Many small business owners put a lot of thought into product development but not enough effort into how their product gets distributed to the market. No matter how good your product is, it doesn’t matter if you can’t get it into your customers’ hands. Just thinking about a distribution strategy is a good start, though. A thoughtful approach can save you a ton of aggravation and boost your business’s chance of success.
Your first decision is whether you want to distribute your product yourself or use a distributor. You should do an honest assessment of both you and your employees’ capabilities to see which approach is right for you. The right approach for your business is going to differ from another company’s way of doing it. If you distribute your product on your own, you need to have marketing and promotional expertise or hire someone that knows it. This includes social media and online marketing, which is growing in importance. If you use a distributor, they already have this knowledge, but it could hurt your net profit margin.
It is also a good idea to know your product and target audience. If it is a niche product, you can focus your marketing efforts on that group. You may want to sell to smaller retailers and outlets. Large retailers and distributors receive a lot of product pitches, making it hard to start doing business with them. But, if you can start with smaller businesses and build up a good track record, you may have more luck with the larger businesses later on.
Based on your business, you need to decide whether or not to use multiple distributors. If you do most of your business in one location, one distributor should work for you. But, if you serve several geographic locations or different size businesses, you may need more than one
Choosing the right way to distribute your products is not easy. Many new business owners are focused on making the perfect product that they forget about how their customers are going to buy it. Thinking about the best distribution for your business could be the difference between failure and success.