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Monday, September 15, 2014

Question

One of my customers asked me to supply them with hand soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers. It made me think about selling products to my customers and maybe other janitorial businesses. How can I get started in selling janitorial products and finding suppliers and manufacturers?


Answer

Answer:
If you decide to become a supplier, you can partner with a large paper supply distributor or janitorial master distributor. Both will drop ship case lots to your customers and bill you at wholesale. You will need to inquire in your city for either one of these vendors. Low profit margins and high delivery costs hinder many contractors from doing it themselves. Some contractors prefer maintaining good relations with their suppliers by not competing with them.
Three suggestions:
1. Inform your customer that they must purchase by the case or at least qualify for the minimum.
2. Ensure prompt payments to your supplier. Unfortunately, your customer may not be so inclined.
3. Monitor your retail prices. Some customers are unhappy paying double what they could have bought it for at the local membership wholesale club.
4. Visit www.issa.com and attend their trade show in Chicago in October this year.
5. If you plan on opening a janitorial supply store, check with a manufacturer’s rep who handles multi-lines. They can suggest a comprehensive product line.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com