a wholesale enterprise, still you can not start without having a well thought out strategy in place. You know that being a wholesaler, your basic job is to store, assemble, sort and deal out goods that you’ve got in large quantities from manufacturers (or other wholesalers). Outwardly, it is quite straightforward job that requires a storehouse, inventory management software, transportation, and distribution facilities; still you need a documented strategy to serve as a road map. Remember, before you start making a strategy, you should be having a business vision and mission statement along with clear cut goals. Start from conducting market research to see if there’s a need of a wholesaler in some particular industry or area. In case there’re already more than enough wholesalers in the market, analyze your business to see if you will be able to provide superior services to your customers? Decide the type of wholesale enterprise you’d like to start and also some specific type of products that you’d be dealing in (e.g. food, garments, grocery, cosmetics, etc). You need to decide on some specific product because it will require a massive setup to deal in all kinds of products. Do some research to know about the requirements of storing, sorting and shipping the product that you have chosen? Do a SWOT analysis (strength, weaknesses, opportunities & threats) to confirm if you’ll be able to pull it off. Make an initial budget to see what kind of funds you will need to successfully start and run the business. Consider all expenses including licensing, rent, transportation, and shipping costs. Create flow charts for all departments and come up with a rough estimate of the number of employees you’ll need to start with. Mark key performance indicators for all departments. As you’d have already noticed, one needs to know the wholesale business inside out to be able to make a foolproof strategy. It’s better to hire some professionals to assist you in strategy making. In the end, keep in mind that business strategy is not a one-off job. Once you’ve started operating as a wholesaler, this strategy will require several additions, modifications and changes.
William King is the director of Wholesale Suppliers, Wholesale Baby Goods and Wholesale Directory. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements. s.