Distributors: A Simple Guide to Build a Business Plan

June 23, 2015 by NetPlus Alliance

I have had the great pleasure of getting to know and work with hundreds of distributors over the past three decades. While each company individually defines success, some are more consistent at achieving their goals regardless of outside influence or economic climate. Simply put, I have found that those with a plan reach their goals and outperform the market more often than those without a plan.

Many distributors avoid planning because they aren’t sure how to start the process or the thought of it feels like too large a task. For the sake of reading this article, I ask you to set aside any struggles you may have about business planning and consider the rewards. A plan can be as simple as you want it to be and more rewarding than you might think. To get in the correct mindset, think about doing anything in your life without a plan and what the results are. Imagine driving to the office, running your day, or taking a vacation without a plan. The plan helps you to achieve your goal of getting to your destination on time, being productive, and vacationing as you want, either partaking in many activities or simply relaxing, but it is the plan that helps you reach your goal.

A business plan starts with an objective or goal that develops by analyzing your business. The goal might be to increase your market share, expand into new product categories or verticals, operate more efficiently, or increase sales and profit. All achievable goals are most likely reached earlier with a plan.

Where Distributors Can Start

To start your plan, analyze your business by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What keeps you up at night?
  • What business difficulties would you erase if you could?
  • What are your customers asking for?
  • Can you create more profit from what is already being done?
  • Are you delivering profit at the “Typical ISA Distributor” or “High Profit ISA Distributor” level?
  • If you wanted to sell your business, what would need to be done to make it sellable?

Once you have identified your goal, develop the strategy, actions, and tactics necessary to achieve your goal and share them, along with your goal, with your team. They will feel part of the plan and understand what it means for the business and how it benefits them, making it much more likely that they will work with you to achieve the goal. Build review dates into the plan and make adjustments as required. Then, enjoy the journey and results. Again, you can make this as simple or detailed as you like. It is better to make a very simple plan than to not make one at all, so create a plan that fits your personality best.

Including NetPlus suppliers as part of your plan will deliver multiple rewards with the front-end values, base rebate, and growth rebate opportunities. Review the NetPlus supplier list, targeting a new category to expand into, a new supplier to add to your portfolio, an existing supplier you can plan to grow with, or convert a non-NetPlus supplier to a NetPlus supplier and reach those goals with compounded results.

The summer months are an ideal time for distributors to build your plan. I’ve added a few helpful documents to the NetPlus Community Portal to help you get started or pull out a piece of paper and answer the questions above. This is one of those chances to work

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