As a manufacturer, your priority is to focus on creating a quality product. Having to deal with money collection and logistics issues is an unnecessary drain on your resources. Hire a distributor to manage your business with retail outlets. Distributors stock your product at their warehouses and supply it to retailers wanting to sell it. Considering the large volumes of product involved when you use the services of a distributor, it is important to thoroughly check the background of a potential distributor before entering into an agreement.
Identify the retailers you want to target in a specific area. Meet them and gather feedback about the distributors from whom they buy similar products. Determine which distributors the retailers prefer or avoid and the reasons why. Word of mouth referrals are one of the easiest ways to start your search for a distributor.
Browse online sites such as Wholesale Distributors Net and Wholesale Central. Search for distributors located in your area and note their contact details. Write to them expressing interest in doing business with them, or visit their office in person.
Subscribe to industry-specific magazines and newsletters. Look for advertisements of businesses that distribute products similar to the ones you sell. Contact these distributors and find out if they're willing to carry your product. Place advertisements of your business with the specific notice that you are looking for distributors.
Watch your local newspapers for announcements of trade shows and exhibitions relevant to your field. Visit these and interact with participating distributors.
Evaluate the distributors who show interest in dealing with you. Speak to your local trade association and get feedback from reliable people in your industry about the financial, technical and performance capabilities of the distributors who approach you. Verify the credibility of a distributor from the Better Business Bureau website before agreeing to use the distributor's services.
Make it advantageous for distributors to do business with you. Find out what your competitors pay and offer a higher amount. Offer other incentives such as discounts on purchases exceeding a certain amount. Provide references of retailer chains that you already do business with.