Once your business transitions from your consumer direct, proof of concept phase (crowdfunding, holiday fairs, etc.) and you make the leap to becoming a wholesale supplier – whether you like it or not – your business immediately transforms into one that is expected to make money for others with your products. This transition happens because you have made the decision to build an organization where everyone gets compensated for their roles to grow the organization.
Many think of an “organization” as a group of people who all work for one enterprise. But, that’s not the case at all. In automobiles, the independent dealerships with mechanics and sales people, who buy and sell Honda cars are part of the Honda organization. In cosmetics, the independent representatives who buy and sell Avon are part of the Avon organization. In soft drinks, all of the bottling companies with delivery drivers, sales people and bottling plant staffs that sell Coca Cola products are part of the Coke organization.
The fact that all these entities are “independent” has nothing to do with the fact that they are part of larger organization. Therefore, the moment you commit to the path of wholesale, you forever change your relationship with the consumer because you now “share” that consumer relationship with others.
Like bees to flowers, you still need to make your offer to the consumer as attractive as possible. Once accomplished through proof of concept, your primary wholesale responsibility is to ensure that everyone in your organization is making money. Whether that is retailers who stock and sell your products, sales reps who sell to retailers or distributors and their infrastructure that sells to retailers. All of them are participants in your organization.
As these entities in your organization succeed, you succeed. To the degree you have made a great product, effectively packaged that sells through in stores (generally without any assistance) you are awesome. To the degree that the product gets bottom shelf placement or never gets into a sales meeting between sales people and buyers, you will fail. Not because your product isn’t fantastic, but, because no one is making any money with your product. Everyone’s relationship with your Company is predicated on MAKING MONEY.
Focusing on where your organization makes money is the responsible thing to do as a wholesale brand. Your successful wholesale organization is counting on you to show them how to make money with your products, which, by the way, is nothing at all like showing them how great your products are. And that’s the distinction that separates the long term successes from the flashes in the pan. Because there will always be competitors.