Wholesale News

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I am trying something new. Do not click here, it won't work.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The First Rule Of Owning A Successful Business

At one time or another every business owner has wondered why one business will be successful and prosper for years and another one will struggle just to survive. I am about to tell you the ONE secret that all successful business owners know and have kept secret all these years. This secret is so simple, yet so powerful that in the wrong hands… well, you get the picture.

But, before I tell you the secret that, if implemented, will guarantee that you will be a successful entrepreneur and without it, you will be relegated to the pile of “also rans”, I want to tell you a little story.

Recently, I was in an electronics store. This was not a local store, but a national chain. I have only shopped there a few times, and I do not know if I will ever shop there again. For Christmas, my children wanted me to hook up the internet in their room so they could use the internet at the same time that I was using mine. I have never installed a network and was going to go the wireless route because I have thought about buying a laptop.

I stopped an associate to ask him some questions about exactly what I needed to hook up the network. I had some items in my hand and asked him if that was all I needed. Without slowing down, he said about four words, “yea, that looks right.” After he walked away, still not convinced that I had everything I needed, I put the items back on the shelf and walked out of the store to go purchase them somewhere else.

When we got in our car to leave, the sales associate was standing outside the building smoking. That cigarette was more important than making a $150 sale.

This brings me back to “The First Rule Of Owning A Successful Business.”

Give The Customer What He Wants Or Needs.

Product. The customer is there because you have something that he wants or needs. As in the example above, I was ready to purchase the items necessary to network my computers and yet, I did not because I did not get what I needed, which was someone that would take the time to explain what I needed to do.

Great Value For A Great Price. As I have stated in an earlier article, price is not always the determining factor when a customer makes a purchase. However, he wants to believe he received a good value for the price that he paid.

Qualified Sales Staff. Again, as in the example above, I needed help and did not receive it. A customer wants to know that he is dealing with an honest, experienced, and fair sales person that is there to help him.

Items In Stock. Customers like to know that when they go to a store to purchase an item that should be there, the item will be there. There is nothing more frustrating than to go to a store looking for something and it is out of stock. Although items will run out of stock sometimes, if customers believe that this happens a lot, they will go elsewhere the next time.

If you follow these four items when dealing with a customer, even though problems will arise, you will be one of the successful entrepreneurs that people look at in the future and say, “Wow, he’s been here for a long time.” Because, you were willing to “Give The Customer What He Wants Or Needs".

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Would You Make This Mistake, Too?

A storeowner told me a story recently that I think probably every storeowner has dealt with at one time or another. He has a very liberal return policy. If something is wrong with an item, he will make it right, period. He is that kind of guy. His philosophy is if you keep the customer happy, he will return and purchase more from you in the long run. He realizes that the value of a customer is not a one-time sale. But having that customer return many times during his lifetime and them tell other people of the good experiences he has had in dealing with that store owner is what makes a business successful.

However in one particular instance, he made a mistake with a good customer over a two-dollar item. The family had been good customers over the years and had purchased lots of items from him. However, lately they had not been shopping with him as much as usual. One of the big discount stores had opened nearby and his sales had decreased.

On this particular day, the family had come in and purchased several items including a wooden paddle with the ball tied to it. Every kid has had at least one in his or her life. Even adults get into the act to see who is the best at bouncing this ball on the paddle.

About two hours later, the little boy came back into the store with the wooden paddle and it was broken. The boy asked if he could get another one because he broke this one. “How in the world did this kid break that wooden paddle?” the owner wondered. He told the little boy that he would not give him another one free. The little boy left the store crying and his family has not returned to his store and it has been over a year now since that incident.

What would you do in that situation? Was the store owner right not to give another one to the young boy. Obviously, the boy had broken the toy. The owner thought that the child should learn responsibility for his actions. Although, the toy only cost two dollars, the owner did not think that he should have given him another. He told me that he also thought that the parents were not teaching their child anything about responsibility and that he should have taken care of his toys.

What really happened to the toy does not matter. Whose fault is not an issue. The issue is whether or not the owner should have replaced the broken toy. Although the owner was right because the boy had broken the paddle, he could have handled the situation differently and perhaps not lost a good customer in the process.

The business owner had three options.

He could have replaced the item without question. This would have been the easiest option, however, the child would not learn anything about responsibility. But it would have kept him happy and his family probably would have continued shopping there.

He could have talked to the parents and worked something out with them. Even if he finally replaced the toy, at least the parents would know that he thought they were taking advantage of his business.

And finally, as he did, he could have refused to replace the toy. However, in the long run, that decision may have cost him hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in sales.

The parents were wrong for sending a child into a business to replace a toy that he had broken. And they are wrong for not shopping there anymore. But not all parents think things through and leave it to others to show children the real world.

So, what would you do?

Paul Taylor is a business owner that helps other business owners and entrepreneurs locate wholesale distributors and dropshippers. Visit his website http://www.WholesaleMap.com for information about wholesale sources or opening a business.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Creating A Logo For Google Search Page


I am adding this logo to the google search that is on my website and needed a place to host the picture. Anyway check out my webpage
for all of your wholesale distributors for your business.

Friday, December 01, 2006

One Little Mistake Can Cost Thousands Of Dollars

Many years ago when I first graduated college, I looked for a good used car to purchase. Like most graduates, I had student loans to pay, I had to find a good job and I couldn’t afford to purchase a new automobile. I went to a used car dealership and saw a Datsun 240Z. The dealer told me that it had just come in and he didn’t know anything about it. It looked pretty good; the engine was clean and it had a few paint chips on the side, but overall it looked okay. I drove the car home that day.

We lived in the country and many of the roads were chert and had potholes. I turned into my parent’s driveway about a week later, hit a pothole and all of a sudden the car quit running. I looked under the hood and yep there was an engine in there. I looked under the car and to my surprise, the frame had broken and the engine was leaning down. Although I had purchased the car with no warranty, I called the dealership.

After the owner quit laughing at me, he told me he would come and look at the car. He did. After he couldn’t find another body for the motor, he called me and told me to come pick out any car that I wanted in that price range. I was extremely grateful to him.

After I had signed the papers to purchase the other car, I asked him why he was so willing to work with me. He said, “If I had not helped you out, you would have told everyone what a terrible business man I was and it would have hurt my business more than taking a car back.” He was right. Now, even though he passed away several years ago, I continue to tell this story about a man that knew what customer service meant.

Customer service is the key to return visits. Whether you are in a new business or an established one, you need to be aware of the way that you treat customers. How many times have you been to a business and when you left thought that the workers were not friendly? Many times I have commented to others that the service was terrible in certain businesses. I know that many workers are only there for a paycheck, but as the owner, it is your duty to see that your employees are nice to the customers.

Several times, I have called wholesale companies with the intent of purchasing some items from the distributor and the person on the other end of the line did not seem like they really cared if I purchased anything or not. To them, I was an inconvenience; I don’t know how they were paid, but if they were paid a commission, they did not get any more of my money unless I could not find the items anywhere else. Sometimes price alone is not the determining factor when making a purchase.
Although there are several aspects of customer service, making a customer feel that he or she matters is of paramount importance. Even when handling customer complaints, if the customer believes that you tried to resolve their problem whether it was the way that they wanted or not will have a big impact on whether they will return or not.

The value of a customer is not in a one-time purchase. The value of a customer is how much they spend over the course of their lifetime. Once you have them in your business, you want them to continue to come back. If they are satisfied with their experience on the first visit, they will continue to utilize your business for their purchases. However, if they find that you or your employees seem not to care whether they shop there or not, more than likely, they will not come back.

At the beginning of the article I told you a story of good customer service. Now is the time for an example of bad customer service. Recently my wife and I were looking for a new mattress. When we went into one store, the employee was using the phone. He never acknowledged that we were there until we had lain on just about every mattress there. Finally, when he did come over to us, I would not have bought one from him if it were half price. If customer service in the store were that bad, what if I had a problem with a mattress I purchased there, how would it be? I just could not imagine that his handling a problem would be any better. And I tell everyone that I know not to shop there. And by the way, I went somewhere else and spent $900 on a mattress similar to what he had.

If you consider that a customer may spend thousands of dollars at your business over the course of their life, one mistake could cost you a lot of money.

Paul Taylor is a business owner that helps other business owners and entrepreneurs locate wholesale distributors and dropshippers. Visit his website www.WholesaleMap.com for information about wholesale sources or opening a business.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Show Me The Money!

The title of this article is not just the newest TV show staring William Shatner, or a great line from a Tom Cruise movie. These four words should be the motto of small business owners everywhere. Without money, your business has very little chance of succeeding. This statement can be taken several ways.

First and foremost, is finding financing for your business idea. Each business owner has to decide where to find financing. The obvious choices include banks, finance companies, money brokers, etc. Another place to look for funding is friends and family members. But, that is not what this article is really about.

Second, is to price the items in your business so that it insures that your business endeavor is a success. You want your prices to be in line with your competition. Price is usually a consideration with most people. However, you do not have to have lower prices on every item; you must, however, be in the same ballpark with the competition. There are other items that customers consider when purchasing an item from you, but price is the main one.

And finally, the reason for this article is start–up costs.

What are start-up costs? Start-up costs, as the name implies, include all the expenses that you have during the process of opening your business. Simple enough. But many times, entrepreneurs underestimate the amount that it will take to open the doors. Each business start-up costs varies depending on the type of business that you plan to open.

Many of the costs associated with opening a business are obvious, however, I will list many of them so that when you are planning your budget, it may refresh your memory.

· Location for your business. Of course, this is the most obvious. Initial maintenance problems or remodeling should considered a start-up cost.
· Advertising is often overlooked or underestimated. You should check with various media about prices to advertise. This can be a major expense. Having a sign made for your building is also necessary for your business.
· Insurance is a necessary evil. Do not open the doors without it.
· Office equipment such as computer, printer, scanner, copier, fax, adding machine, calculators, filing cabinet, desk, and a bookcase are all necessary in an office.
· Office supplies are also overlooked; these include paper, pens, computer disks, notebooks, file folders, tape, stapler, and so on.
· Business licenses are required and should not be forgotten although the cost is usually minimal.
· Utilities such as electricity, water, and phone; also an internet connection and mobile phone should be considered.

There may be other costs that can be associated with start-up that are not listed here. This is only designed to get you to think about what it really costs to open a business. Many start-up costs are one time costs such as a deposit on a utility connection or having a sign designed and placed on the building or marquee. However, many are recurring such as insurance premiums and monthly utility expenses.

One business owner that I know said about start-up costs “you should add up everything that you think it will cost to get open and then at least double it, and you will be close to what it costs.” The lesson here is do not underestimate your initial expenses. It costs more than you think.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It Is Time To Order Your Inventory

To find the best wholesale distributors, visit www.WholesaleMap.com
Once all the preliminary work is done, it is time to order your inventory. You have found the perfect location, checked out the zoning ordinances, talked to other business owners, and signed the lease. All that is left to do is stock your business, advertise, and stand back from the door so the crowd does not knock you down on the way in to purchase everything in your store.

WRONG! It usually does not happen that way. It would be great if it did, but then everyone would open a business and then where would we get the customers. The next step in a long line of steps is to locate the best wholesale sources for the items that you want to sell. This can be very time consuming.

Just this morning, I googled wholesale and wholesale distributor and there were over 13,000,000 and almost 3,000,000 respectively listed. How in the world can one search through that maze to find exactly what they are looking for? Buying items at wholesale prices and then expecting to turn around and sell them immediately is not a quick way to get rich. But, overall, the small business owner makes more money than the average person that works for someone else.

It is not an easy task to locate a wholesale distributor that will be able to deliver the goods at the best possible price. I believe that the small business owner should begin by searching on the internet; however, that should not be a stopping place.

Each year, many major cities have wholesale shows where hundreds, if not thousands of wholesalers come to one location and buyers from all over the country come to see the latest trend and purchase stock for their store. Las Vegas, several times each year, has perhaps the biggest merchandise show in the country, if not the world. Chicago, New York, and Atlanta also are big wholesale merchandise shows. There are several smaller distributor shows throughout the year and at various locations. Once you begin dealing with wholesalers that you have found through the internet, most companies will tell you when and where they will be set up so you can view the merchandise.

Many companies have online catalogs that you can order from directly. This is also convenient because you do not have to go anywhere and you can know if it is still in stock. However, I have found that it is better if you can see the merchandise at a show, but if you are making reorders, or are in a hurry for some items, this is perhaps the best way to go.

Even though you can order online, at least the first time, I recommend calling and talking to a salesman. Usually, they are friendly and really want to help you, because they get paid on commission. Also, when you deal with a salesman, you have someone to talk to if something is wrong with your order, or it is late. After a few times of dealing with the salesman, then it is fine to just order online. But remember, if a salesman knows very much about your business, if he has some specials that may save you money, he will let you know while you are talking to him. He is there to help you make money, so he makes money. Never underestimate the benefits of talking directly with salesmen.

Finding good wholesale sources will take some time, but there are several sources available that will help to make it easier.

There are several more aspects to dealing with wholesale distributors that I will talk about in later articles. This includes how to ask for a better deal, buying surplus and closeouts, and shipping costs.

Paul Taylor is a business owner that helps other business owners and entrepreneurs locate wholesale distributors and dropshippers. Visit his website www.WholesaleMap.com for information about wholesale sources or opening a business.