Are you wondering how you can become a computer dealer? Many small business computer consultants wonder how they can add product sales to their service offerings, and whether or not it will truly add value to their businesses.
In most cases, you donâ€™t need any special qualifications to become a computer dealer. All you really have to do is forge relationships with some good wholesalers and distributors that offer you reasonable prices on product purchases and decent logistics/availability. While there are varying opinions on whether or not becoming a computer dealer is profitable, you should expect the net profit margin to be as low as 10%… and sometimes even lower. This is why you should really make sure not to lead with product sales in your marketing materials or build your business model solely around reselling products.
The following 4 tips can help you become a computer dealer … profitably!
(1) Know the Difference Between Various Types of Computer Consulting Firms
If you want to build a computer consulting business, there are three options to consider when deciding whether or not to include product sales as part of your services to clients: a pure consulting firm; a purchasing agent; a hybrid consulting firm. Computer consultants that decide to start pure consulting firms believe they will not make any money from selling products and limit their function with clients to helping clients decide what to buy and where to find products. Other consultants decide to be purchasing agents for their clients, without acting as computer dealers, and simply bill clients for their time spent specifying requirements, gathering price quotes, analyzing the best value, placing orders, tracking shipments, and inspecting the goods on arrival. Those that decide to start hybrid computer consulting firms decide to resell certain products coupled with their regular consulting services.
(2) Decide Very Carefully Whether or Not You Want to Become a Computer Dealer
The decision to become a computer dealer depends on how you would like to spend your time as an IT professional. Do you want to try to get a little additional profit margin by selling products? Or do you want to do more consulting work for clients on how to very strategically solve big IT business problems? If you want to start a very strong computer consulting business, regardless of whether or not you resell products, you cannot lead with a product sale.
(3) Know Why Leading with Product Sales When Marketing Your Business Does Not Work
If you decide to become a computer dealer, you canâ€™t lead with product sales when marketing to prospective clients. Why not? When you lead with product sales, all of a sudden you show customers that you want to be their commodity broker. And no small business owner in his/her right mind would hire a commodity broker to solve complex IT business problems. Instead, they will peg you as the cheap, low-cost source for computer-related products. If you want to become a computer dealer, and do so profitably, consider only reselling products to people with whom you already have more profitable consulting relationships.
(4) Know Where to Find Good Distributors for Products
If you decide to become a computer dealer, make sure you are looking in the right places for reputable product distributors. For many computer dealers, this short list of distributors to consider includes D&H Distributing, Ingram Micro, Synnex, and TechData. The key is to build relationships with distributors as you would with your clients or other partners. Build trust before making agreements, and find out how to responsibly and profitably get involved in product sales.