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The Bigger, the Better

If you need quick cash flow to stay in business—and who doesn't?—skip the small retailers and go straight for companies that buy in bulk.

This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Let's say you design a new clothing product. The conventional approach taken by many underfinanced inventors is to start by selling to small, local customers. The goal is to slowly and steadily build a market for their products. Problem is, this approach isn't likely to generate the kind of revenue your business needs to survive.

Here's a better approach: Go after the biggest customers you can find. After all, it often requires the same amount of work to land a small sale as it does a big one. And the benefit is, when you do finally make a sale, it will generate revenue to grow your business. This was the approach taken by 33-year-old Sharon Thomas-Ray when she launched her Chicago business, Y-Tie Neckwear.

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