How to Start a Wholesale Company
Wholesale is one hell of a ride!
We see small companies growing into giants everyday, like Ban.do and Show Me Your Mumu. It’s all thanks to smart business planning and promoting. Here are our favorite tips to grow your wholesale brand into a household name:
1. Start your company
If you’re operating a business without registering as an LLC or Corporation, you’re taking a big risk. Your personal assets can be taken to pay your business debts. That means you can lose your car, house, and bank account on a product injury, a bad business deal, or a freak accident. Is it likely? Probably not. Is it worth all that risk to save a few hundred bucks on registering? Definitely not. Register your company with the state and follow certain formalities, so only your company assets are at risk.
Youʼll start by completing the state paperwork to register your entity. First, you'll need to decide what kind of entity is the best fit for you.
2. Lock down your brand
A trademark allows you to own your brand. It means you're the only company who can use your company name, logo, slogan, domain name, personal name, product name, or hashtags. Here's why it's key: without it, you can be sued, forced to rebrand, or have your customers stolen by copycats.
Trademarks give you the exclusive rights to use the name nationally. So if someone else registers your trademark, they’ll own the rights to your name nationally. You'll only be able to use it in your geographic region (typically your city). That's not ideal!
Think about how many brand pieces feature your company name: your website, social media, business cards, products, marketing materials, press links, inventory, etc. If you want to operate nationally, you'll need to change all of that + pull back all inventory with the brand on it, or possibly pay monetary damages. You'll lose customers, money, and valuable momentum.
Bottom line: if you’re building a brand, you need to trademark it asap!
3. Find your products
Have a plan for what you’ll sell. Ask yourself:
Will you make these products?
What supplies or ingredients do you need?
How much does it cost to make the products?
Where will you buy the products?
At what price will you buy the products?
At what price will you sell the products?
Make sure the numbers add up before you commit to your products and supply system.
4. Create a website
It’s 2018 so you need a gorgeous branded website to attract customers + convert them to buyers. You’ll also need a personalized wholesale contract to protect your bottom line.
Thinking it doesn't matter? Think again! Your wholesale policies have a big impact on minimums, refunds, and shipping products.
Your policy tells customers what they need to know about browsing your website. You'll want to spell out the rules for using the site, sharing content, and where users can contact your company. If you run an ecommerce site, make sure to spell out how you handle orders, returns, and shipping.
5. Promote your company
There are so many ways you can market your brand. You can use instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, email newsletters, and influencers to promote your brand online. Find out where your customers are online and join them!
You can also check out tradeshows and trade organizations for your industry.