Do you want to make money distributing coffee within your neighborhood? If YES, here is a complete guide on how to become a coffee distributor and succeed.

It can be truly challenging starting any business, but one business that you can start with little challenges is to become a coffee distributor in your city or state or region. Becoming a coffee distributor involves buying coffee in wholesale from beverage production companies and then distributing them to retailers, hotels, restaurants, coffee, cafés, offices and households.

With this type of business, you can choose to own a store/warehouse if you have the financial capacity to or you can choose to operate without a store. The bottom line is that you must own your own distribution truck/van, you should know how to source for a wide variety of coffee and how to get them delivered to your customers.

Why Become a Coffee Distributor?

The truth is that becoming a coffee distributor especially in the United States of America is profitable, it is a very easy business to start and it is not so capital intensive especially if you get your supply of coffee on trust from production companies. Getting the right products that people want to buy, having good networking and stock keeping abilities are the secrets of running a successful coffee distribution business.

In the United States of America and perhaps in all countries of the world, becoming a coffee distributor is relatively simple and straightforward. The distribution business model may involve a diverse range of activities and disciplines including: detailed logistics, transportation, warehousing, storage, inventory management as well as channel management including a selection of channel members and rewarding distributors.

But as a coffee distributor, you may not have to go through the whole stress of implementing the distribution business model.

So, if you have decided to become a coffee distributor, then you should ensure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also market survey. In order to fulfill your ambition of becoming a coffee distributor, you may want to consider these sure-fire tips;

How to Become a Coffee Distributor and Make Money

  1. Get All the Information You Can 

If indeed you want to become a successful coffee distributor in your city or state or region, then the first thing you need to do is to ensure that you get all the information you can as regards the sale of coffee, how to get coffee supplies in large quantity, the profitability of the business, the intricacies of the distribution business model and the peculiarities as it relates to the city or state or region or even country that you intend launching the business. Come to think of it, no person can succeed in what they know little or nothing about.

  1. Compare Several Coffee Manufacturing Company’s Requirements for Independent Distributors:

There are several coffee manufacturing companies all over the world that are willing to work with independent distributors as long as they meet their requirements. So what you need to do is to compile the list of coffee manufacturing companies that you would want to work with and go through their requirements to see if you can fit in.

The truth is that, if you register with some coffee manufacturing company as their agent, you might not be allowed to sell any other coffee manufacturing company’s product. So you should endeavor to read through the contracts document of the coffee manufacturing company you want to represent before taking your decision.

When making your comparison, make sure you choose to represent any coffee manufacturing company whose brand and product is well accepted in the area you would want to distribute. It will indeed make your job easier and you won’t have to struggle to convince customers to buy coffee from you.

  1. Apply and Obtain a Distribution Permit/License:

In the United States of America and in some countries of the world, it is mandatory that for you to obtain a distribution license or permit before you can legally distribute coffee. As a matter of fact, in some states in the US, you will be required to attend an approved pre distribution licensing course before you can apply and be issued a distribution license. Of course you will pay a fee for you to be able to attend this training.

  1. Rent a Shop or Warehouse:

As a coffee distributor, you will need a warehouse where you can store your coffee supplies and you may also need a shop to display the varieties of coffee that you have in stock. Aside from that, there will be times when your customers or suppliers would want to come to your office / shop to discuss business.

That is the reason why you must rent a facility (shop or warehouse) where you can interface with them. You can as well carve out a small office space from your warehouse or shop.

The purpose of your office is to carry out all your administrative jobs, and to meet with your clients when they request to have a meeting with you. When shopping for a warehouse or shop, ensure that you choose a location that is in a business district or close to where you can easily access wholesale supply of coffees and a location with good distribution network.

  1. Become a Member of the Association of Independent Distributors in your State or Country:

Another sure fire tips that you would need in order to become a coffee distributor is to become a member of the association of independent distributors in your state or country. There are loads of benefits you stand to get when you join an association in your industry or line of business.

Some of the benefits you stand to get are easy access to useful information, training and exposures, your interest will be protected; you can get business referrals, and loads of other benefits. Although you would be required to pay registration fee at the point of entry and also you would be required to pay annual fees, but the truth is that the benefits you will get is greater than the money you will spend.

  1. Establish Reliable Supply Chain

Another thing that you are expected to know if you want to become a coffee distributor is that you will need a steady supply of coffees from coffee manufacturers or importers or wholesalers in order to continue to be in business. So, you should go all out to establish reliable a supply chain that will guarantee you steady supply of coffee so much so that your warehouse will always have coffee in stock.

  1. Be Detailed with Your Record Keeping

Becoming a successfully coffee distributor means that you must be detailed with your record keeping skills. As a coffee distributor or someone operating the distribution business model, a lot depends on your ability to carry out proper documentation.

In as much as the coffee manufacturing company you are representing will have all the records of the businesses you brought to them, it will be to your advantage to always document on your own.

Sometimes you might be required to bring your records for reconciliations before you can be paid or given new supplies. So ensure that you have a secured cabin where you can file documents and also a computer to keep softcopies of all necessary data.

  1. Source for Customers

Another thing that you are expected to do in your quest to become a coffee distributor is to source for customers. Interestingly, becoming a coffee distributor is akin to becoming a marketer cum sales rep. So you must comb every nooks and crannies of your city to source for coffee retailers so as to become their suppliers.

  1. Secure Reliable Distribution Vans/Trucks

If you are thinking of going into coffee distribution, you must have a means of transporting your goods from your warehouse to your customers, hence you would need a distribution van or truck. Depending on your financial capacity, you can decide to go for brand new distribution van or truck.

If you have good credit ratings, you can secure loan or financing package for your van or truck. As a matter of fact, there are some manufacturing companies that give out the company’s branded distribution van or truck to their independent distributors and if you are lucky to get one, it will save you the stress of raising money for the purchase of distribution van.

  1. Treat Your Customers Well

Lastly, in order to continue to distribute your coffees to end users and consumers, you must place premiums on your customers. If you are in business, aside from the quality of your products and services, the value you place on your customers is one major factor that will help you to continue to sell your coffee to them.

The truth is that if you have a good product and bad customer services, it won’t be too long for you to lose your customers and experience depletion in your income. This is one of the chief reasons why most organization spend more to establish customer service; a medium through which they can receive complaints and feedback from their clients.

The essence of distributing a product is for it to get to end users and consumers and if they feel that they are not treated well; they are likely going to look for alternative products.

There you have it, 10 sure-fire tips on how to become a coffee distributor!

Joy Nwokoro