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I used to work for this company years and years ago. I had a business card with this company and went down to the Apparel Mart because I wanted to get in. I knew from doing research that the company had a showroom down there. So, I go down there and show the lady my business card and boom, I get a pass. It just opened up my eyes to so many things.
I used to take chicks on dates down there because it was that amazing. After going in there and learning I didn’t know the hell what I was doing, I would talk to people. They were hitting me over the head with terms I had never heard before.
Then I set up my own account because I had a company at the time. They put me through the ringer. I had to show them my LLC papers and a debit account and some other stuff. Then I started going in there talking to people.
I used to sell Invicta watches. Those watches were super-hot. They were very easy to move. I met a guy so that I could cut out the middle man.
To get to that level, I had to have all of my paperwork to even have access to know that stuff existed. I am a watch guy. Because of my connections I can get you a deal on a watch. I don’t talk about that on YouTube much because it takes a lot of time to market high-end watches. It is an elitist type thing. A used Daytona can be $8K. A new one depending on the case could be $60K, $70K or $80K. Those aren’t watches for regular folks.
That was just a little detour to talk about what you have to do to get setup with legitimate vendors. The first thing you have to consider before you approach these vendors is how can you benefit them. There’s so much that can happen when you get into this world. When you get in with a vendor and you have so much purchasing power, they will do so much for you.
Many of the vendors with the better stuff will not talk to you unless you have a store. I remember when I was signing up with one of these furniture guys. The dude actually went to check my address on a map to be sure my address was in a commercial zone. He asked me how big my store was. My warehouse at the time was 8000 square feet. He said that was good enough and he signed me up.
You have to know what they’re going to ask. There are many Amazon sellers going through this shit. This is what is so funny. Many wholesalers don’t like selling to smaller guys. What the wholesalers don’t like is the fact that if you get a small business who can’t sell the items, they will bomb the price and it disrupts the whole market.
As big and wonderful as the internet is, there are still companies who have not set themselves up on the internet yet. You may still have to do business with them through fax, phone calls and personal visits. You still have to do business the old way at times.
You have to dig deep to find these companies. They don’t want to do business with the public. They want to do business with another business. I know one company where the only way you can find out what they have for sale is to go to a trade show. They have no website. I’m friends with the people and that’s why I know how they operate. They will open up the doors for a $5K order if you’re local.
You’re going to have to run your business like a business to really be successful in the next four to eight years. You’re going to have to do this stuff by the book to protect yourself from what’s coming.
You’ve got to go ahead and get yourself a budget. Some of this stuff can only be purchased at a trade show. I live in Atlanta and there were a lot of shows at the merchandise mart.
Many of you don’t look like a real company and that’s why you can’t do business with some companies. I think the recession lowered the bar. Vendors had no choice at the time. The companies that weathered that are back to their old habits now of being selective about who they do business with.
You have to look at it from the business owner or manager’s point of view. For example, if you are buying $40K or $50K worth of business furniture, the person wants to feel comfortable with you. They don’t want to spend that kind of money online. Nobody’s spending big money online without meeting someone in person. I don’t see us getting around that for a long time.
A group of younger people have always had the internet as part of their life. As they get older, I think a lot of these things will change. But it will be awhile.
Certain business models don’t work well online. Let’s say you’re a fabrication company and you do these specific projects. Somebody’s got to give you blueprints. There are just too many intricate details that have to happen. That’s why 85 to 90% of business is still done offline.
To get into the big leagues, you’re going to have to start networking and meeting people. Many companies are cutting the small guy out because they are a pain in the ass to deal with. A lot of companies won’t get your order ready for you ahead of time if you’re a small customer, because they question whether you’ll show up or not. I noticed when I started ordering more, I got treated differently and my orders would be ready for me when I got there. Sometimes when I got there, they’d start loading the truck even before I paid.
First things first. Go ahead and get your LLC. Get your business license if the state requires you to have one. Get your business checking account. Get yourself a business address. Some of them are going to check to see if your business is in a commercial zone.
You can do a lot out of your house. If you’re ordering from China, they don’t give a damn. Here’s the thing. If you can order a product from China and have it shipped to your house, the competition is fierce because so many other people can do the same thing.
Anyone who is trying to build a better brand has to get more professional. If you want to do business with the bigger companies with the lowest prices, that is what you need to do. Many of you are going to have to do this stuff going forward.
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