Chain Store Guide is excited to release its first Marketing 101 article, a new series designed to assist our clients and subscribers in their marketing endeavours and maximize their success.

Finding the right companies and the right people to sell to can be a difficult task. There are an estimated 3.8 million retail establishments in the US, with multiple people to contact for each business. Chain Store Guide, the foremost provider of market research and sales leads, does most of the work for you; our in-house data team keeps an up to date listing of contacts for each company in our database. Even with a list of prospects as extensive as CSG offers, the challenge is still knowing which retailers fit best for your business and how to approach them.

The end goal for any supplier is to get their product on the shelf, but different retailers are looking for different product mixes; each company also conducts business specific to their needs. For instance, deep discount stores like Family Dollar are very strict when it comes to packaging and the size of their products since their objective is to maximize shelf space. Before approaching a discount company it’s best to know how small you can get your packaging and that your production costs are as low as possible. After all, in order for you to make money, they need to make money, and since discount stores typically sell products very inexpensively (sometimes for only a dollar) they need to sell a large quantity of merchandise to make a profit.

If you’re in the apparel industry, know the difference between Macy’s and JCPenney, who their audience is and what their customers expect when shopping. For restaurants, before you start your search, you must know if you’re looking to sell to fast casual, quick serve, casual dining, fine dining, etc… CSG goes one step further in its restaurant database to provide filters for menu types, allowing manufacturers to focus solely on chains likely to require their supplies.

Knowing your target audience (and their audience) is the first step in the process of finding the right buyer for your products. Once you find these businesses, then you find the right contacts. With Chain Store Guide’s comprehensive databases, you’ll be able to search for the perfect companies for your business right in the palm of your hand.