Hi Sarah,

In terms of looking for a distributor, have you considered asking the stores you are currently working with – those which you most respect – who they get the best service from / have the best relationship with, and perhaps for an introduction? We self-published a book a few years back that did well – when I was looking for the right distribution partner we spoke to great independent bookstores (and a respected peer in the industry), and the same name came up over and over again…it led to a great relationship with a ‘right-sized’ distributor that really fit our business.

In terms of recruiting direct sales roles, I’m not familiar enough with your sector to know how widespread that is, but I suspect you’d find some good examples in FMCG. I have a couple of good friends, both working in their own beverage businesses, that I could introduce you to if you wanted a chat? A general observation – great, relationship-oriented salespeople who treat your brand well are solid gold, and can really help you grow revenue – my advice is that once you find someone good invest in them, train them, and do all you can to retain them.

My first answer on Manaaki – hope that’s helpful!! 🙂