Distributors work as an intermediary between the product manufacturer and the customers that include wholesalers, retailers, or any other business. Without a distributor, it wouldn’t be possible for any of these parties to keep performing their primary roles (i.e. production for manufacturer and dealing with the end users for retailer). It is the distributor who manages everything in between. However, this seemingly simple job of getting the products from manufacturers or wholesalers and delivering them to retailers can prove to be quite demanding. At the very least, a full service distribution firm needs to have large storage space, trucks and vans, and spot on inventory management skills.
Choose the type:
When you are looking to start a food distribution business, the first thing you need to do is to select the kind of food you will be dealing in. You’ve got plenty of options like frozen food, bakery products, dairy products, meat products, organic, or processed food. You can choose to deal in more than one or even all of these categories but that will take a huge setup, therefore it is better for the wholesale distributors to start from limited range of products and expand with the passage of time.
After deciding the type of food, they need to get in touch with different types of suppliers like poultry or dairy farms, or brands making processed or frozen food. Make sure you are buying these products at a price that’s significantly less than the retail price. Before you even start dealing with the vendors, make sure you have got a foolproof inventory management system in place.
Now comes the more important part of selling, traditionally distributors do not indulge in marketing or advertising, because their primary job is managing the supply chain. However, there’s nothing wrong in making use of relatively low cost mediums for marketing, for example creating a wholesale website with a complete list of products you have got. Ideally the website must allow customers to order and make payments online. You should also employ some sales staff to reach out to your targeted customers. Trade shows or online directories are two very effective mediums to promote your distribution business.
Throughout this article, we’ve assumed that you have good inventory and logistic management skills, which is necessary for any kind of distribution business. Remember, distribution might appear to be a relatively simple process, but in reality it takes quite some experience and a lot of hard work to successfully start and manage a food distribution business, especially because of the perishable nature of the food products.