Starting a business is like a sprint. Your goal is ultimately to get the business up and running as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that everything is in place for your first purchase order.
Growing a business is a marathon. Slow and steady growth is key here, and persistence is vital to success. Attempting to rush growth may provide short term benefits; however, you’ll see these begin to subside as the days go on. Having a long-term growth plan in place will ensure your organization and everyone involved is on a similar wavelength and timeline.
Below are 4 easy steps when looking to grow your wholesale business without spending a fortune hiring marketing agencies. All you’ll need is some time, dedication, and a willingness to make it work!
Reevaluate your target market
More often than not, wholesale businesses focus on one distinct market when searching for potential new customers. This often restricts their profit potential when there are a multitude of other companies, in different markets, likely yearning for their products. These are some of the most common customers for wholesale companies – look into one of these segments if your business is experiencing a standstill.
- Retail Businesses:
The most obvious choice. This includes grocers, small and big-box retail stores, as well as larger department stores.
- Retail Distributors:
Getting shelf space at a big-box store like Target isn’t always a plausible option for some businesses. However, selling to those who sell to Target could be just as profitable and much easier to achieve.
Those selling U.S. products to retailers overseas.
- The Federal Government:
This is a fantastic opportunity for any wholesale business, regardless of what you sell, your company’s size, or really any other excuse that comes to mind. Becoming an official government supplier is literally as easy as filling out a few forms. After approval, you’ll receive periodic project notices from the government from which you’ll be able to bid against other small and large businesses.
Utilize social media marketing
Even in 2019, social media is still an untapped platform many organizations are slowly beginning to utilize, and are quickly reaping the benefits. According to a 2019 study done by Buffer, 73% of marketers believe social media marketing has been effective in bringing in new clients for their business. With 42% of the world’s population currently on social media, it’s hard to imagine why ALL businesses aren’t taking advantage of this free, relatively low-effort opportunity.
The biggest myth in B2B marketing is that the industry is too “boring” for the flashiness of new-age social media culture. However, this could not be further from the truth.
Take Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, for example. On paper, big pharma is one of the most mundane industries on the planet. Novartis’ Instagram page tells a different story. You’ll find dozens of photos and videos documenting the lives of its employees, patients, and company representatives at conferences around the world. With just over 40k followers as of April 2019, its simple and genuine social media strategy has allowed it to engage with the community while also driving value for its products.
Pick the right platform
With hundreds of ecommerce platforms from which to choose and several popping up every week, picking the perfect one for you is not as black and white as it seems. However, this process is absolutely critical to the success of a growing ecommerce business. While there’s no way definitively to tell which platform will universally fit your needs, here are a few things to consider when performing research.
- SEO Friendliness
- Online Security
- 3rd Party Integrations
There are many types of ecommerce platforms that offer varying options for customizability, product layout, customer service, and more. Don’t be afraid to try several before deciding on the one you feel comfortable with applying to your business model for the long run.
Optimize images and descriptions
The reason in-store retail shopping has succeeded for so long is due to the buyer’s ability to experience the product before deciding to take it home. While this is one of eCommerce’s largest disadvantages, modern technology and the advancements of photography greatly circumvent this. Hiring a professional photographer or simply renting out a newer camera and uploading new, high-quality pictures of your merchandise could potentially clinch a sale, as customers appreciate a full understanding of what they’re going to be receiving. It’ll help for a more aesthetically pleasing website, as well!
Having well-written descriptions also help shoppers get over the traditional buying experience. Including details on specifications, materials used, and any restrictions or minimum order quantities gives the buyers the ability to make a fully informed decision when deciding to purchase.