Starting a Successful Wholesale Venture

Starting a wholesaling venture alone or with partners can be rewarding and profitable. A wholesaler sells goods or raw materials in bulk to manufacturers, industrial and commercial firms and/or retailers. To be a successful wholesaler requires a good head for figures, a knack for problem solving and good organizational skills. Starting a wholesale venture isn’t really that complicated, but like any business, making it successful requires hard work and commitment. Here’s an overview of what it takes.

First step is to determine what product or material one would like to wholesale. If one has experience in a specific industry, this might be a good area to investigate opportunities. Otherwise doing one’s homework is crucial. Read trade magazines and websites to determine what goods are either currently in demand or have short-term potential. This is where good business sense and intuition is important.

With goods or raw material in mind, next is to determine the supply chain model. Most wholesalers either fulfill orders through a drop ship directly from suppliers to customers, or they warehouse the product and arrange for shipping themselves. Drop shipping is the most efficient and cost-effective because no warehouse space is required. In some cases however, products or materials need to be taken in for inspection, grading, assembly or packaging. This is an important decision as it affects expenses and ultimately profits.

Securing suppliers is a key activity in a wholesaling business. Without reliable, quality suppliers, a wholesalers business cannot be successful. The internet is invaluable in sourcing suppliers, but nothing makes up for personal contact and research. Be sure to investigate any potential supplier carefully and take necessary care to ensure they will make a suitable business partner.

Shipping is one of the larger expenses for a wholesaling business and it pays to negotiate favourable rates. In addition to getting estimates from different shippers, one should also investigate packaging and other drivers of shipping costs. Decrease in expense makes the business more competitive and profitable.

To ensure the widest potential customer base, it is important to develop a website. This provides visibility to a worldwide client base and provides customers a resource for investigating offerings. Investigate competitive websites and wholesalers in related industries for requirements. Much of the content – photos, descriptions, and product demonstrations – can often be sourced from suppliers. Also, be sure to the site is designed for good search engine placement as this is a business necessity for wholesalers.

How to Budget for Your Corporate Event

When planning an event, the first thing you should do is plan your budget. Events always require a serious financial investment. Create a rough estimate of the costs of the event. Make sure you get your budget approved by any necessary higher-ups before you get too deep into the planning of your event.

Get preliminary estimates from potential suppliers early in the planning process. You can firm up these estimates after your preliminary budget is approves. Remember to err on the side of caution – if you are given a range of prices, use the higher estimates just in case.

Your preliminary budget should include the biggest costs for the event. These include:

Venue rental
Accommodation and transportation (if necessary)
Food and drinks
Invitations, place cards, and other printed materials
Decorations, flowers
Staff requirements
Music
Entertainment
Photographer
Sound and lighting requirements (if any)
Power requirements (if any)
Insurance (if required)
Security (if required)

Make a complete list of all possible expenses. Highlight any “must have” items from that list. These must have items should be included in your preliminary budget. You should then contact possible suppliers to get ballpark estimates for these items.

Once you have your preliminary cost estimates, compare it to your overall budget. If your list of “must have” items costs more than your budget, you may have to re-think your event. If your preliminary cost estimates is lower than your budget, then you can begin to add in optional items.

After working through your budget, you should always seriously consider whether you can afford to hold the event or not. It is usually better to put off an event rather than go forward with a shoddy event on a low budget.

As you continue to plan your event, create a spreadsheet or list of your event’s expenses. This will let you see what items have been included and keep you within your budget. It will also clearly show you how you are spending your money. You may choose to make different choices once you see how your costs compare. For example, you may decide to abandon the floral arrangements you selected in order to put the money saved towards a string quartet. Review this spreadsheet every day. You don’t want to find out after your event that you were way over budget.

Because every event is different, there is no magic formula or cost sheet. Just walk through the event in your mind from start to finish, writing down as many details as you can. Go back and fill in the costs. Remember, always get written estimates and not verbal quotes. Again, you don’t want any nasty surprises.