Tips for Starting a Distribution Business

Stephen Odzer

November 13, 2019

As the current CEO and founder of YBT Industries of Henderson, NV, Steven Odzer has over 30 years of experience in the distribution industry. “I started my first company at age 18 out of my parents’ basement,” he says. In 2000, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the area of distribution. Steven Odzer is someone who had a keen eye for business from a young age. “I went to Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and then to the Brooklyn College Scholars program,” he says. With a lifetime of experience under his belt, he shares some tips for starting a distribution business.

Why is Distribution Important?

According to Steven Odzer, the distribution sector is an essential component of the supply chain. The main job of a distributor is to grow a relationship with manufacturers, house the inventory, and distribute the product to each retailer. Steven Odzer says that while manufacturers focus on production, the job of a distributor is to move the inventory and sort it out by individual orders.

Select a Niche

Steven Odzer says that selecting a niche is the first step for those who want to start a distribution business. Focusing on a narrow niche allows distributors to build better relationships with manufacturers and retailers. Those who have a broader business model often spend more time sourcing the products from manufacturers to deliver to the retailers. However, those who narrow their niche remove the added layers of sourcing extra products.

Focusing on Sourcing and Selling

Once they focus on a niche, distributors need to start sourcing and selling, according to Steven Odzer. The first step is to source the products by talking to manufacturers and building relationships. The second step is to build a strong catalog and encourage retailers to obtain the products through their distribution company, explains Steven Odzer.

When he’s not busy growing his distribution business, Steven Odzer dedicates his time to helping worthy causes. “I am a large supporter of both Jewish and non-Jewish causes,” he says. Steven Odzer is also a large supporter of Bris Avrohom, a large non-profit that helps Jewish immigrants from Russia integrate into life in the U.S. Steven Odzer also advocates for the Arab-Jewish business cooperation.

Steven Odzer also likes to prioritize spending time with his familyHe has seven children and nine grandchildren who keep him on his toes, according to Steven Odzer. One of his favorite things he likes to do with his grandchildren is going to a New York Yankees game.