The ultimate goal of many small business owners is to eventually see their products on the shelves at Target, Costco, or other big-box stores. After all, you can make far more money this way, as your product gets exposed to so many more people than you can could get on your own.
So how do small business owners go about getting distribution for their products? Read on for more information.
Get your product exposed to as many people as possible! Make social media marketing a priority, and focus on exposure. You should also set up booths at local fairs and events because you never know who will stop by and absolutely fall in love with your product. If you’re a restaurant owner, cater events as a way to meet many people at once.
Make Phone Calls
Reach out to distributors by phone to express interest. They may want to meet in person and do a test run of your product. They may also say no and hang up the phone. Part of this process toward getting distribution is a lot of rejection. You will likely get a lot more doors closed in your face than you would like, but it’s all part of the game. Just keep playing it, and a no will eventually turn into a yes.
…but not annoying. There’s a line, and be sure you don’t cross it! Every so often, reach out to the same distributors again, preferably with news of an awesome milestone you just crossed or another distributor expressing interest in you. Stay on their radar, and keep them posted. Keep trying without pestering, and eventually, they just might want to do business with you.
Yes, the goal is to get a big distributor to sell your product. But you have to build up to that gradually. It’s not always one big leap that gets you to the top. Start by approaching the small, privately owned stores in your town to talk about a distribution deal. Once that goes well, you can approach a regional chain, and then work your way up to a big distributor. It’s a process that you have to go through, so be patient. Starting small can still earn you a pretty penny and give you plenty of exposure.
You never know how many degrees separate you from those distributors you’re vying for. Make it your mission to impress every customer who experiences your product. You never know who will get a taste of what you have to offer. The goal is excellence—the distribution will follow eventually.
Getting distribution is definitely a huge milestone worth celebrating, but the journey is just as exciting!