Do you want to start a distribution business in Canada? If YES, here are 11 places you can find wholesalers and manufacturers looking for distributors. We are all too familiar with distributors looking for companies they can do business with by helping them distribute their products to a wider market.

But how about we look at it the other way round? Yes, companies in time of need, also stick out their necks in search of distributors to help push their products. You should note that the distributor isn’t just a company you sell your products to. It is a partner in your business’ growth. Picking the right distributor is crucial for long-term success.

Major companies may not find themselves in a position where they have to be the ones looking for these people, the distributors get to find them and the companies now have to pick and choose. But the situation is not the same for a lesser known company, a new company or a small concern.

They have to, on their own, seek out distributors who they know that can be reliable and who can easily agree to their terms. If you are a small or startup company and you find yourself in a position where you have to start looking for distributors for your products in Canada, this article will help tell you how to proceed.

11 Places to Find Companies Looking for Distributors in Canada

There are various ways through which a company can reach out to distributors in Canada. Some of these ways are outlined thus;

1. Message boards

A message board is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Due to the simplicity and uncomplicated accessibility, message boards have become an excellent source of discussion and communication on the Internet.

In these friendly discussion spots, members are able to view posts, post new queries or respond to existing queries posted by other members. Every day hundreds of entrepreneurs post their distributor needed ads in Distributor Wanted message boards that are found online.

The key to using a message board is to find out the particular one that caters to your local area and the one where the kind of distributors you want can be found. There are message boards that cater to wholesale distributors, business product distributors, manufacturing companies, and manufacturing exporters. You only need to insert your ad to get started.

2. Company website

In fact this is one of the first places a company should advertise their need for distributorship. Of course, it is expected that every company should have an online presence. The first thing for you to do is to place a notice on your website that you need distributors. It will interest you to know that a lot of distributors do scrounge manufacturer’s websites in a bid to find business deals for themselves. This is a good way a company can find distributors in Canada.

3. Business exchange marketplace

Both the sellers and buyers of businesses benefit from having a central place to evaluate potential deals and transactions. This need for a centralised marketplace, alongside an increased use and trust of the Internet, has seen the growth of online business exchanges across the world.

Simply put, a business exchange is an online database of businesses. The database provides basic but important financial and operational information about each business. Potential purchasers typically have to register with a business exchange to access more detailed information about each business.

The database, which may list thousands of companies, can be searched in many ways including industry specific searches, geographical searches and finding businesses with a particular price range.

Though the business exchange marketplace deals with buying and selling of businesses, but there are also provisions for you to run adverts of your distributorship needs. This can indeed get to the right audience as many online business marketplaces have such features.

4. Business to Business portals

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of traditional outreach methods to get in touch with targeted buyers, sellers or distributors.

By advertising on a business to business portal, a company can easily come across wholesale distributors. Some other benefits that business-to-business portals contribute to the companies involved are:

  • Speed and security of communications.
  • Direct integration of the data of the transaction in the computer systems of the company.
  • The possibility of receiving more offers or demands, expanding the competition.
  • Depersonalization of the purchase with which avoid possible deals of favor.
  • Minimum Hassles: fewer commercial visits, faster negotiation process, etc. Therefore, buyers may ask for a price reduction or sellers can increase their margins with a single click.

Look for a marketplace that serves your country or region. There are also industry-specific B2B marketplaces; these can either serve a single country or a global population of retailers.

 5. Join Industry Groups, Forums, and Other Professional Networks

More experienced manufacturers in your industry or niche are often the best source of information about distributors. Invest time in networking to build the trust and connections that will help you find the best possible distributors for your small business.

Participate in online forums which can be a great source of free information and help from other people with experience in your market or industry. You can also build your LinkedIn profile, subscribe to industry newsletters, and join your local Chamber of Commerce or small business networking groups to build your professional connections.

6. Subscribe to Distributors Trade Publications

Trade magazines are a wealth of information about businesses and relationships in your industry. Nearly every advertiser in the magazine will be a product manufacturer or distributor looking to reach you, and a single issue of a trade magazine can provide the names of dozens of distributors in your location.

In addition to magazines, subscribe to online newsletters and blogs. These are often the best way to keep up with daily or weekly industry news and updates.

7. Attend a Trade Show

Trade shows are one of the most powerful ways to build and grow your business. These events are designed for retailers to connect with distributors and other manufacturers. Trade shows allow you to meet and speak with dozens of distributors in a single day.

These face-to-face conversations often avoid misinformation or communication difficulties that can occur when contacting people online. The Trade Show News Network is the largest directory of trade shows online. You can search for a trade show by industry, date, city, state or country and/or event name.

8. Distributor directories

There are plenty of directories where you can find distributors who cover your industry. While they’re usually positioned towards retailers, they’ll be happy to hear from manufacturers wanting to work with them.

9. Google search

When the above approaches fail, you can fall back on good ‘ol Google. It can never fail you. you just need to know how to make targeted searches. Search for keywords like the following:

  • [Product Category] distributors
  • [Product Category] distributors in [local market]

10. Social networks

Lastly, you can always turn to social media — Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, forums, etc. — to find distributors. Find groups on Facebook, LinkedIn or forums that cover your industry. Ask how other product creators found distributors and what were their results like.

You’ll usually find wholesalers and distributors covering your industry at the top of the search results. Get in touch with them and ask about their requirements, terms, and results.

11. Trade Associations

Most industries have local trade associations where manufacturers, retailers, and distributors can come together. This should be the first stop on your journey to find a distributing partner.

In the US and even in Canada, the National Association of Wholesalers (NAW) offers a list of regional and local chapters of different trade associations. Use this to find distributors that serve your industry and region. Marketing Mentor has another list of trade associations for different industries. Find an association that serves your industry and become a member.

Once you join a trade association, try to find how other manufacturers sell their products. What distributors do they use? What markets do they target? What kind of results do they get from their efforts? In most industries, there will be best practices, proven players, and established channels. Adopting these best practices is recommended for any new entrant.