Extend your reach.
I have found that with most small business owners, the subject of partnering with a distribution platform can be a touchy subject. Often times when you have built something from the ground up, you feel it is too near and dear to your heart to let go. My advice in this area is to never look at anything you do to grow your business as letting go. Allowing your dream to reach farther than you ever thought possible is an act of love and trust, but never letting go.
Distribution does not have to be categorized as anything negative.
I hear words like “selling out” or “losing touch with your roots” all as fear tactics to keep your dream from being all it can be and go as far as it can go. Anytime you aren't willing to give your dream a leg up and an extra hand, you are giving into fear tactics!
Living out your dream always calls you to go outside your comfort zone. Why not partner with someone who can complement and support your mission? You aim to make something great while they aim to move something great into the market. You are the perfect team. There is nothing wrong with utilizing another company's reach to broaden your client base. The mission of a distribution company is to make such channels available to you. In part, their mission is to support your mission.
Teaming up with someone who is successful in their own process means nothing has changed. You haven't compromised, but rather you are allowing your hard work to stretch across countries and continents. The one store and one vision you started with has now grown by leaps and bounds. It's time dear maker.
Shall we dance?
Your distribution team can be as close to you as any long standing member of your team can be. Possibly even closer. A good distribution company will come alongside you and take up your dream. Distribution is there to cheer you on, take up the baton and fight to keep your hard work in the running.
The people who will help you distribute are the bridge to your customer base you wouldn't otherwise reach. They are the lifeline to your target audience. Think of them as part of your team. They are making up where you lack and providing what you cannot provide.
The Reality is that every product you make must have some sort of distributor. The platforms you need from a distributor can be broken down into eight beneficial categories: information, promotion, contact, client matching, price validation, transportation, financial support, and risk taking. When you don't have the answers, they are there to fill in those gaps.
Over the years my business has experienced just about every kind of collaboration imaginable. From small local events to national platforms. My advice is to always ensure your core value drivers line up with whoever you partner with. That is it. That is the test. Can you dream alongside them and vice verse? Are your visions complimentary? Are you ready to climb aboard and trust their trajectory? This is time when the business of your dreams can grow into an even greater mission with a greater purpose. Congratulations dear maker, you are ready to grow.
Grab a copy of A Makers Guide to read a few of of own collaboration experiences along with many other helpful tips on how to navigate this exciting phase!
Until next time.
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