The type of people who run a reselling business fall somewhere along a spectrum. On the far left, you’ve got the people who follow a simple procedure (buy, sell, ship, rinse, repeat). On the right side of this spectrum, you’ve got strategists. They are the ones who analyze the efficacy of all the “cogs in the wheel” that make their business run. These people change and experiment with different processes and techniques to see what works best. They’re also the type of reseller that would be more active in business networking. Everyone falls somewhere along this spectrum.
As long as you’re happy with the results, there’s no wrong way to resell. But, for those of you who desire more growth, whether in terms of profits, operations, or additional reselling avenues, you need to lean into that strategist role.
Everything—from the sourcing strategy to the customer service—is a game. The more efficient your business is, the more time, space, and capital you have to invest.
Some people like reselling because you can keep to yourself. You don’t have to talk to anyone while you’re doing the main bulk of your business, and some people like to keep it that way. But as you start to grow your business, I encourage you to think about how having others available to give fresh perspective can help not only your business, but the entrepreneurial reselling community.
5 Main Benefits of Better Business Networking for Resellers
1. Give Some, Get Some: Mutually Beneficial Business Relationships
Before we go any further, remember one thing: What you have to offer is valuable. Whether you’ve been reselling for 30 years or you’re just starting out, your experiences and information are important. Let’s put it this way: As someone who resells as a full-time job for years, the new and aspiring resellers are immensely important to me. They have a perspective that I have since lost as I became an expert in my field. It is much easier for me to create content for experienced resellers because I am in the same boat. Hearing a new reseller’s experience allows me to develop quality content for that audience.
The way any industry grows and thrives depends on the members inside of it. Part of having a thriving community of resellers is directly proportional to the amount of people who are willing to contribute to it. Businesses thrive when they work together to achieve common goals. Keep in mind, this doesn’t only apply to businesses that do the same thing you do. Think about how the business operates from top to bottom. Even liquidators and suppliers would benefit from a relationship with you. Being able to provide honest and respectful feedback about their products can help them learn what they should continue sourcing, without having to risk an investment.
In the same way that a reseller should look to their peers for experiences with liquidators before purchasing, your experiences could help determine which programs a liquidator would want to continue purchasing from.
And by the way, a lot of what we learned about the process of liquidation came from respectful, mutually beneficial relationships between us and the liquidators who supply us. Just saying.
(Don’t worry, there’s enough to go around.)
2. Reputation: Let People Know Who You Are and What You Stand For
Reputation doesn’t translate directly to profits, but it is, nonetheless, a profitable investment. A business with a reputation for honest work would get my money faster than one who was known for shady practices.
You are the face of your brand. People will hardly remember the exact words you said to them, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. If you leave them feeling better off than they were before they spoke to you, they’ll remember that.
Who do you think they would be likely to come to when a great new opportunity for mutually beneficial collaboration comes? When they meet someone who is looking for the service you provide, who do you think they will refer those people to? My bet is on the business with the better reputation. In this case, business networking would be worth it.
3. Giving Back: Improvement of the Overall Reselling Community
You will always have something to offer, regardless of the number of years you have been in the business. Reselling is an ever-changing industry. I have seen brand new resellers encounter situations that experienced resellers may have never encountered.
Imagine you are speaking to someone you know who resells. You operate similarly in your respective businesses. One day, you share a new hack for organizing your small inventory so it’s easy to find. That person may not need the entire set up the way that you had it, but maybe they could use the labeling system you used because it would benefit them. Imagine that they then told someone else who was able to adopt that procedure too. If that continues, you have effectively improved multiple businesses, simply in conversation. That’s the goal of industry communities. That type of business networking is key to what makes us better.
4. Learning Opportunities: Gaining Accountability
A fresh, new perspective.
A different business model.
A unique inventory system.
When we talk to others who give a similar service or product but operate in a different way, it allows us the opportunity to re-evaluate the way we conduct our business. We don’t always have to take the risk if others have taken the risk before us and it hasn’t worked out. This is where you can get your questions answered about your own business. Growth and change start here.
Having high quality business connections is how you become an expert in your field organically. Giving of your time, knowledge, and experience is an investment in obtaining someone else’s. The natural consequence of this give-and-take action is that there will be a new level of self-awareness within you and your business that you can utilize to become a strategist, understanding how your business works on multiple levels. The small changes that are needed are easier to identify, making you a stronger, more experienced business owner.