Selling products to retailers can often be a challenge for business owners who have just formed an LLC. But there are steps entrepreneurs can take that will increase their chances of winning over large retailers.
Eilene Zimmerman of the New York Times suggests starting small and local. If an entrepreneur approaches the management of a boutique or small store that they frequent, they have a better chance of finding favor. Building up a track record of sales with smaller stores will also help get big retailers’ attention.
Trade shows can also offer opportunities, but Zimmerman cautions business owners to only attend shows that are specifically focused on the product they’re selling. For businesses that cannot afford to hire a salesperson, brokers are a good option.
Zimmerman notes that the best way to get a product on store shelves is to have interest generated so the buyer will call because customers are asking for it. Developing relationships with bloggers is one approach to creating buzz about the merchandise.
Drafting a list of the types of clients a business owner envisions selling his or her products to can help in the search for retailers as well, Karen Klein of BusinessWeek advises.
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