Although we hear so much about franchising in today's business community, businesses actually have several ways to expand their marketing distribution channels. Franchising is just one method, albeit a solid and successful one, of expansion and some business, because of the nature of their services, choose other alternatives to franchising.
Distributorships offer a strong alternative to franchising and may be preferable for some business owners. Distributorship owners have the following advantages:
- One-on-one contractual relationship with suppliers of their choice
- Opportunities to buy in bulk from suppliers
- Opportunities to do business with companies of their choice, rather than being limited to a certain network
Likewise, there are disadvantages to distributorships as well. One of the biggest disadvantages is that distributorship owners usually don't receive the training and full-time operational support that franchise owners usually receive.
Some examples of popular nationwide distributorships include Amway, Mountain Life Spring Water and vending businesses such as Campbell's Soup and Knorr Soup vending machines.