Distribution is one of the most important elements in a marketing mix and it involves the spreading of products through the prescribed market place to enable a large number of people to have access to them.
The process of distribution is facilitated by the set –up of distribution channels to enable the transfer of products from the manufacturers or wholesalers, to the final buyer.
The distribution is the main component of any supplied business as it is the only way a product can reach the customer and so a good distribution process is one that creates a good relationship between the manufacturers and the customers and allows any business to run efficiently.
Why do people need to start their own business?
Starting and running a business can be one of the most challenging ways to earn money especially if you are not well equipped with knowledge in the area of business you want to be involved in.
Before businesses were viewed by most people as side-hustles but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how people view businesses. Before people would run their businesses, while still having a day job to while some people were entirely not for the idea.
The pandemic which has unfortunately led to the loss of lives and government-imposed lockdowns for months has greatly impacted the economies of different countries.
The effect of the lockdowns was a high number of job losses and layoffs resulting in a huge number of unemployed people.
Since it has become difficult to travel both within a given country and outside of your country, most businesses have shifted from physical stores to the online marketplace.
Small businesses and start-ups play a major role in the overall economy and can be a way for you to sustain yourself especially if you have lost a job or you need some more money to supplement your income in case you got a pay cut.
Despite the challenges that have been brought about by the pandemic, there are also opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow even in the existing situation.
With the whole world coming to a standstill, eCommerce has continued to thrive, and to be able to start a business this is the first thing you should put into consideration.
Some of the other factors to consider when starting your business during the pandemic are:
Start a business that requires low capital as a start.
This will ensure that you do not incur huge losses in case the business does not do well or it takes a long time to pick.
Research on the best-sellers and carve out a niche from the products that are being used by people while they stay at home.
Ensure that you use an efficient marketing strategy to enable your business to be known and to attract customers.
Since finances are a bit tight you can start by promoting your business on the free social media platforms.
Ensure that you offer unique and efficient products and services to enable you to maintain and attract new customers.
Make sure your business model speaks for you since you will not be meeting with the customers face to face.
Be flexible and adaptable.
One thing the pandemic has shown us is that you cannot anticipate what will happen at a later date. Being flexible will allow you to survive any challenges as you will be able to find a way around any difficulties that you may face.
What is the distribution business?
A distribution business can also be termed as the running part of any business; it allows for products to reach the end consumer and involves the movement of goods through various channels to the final point distribution of products can be done directly from the manufacturer to the consumer or through retailers who then sell to the consumer.
Distributions consist of 3 main strategies:
Where products are spread out to mass markets using intermediaries who will then reach a broad market base.
A manufacturer will use a selected channel to distribute their product. This is usually for a specific type of product and the manufacturer will use people with expertise in the products being manufactured.
A manufacturer will often deal with one intermediary which allows them to maintain control over the distribution process.
The distribution business mostly entails the processes involved in maintaining relationships between the manufacturer and the customer.
The good things about the distribution business
Since the distribution process heavily relies on relationships between clients and manufacturers there are several advantages of using distribution channels these include:
Reduced costs of doing business as your products are readily available to customers through the various retailers and hence you do not have to do everything on your own.
Distribution allows for a wider customer reach as it allows for you to tap into an already wide network of retailers who will then be used to sell your products.
Distribution allows for faster growth of your business as it increases the number of people you can reach at a given time.
Distribution allows for efficient feedback from the retailer as to what product sells more and the one that doesn’t. This will help manufacturers produce goods that sell easily.
As a distributor, you will only act as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the customer and so you only need to have a network of retailers within your reach to be able to make profits off your business.
How to find reliable suppliers?
Suppliers are essential to any business as they are the ones who produce a product for you to sell. Most people have different ways of finding suppliers and for most businesses; the number one aspect is the price of products. This is important but it is not the only thing you need to look out for when you are searching for a supplier.
Some of the other important aspects to consider when looking for a supplier include:
The business values of the supplier
A good supplier should be able to match your vision as they can understand your needs and be able to fulfill them.
Quality of goods- this is important as the goods are what you will sell to the customer
For your business to grow you need to source for quality products that will ensure customer satisfaction.
Find a trustworthy supplier
The supplier will either make or break your business and so you should find one that assures you of quality products and services. The supplier should be able to fulfill your requirements at all times and communicate in case there are challenges.
Evaluate the best supplier form a wide list to identify the one that works best for you
A list of suppliers can be found through online directories and you should research the ones that you want to use and vet each one of them to get a perfect fit.
Find out about the delivery options of the supplier you will use
How many days can they take to deliver your products? Is delivery efficient?
4 best-recommended distribution websites
Nihaojewelry is among the top manufacturers and distributors around the world. The company offers +100 categories of quality products at affordable prices.
The company is well conversant with the current market trends and produces the best product to fit the market.
Nihaojewelry prides itself on its fast delivery of 2-10 days, and efficient customer care services among a wide range of options to help you grow your business.
DX .com is a website that consists of over 3000 suppliers of a wide variety of products. The website is a leading eCommerce retailer of quality and affordable products with shipping services all over the world. The website is translated into over 13 languages to cater to a wide customer base.
This is an American website that deals majorly with household items. The website offers a wide selection of household furniture and appliances among others at affordable prices.
The website offers a wide selection of products and efficient customer service to allow retailers to access products easily and efficiently. The company’s mission is to empower retailers and wholesalers of a variety of products.
Challenges when running a distribution business
Like any other business, the distribution business also has some challenges and you may face some of these while doing your business. It is important to identify the challenges and find ways of dealing with them to be able to thrive.
Some of these challenges include:
Inaccurate management of stock
The main way to ensure that your distribution business is efficient is to automate it. Ensure that all the products are clearly updated and that your system is well managed to allow for an easy distribution process.
Changing customer expectations
For your distribution business to survive you will need to learn how to manage customer expectations as these changes over time. Ensure that you are flexible to change your services to fit the customer requirements.
The infiltration of eCommerce
Before eCommerce, the distribution process was necessary to help customers access products, these days a customer can easily connect to the manufacturer directly.
To ensure your business remains relevant to ensure that you are caught up with the various eCommerce business models and change your business model to adapt to any change that may occur.
Distribution is the only way to facilitate the movement of goods to the customer. Having a good distribution channel is important in ensuring the success of any business.