The most critical aspect of becoming a distributor is figuring out beyond all self-doubt what kind of a distributor you intend to be and then choose the channels of distribution that you would like to work within. This means introspecting how close you want to work with the end consumer and how are you planning to accomplish the delivery of the finished product to the end user. Here are a couple of things to note and abide by, before beginning your business as a clothing distributor.
Plan Well Ahead
Even within the all-encompassing garment industry there are a lot of market segments and you need to find the segment most suited to your interests because catering to all segments in a hyper-competitive, forever-changing industry, can be very challenging for a distributor who is just beginning his or her operations. Explore different market segments and then decide what kind of clothing you would like to invest in, whether you’d be fine with being one of the shirts wholesalers on the market for something else, better suited to your interests and business plans. Invest in products which have the highest scope of profitability after factoring in retail rates and overhead expenses.
Stick To The Basics
Stick to the basics integral to beginning any commercial enterprise and have a meticulously prepared business plan before officially going to business. The business plan will be inclusive of a distribution model, start-up costs, a well-define strategy, and a blueprint for the distant and immediate future.
Obtain All Licenses
A distribution venture is just like any company being set-up for commercial gain and you will need to get requisite licenses and clearances from all the relevant statutory bodies, before you can begin your business officially. The clearances will differ according to different geographical locations so you check that have all licenses and permits, to begin a fully legitimate business venture.
Relationships are very integral to the success of a distribution business. You need to partner up with suppliers that you can build a long-term relationship growing forward, because without a mutually-respecting and benefiting relationship with them, it will be difficult getting a distribution business off the ground, let alone sustaining or expanding it. Your dependence on the suppliers won’t be a one-off thing, so always have the future in mind before striking a deal. Contact multiple manufacturers about their wholesale rates and select the one which promises the best rates but don’t proceed solely with a savings consideration, as it will brutally backfire since reputation matters a lot in this business. Enter into business only with manufacturers who have a proven track-record of delivering on time, along-with a decent reputation in the market. Sourcing quality and distributing quality is the only way to become a distributor and remain one!
Knowing where you will store your inventory is the most crucial aspect of a distribution channel. You need to plan well-ahead and make the smartest decisions to the best of your ability, because logistics can make or break a distribution venture. Your ability to succeed will depend solely on how effortlessly you are able to source your needs from your suppliers and how efficiently you are able to deliver them to the retailers. This is DISTRIBUTION 101, and you just can’t afford to err in this aspect.
Play To Your Strengths
Beginning a distribution business will require a lot of time and money, so you’re advised to play to your strengths and make a foray into this industry only after you are convinced to the best of your understanding, that you are indeed putting your best foot forward. This is a capital intensive industry and it will require a lot of capital just to get the business off the ground, so you would do well for yourself to pick an industry that you feel you would do well in. Trying to begin a fresh distribution business after your first one went bust is not for everyone, unless of course you have god-like patience, Rambo like never-say-die attitude and a never-ending supply of funds! You are ideally expected to have decent leadership and team-building skills along with a good-enough understanding of the many crucial facets of beginning and sustaining a business like supply chain, finance and accounting, sales and marketing.