Would you rather be a car or a bridge?
I recently had the good fortune of connecting a client with a supplier. The connection was valuable to both parties, and I took a margin along the way. All of a sudden I became a Services Wholesaler. No work, just connections.
Value is created by connecting customers with producers. You can do this directly - by opening a store and being a car, or by being the Shopping Mall. We see many examples everyday. Blogger, airports, franchise systems, real estate agents, and brokers. The distributor builds the bridge, for other businesses (cars) to drive over.
Sometimes you may not even have to refer business. You can simply be the Bridge between ideas. If you supply services to a client, it may simply be to provide the gift of insight. If you supply goods, it might be an insightful gift to demonstrate other uses of the product.
Just like a bridge, becoming a distributor requires the following:
Investment - big up front investment - in time and/or money
Skill - in building the connections, but also the subject matter
Time - and patience
If one of the thousands of daily delivery vans didn't make it's journey across the Sydney Harbour bridge, no-one would miss it. If the bridge disappeared, it would be dramatic, and catastrophic.
The bridge is a monopoly, and not quickly replaceable.
Are you a bridge or a car?