Your small business needs to focus on what it does best. If you manufacture products or buy products for resale, you may spend time and money establishing the credibility of your brand while allowing others to do the actual marketing. By forming partnerships with marketing intermediaries, you can get your products to customers without having to create a marketing department or spend money generating demand. Examine the practice of partnering with marketers.
Contact people who create customer demand. Many companies do not carry any products. They focus on selling products for other businesses. To do this, they advertise to potential customers who come to rely on them for quality products or great prices, or both. You can partner with this type of marketing intermediary by offering it a percentage of each sale of your products. Websites that offer such services often have a link at the bottom of the home page that reads, “Affiliate Program.”
Click on the affiliate link to provide information about new products the site may sell. You will need to provide all of your contact information, company name, product description, retail price of your products and volume of product you can supply. The company will review this information and make a preliminary decision about whether to contact you.
Negotiate with a company representative. Determine whether you will ship a bulk quantity of your product to the company or fulfill orders as they come in. Explain your shipping process and commit to a time frame for shipping orders. Ask for all the details of your conversation with the company representative to be put in writing in the form of a contract.
Review your contract or have your attorney review it. Note whether you are responsible for accepting returns or handling canceled orders, because these items can eat away at your profits. The contract probably will have a noncompete clause that prohibits you from doing business directly with the website’s customers.