Your product—yes, your bottled water—is not a product until it gets sold. One of the most important factors you should figure out while planning your business—or maybe by the time your first batch is being produced—is how you will get your bottled water across to consumers.
Typically, you have three options:
- The first is to sell directly to customers
- The second is to sell to retail stores that then sell to customers
- The third is to sell to distributors and wholesalers who sell to retail stores that then sell to customers
A smart way to ensure that you are not missing out on any sale is to take advantage of all three options. You can sell directly to customers through your website. Customers will place their orders online, and you will have their orders shipped to them and delivered at their doorsteps. You can also use your website to sell to retailers, but you would be better off with the traditional ordering system.
Selling straight to consumers and retailers could be incredibly time-consuming because most customers and retailers already have their trusted brands and are usually very reluctant to switch over to new ones except they have strong reasons for that. Secondly, you won’t make much profit if a significant fraction of your customers are retailers and consumers.
So, selling to distributors and wholesalers is way to go. They deal in multiple brands, so they are usually receptive to new products. And they will help you generate huge volumes of sales—and profits. Having discussed why you should favor distributors and wholesalers over retailers and consumers, let’s now explain how to find the right distributors and wholesalers for your bottled water.
First, you need to know look in the right places when searching for bottled water distributors and wholesalers. So, where exactly do you begin your search? Naturally, the internet is the best place to start, but there are few other places in particular that can help with your search. Here are some of them:
How to Find Distributors and Wholesalers for your Bottled Water
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Online supplier directories are among the best places where you can find distributors and suppliers for your bottled water. These directories contain profiles of hundreds for thousands of wholesalers and distributors for various products. Narrow down your search to get the list of those who deal in bottled water and related products.
b. Search engines
You can also use Google to find helpful information about wholesalers and distributors for your products. Most of the time you will need to search deeply to get the details of most of them because they usually have old websites that are not well optimized for search engines. So, don’t end your search until you have scoured several pages of search engine results
c. Local library
Since you’d be better off with distributors and wholesalers within your locality, you can find information about them at your local library. Most libraries pay monthly subscription fees for Online business and manufacturer directories that you normally wouldn’t have access to, or you would have to pay a large amount of money for.
How to Identify Good Distributors and Wholesaler – 4 Factors to Consider
Because wholesalers and distributors are intermediaries between your business and the consuming public, it’s very important to do some background checks before signing a contract with any wholesaler or distributor. Here are 4 factors you should evaluate about each wholesaler or distributor
1. Industry reputation
You may have a high quality product, but your product won’t sell if you are selling through distributors and wholesalers with a bad reputation. So, you need to find out about their market and industry reputation before proceeding to do business with them.
2. Financial stability
You sure don’t want a problem within your supply chain. Your sales will plummet if one or more of your wholesalers or distributors should go bankrupt. So, you need to have an idea of how financially stable they are before signing a contract with them. How long they have been in the business is a good indicator of financial stability. A distributor or wholesaler that has been in market for over twenty years sure has what it takes to survive financial trouble.
3. Market experience
Before signing a deal with a distributor or wholesaler, another factor you should check is their market experience. Do they have enough experience marketing and selling bottled water—or at least similar products—to your target market? If not, can they demonstrate how they plan to successfully market your bottled water? Simply because a wholesaler or distributor has successfully marketed other products does not mean they will be successful with your product, too.
4. Do they sell in your target area?
If you are building your brand presence in a targeted geographical location, you must ensure that your potential distributor or wholesaler also sells in that area.