As a local business owner it’s a dream to see your products stocked on the shelves of Wal-Mart, Target and Cosco. If you’re selling electronics then Best Buy, RadioShack, or even Apple stores (which would be cool but as of right now the only way I know to do this is to supply component parts which go into Apple devices).
Awareness is the first step.
Distribution is the second step.
By getting distribution from 1 or more of these big brand stores this is automatically taken care of.
If you don’t dream big it will happen.
But this cliché won’t get you there. You must have the steps to make this dream reality.
Put yourself in the big corporate’s shoes. It’s easy to live inside your own box as the small business owner but that won’t get you on their shelves.
You must think of it from their perspective. What do their customers want? What problem does your product solve for their customers?
What’s an easy positioning statement so their customers will recognize in a snap your product is a solution to their problem?
You see big companies gobble up small companies all the time.
They stay focused. When something cool comes out they take note. But they don’t want to develop or spend time on it themselves.
It’s a much more positive ROI for them to just buy it.
If your company’s product or service solves a problem that customers are having and they don’t have to invest their time, human resources or money internally developing it you’ve probably got a winner.
They’ll gladly buy or license it from you.
One local business owner called Wal-Mart 10 times a day for 3 straight weeks before finally getting that meeting.
Big companies think in terms of 7 figures and hundreds of thousands of users. Begin with this end in mind. Plan to scale huge.
More tips from entrepreneur:
1. Be unique. Make sure your business pitch is carefully thought out and offers value to your potential partner. After Robin Thurston co-founded MapMyFITNESS.com, an Austin, Texas-based fitness social network that offers online routes, training and group activities, he and his partner realized they had developed a geo-location technology that bigger companies wanting online fitness tools and access to a social network could use. With their first corporate partner, Cadbury’s Accelorade sports drink, they collaborated on a web interface enabling users on their site to map and share workouts. “You have to have something that is clearly valuable to that big brand that they might not want to spend the time investing in or doing,” Thurston says. Now, the company also builds web platforms and mobile phone apps for brands like NBC Sports, Humana and Skechers, whose customers can opt into the MapMyFITNESS social network.
2. Remain persistent. Although Szaky had the worm-excrement-in-a-recycled-bottle market cornered, getting that first deal with Wal-Mart in 2005 still required persistence. After scouring LinkedIn and alumni networks to find the right contact, Szaky called Wal-Mart 10 times a day, every day for three weeks until he finally got through and set up a meeting. Big companies field lots of requests, so persistence is a must. “There are some brands we are working with today that literally were five-year conversations,” Thurston says.
Tell me about your experience in negotiating deals with big brands. If you haven’t gone down this path what’s stopping you?
I’ll respond to your comments and point you in the right direction.