How to find the right suppliers is one of the most common questions we are asked. Unfortunately its not as simple as clicking your fingers but the following information should help to get you started.
A dominant factor in cycle sales is brand name and therefore early assessment of key suppliers and access to their product lines is imperative.
However, there are many new shops opening each month so be prepared to differentiate and prove yourself to prospective suppliers. Sharing part of your Business Plan and the strength of your financing with suppliers is a positive step towards gaining the early support of suppliers.
You also need to consider that some leading brands operate territories to protect existing accounts and avoid duplication and over-supply in any one area. This may result in your shop not being able to gain access to all the brands you want.
This is where careful analysis of local / regional competition is relevant to ensure you know which brands are being stocked where. Understanding your target market is also important in ensuring you establish the right relationships with suppliers who provide the right product for your customers.
Developing a close partnership with a handful of key suppliers is generally considered the best way forward, especially in the early days. Consider just 2 or 3 bike brands and just a handful of parts, accessories and clothing suppliers.
Less is certainly more in this context, enabling you to gain their support and commitment for your business. This approach will also enable you to specialise in the brands you stock and thereby gain a good reputation locally for the brands you stock.
Ultimately performance, purchase volumes and regular payments will prove the value of your account with any supplier.