An IT reseller is a type of business that purchases IT products like computers, parts or software programs from the original manufacturer or another distributor and then sells them to consumers or end users. They essentially serve as an intermediary in the distribution process. There are some resellers who simply serve as retailers, while others find ways to add extra value to existing products, like bundling complementary products together, adding support or other necessary services or even refurbishing the products themselves.
Starting an IT Reseller Business
If you’re interested in starting this type of business, here are some essential steps to keep in mind.
Choose a Niche
There are tons of different types of products you can focus your business on — hardware, software, consumer products, business products. So you may want to narrow down your focus beyond the massive IT category. It might help to look at data about how consumers or businesses are spending on tech. For example, a recent study by Blissfully found that SaaS products related to business operations are getting more popular. So if you plan on starting a B2B reseller business, it could be beneficial to focus on this niche.
Locate Manufacturers or Providers
Once you determine the types of products you want to sell, you need to look at the manufacturers or providers who create those products. Some IT resellers stick with one brand, while others diversify. So look at the pros and cons of both models.
Contact Wholesalers or Distributors
From there, locate the wholesalers or distributors that work with those manufacturers or providers and apply as a reseller. Many companies offer applications that you can complete online. Or you can call the companies directly to inquire about what it takes to become a reseller and set up an account.
Register Your Business
You’ll also need to register your business with your state and local government. The exact requirements vary depending on your location, so check with your local government offices or chamber of commerce to ensure that you meet all of the regulations. This step may also be required before you actually sign on with distributors officially.
Create a Website
To actually sell products to consumers or business users, you’ll need a website. This can serve as an ecommerce portal where people can actually place orders, or a place to promote your products and added services.
Consider a Storefront
If you sell actual hardware products to consumers, you might also want to have a physical location so people can come in and see your products in person or as questions if necessary. You should consider this expense when you’re choosing a niche, as this type of business varies greatly from those that simply sell cloud programs or software online. Alternatively, you can opt for a dropship business model so you don’t have to handle the actual products at all and simply market and sell them online.
Add Additional Services
There are probably tons of other resellers and distributors who offer the exact same products as you do. So you need to give people a reason to buy from you specifically. This is why many resellers choose to add some kind of extra service or something of value along with the main product. For example, an Office 365 reseller could add on data protection, email encryption, mobility security or any of the other suggestions listed here by Rich Freeman of ChannelProNetwork. You can also consider things like warranties, setup, support or product bundle discounts.
Advertise Your Products
Then you need to find some way to market or advertise your offerings. The tactics you choose will depend on your products and target customers. For example, if you offer cloud based products to business users, then it probably makes most sense to advertise online on business centric sites. If you sell to consumers out of a local storefront, then you might consider sponsoring local events or taking out an ad in the local paper. And no matter what, always make sure to call attention to that extra value you provide to buyers, since that’s what will get them to come to you over your competitors.
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