by Rob Biederman
The next time you’re creating a PowerPoint to sell investors on your startup, think about this: The company actually selling PowerPoint might be as interested in your company as anyone else.
Microsoft, which scaled its business on the backs of 640,000 resellers, is also open to reselling what you have to offer. Not only do resellers help other businesses sell more products, but they also enable their partners to reach a wider audience for a smaller cost. Hefty marketing expenses and limited access to target audiences, be gone. Enter the world of resellers.
Get Sold on Resellers
Resellers are critical engines of business, and entrepreneurs should carefully explore how they might be useful. Taking a break at Starbucks? It was once a startup. Despite its iconic stores, household name, and carefully brewed brand, it resells coffee through – wait for it – Costco. If resellers are okay for Starbucks and Microsoft, then it is more than a viable option for scaling your business.
Here are the benefits of reselling with an experienced company:
- It’s a simple way to reach customers. Make one sale at the enterprise level, and you can potentially reach thousands of underlying buying agents.
- It’s cheap. A distribution channel is more cost-effective than building a sales force to contact customers.
- It confers credibility. When your product or service is sold by a valued partner or perceived expert, it becomes a recommendation, not a sales pitch. This is especially helpful for startups that lack the history or case studies to showcase performance.
- It gives you access. Even if you have the money, time, and credibility to target your audience, sometimes it’s not possible to get their attention. The reseller channel will know your customers – and how to reach them in an economical way.
- It gives you market knowledge. Startups work on a learning curve, and you need to move upward as fast as you can. Resellers understand your customers, help you understand their pain points, and enable you to address them.
When you start out, you lack time, money, and credibility. An established and resource-rich partner does not. As your company grows, you’ll own more of the sales process. Right now, you could use the help to get going.
For example, my company, HourlyNerd, connects MBAs with companies that need consulting advice. Microsoft’s resellers obviously want to do well, and our “nerds” can help them do better. This is in Microsoft’s interest as well; it wants its resellers to be as effective as possible at selling its products. It also wants them to become larger and more sustainable businesses.
Goliath companies need small and medium-sized businesses to serve their expansive customer base, and David startups can be the ones to fill that need. Even Google needs help with this task and finds it through its Apps Reseller Program. Best Buy and Apple – two huge, successful brands – work together so Apple can sell more of its products to more people. Think about it: If these companies and others can reap the benefits of resellers, then your startup definitely can.
Rob Biederman is the co-founder and CEO of HourlyNerd, a service that connects businesses to top MBA students and alumni to solve critical business problems at affordable prices. Connect with Rob on Twitter and Google+.
Courtesy of Author | Chie