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Small companies pound pavement to get big deals

March 13, 2014 • National News


In this Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 photo, workers at Arctic Zero cap the finished product at the company’s factory in Pomona, Calif. The makers of the no-fat, ice cream-like frozen dessert started small, selling their product to natural food stores and independent grocers in Southern California. It took years and lots of traveling to get the product on the shelves of major chains like Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

NEW YORK (AP) — When a small business can boast having big clients like Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble, their peers often want to know how they did it.

The truth is there’s no magic that gets a small business a deal with big companies. It takes good old-fashioned pavement pounding.

The makers of Arctic Zero started small, selling their no-fat, ice cream-like frozen dessert to natural food stores and independent grocers in Southern California. But they wanted to get in national chains. It took a year and a lot of traveling to get into Whole Foods. It took four years to get on Wal-Mart’s shelves.

“It was just a lot of hustling, a lot of hard work, pitching, going in and talking,” CEO Amit Pandhi says.

Many small business owners dream of selling to big companies. But the competition is fierce. Rivals can include entrenched national players or fast-growing upstarts. Corporate buying departments often Login to read more

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