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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.

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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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