3 Key Advantages that Accelerated My Business to $1M in Sales
Let’s admit: Complacency is comfortable. We say we want to increase our sales, grow our business and build our wealth. However, it takes stepping out of our comfort zones and doing something different to lead to dramatically different results. Terri Tolmack, owner of Proforma Hi-Rez, a California-based distributorship, is no stranger to this concept. She made a bold move after nearly 14 years as an independent distributor who focused predominately on selling stationery and print. Terri craved an opportunity that would allow her to expand her product offering and ultimately grow her business, so she took the leap and joined the Proforma family. The move opened a door to discovering three key advantages that helped put her on the path to $1 million in sales.
Early on in her career, Terri established a very strong relationship with a large corporation, and was their “go-to stationery provider.” Terri was having a conversation with an executive of the company about e-commerce shortly after she joined Proforma.
“I happened to mention something about our e-commerce and IT team," Terri said. "He looked at me slightly confused and asked, ‘Our team? What do you mean by that?’ I explained to him that I had partnered with Proforma—that I was now part of a network of more than 750 distributors; that I had the backing of more than 160 support center team members, an e-commerce and IT team and strong relationships with over 600 preferred vendors. Not only was he impressed by the immense support, he had also heard of the $500 million industry leading network.”
In his eyes, Terri was no longer the “stationery girl.” That was the moment her business model began to drastically evolve. It became clear to Terri that even though she could always find new clients and provide new products, like anyone in this industry can, it was Proforma’s reputation and support, combined with her client relationships and out-of-the-box creativity that gave her a competitive edge.
2. Cash Flow
Throughout the coming months, Terri’s modest stationery purchase orders evolved into consistent six-figure orders of branded wall art. From murals and framed art, to aluminum prints and canvas wraps, partnering with Proforma gave Terri’s client infinite possibilities.
“There is absolutely no way that I could have secured these projects without the support of Proforma," she said. "As an independent distributor, cash flow can be a serious issue. Oftentimes, for a large order, you may need a $40,000 deposit just to begin the order process—which is likely very difficult for an independent or entry-level distributor.”
Proforma’s free credit insurance program allows its owners to win major opportunities and fulfill big orders with peace of mind. Terri's access to Proforma’s financial clout gave her the cash flow support she needed to take on these large-scale, lucrative projects.
Iron sharpens iron. Terri’s ability to confidently expand her business outside of her comfort zone was possible through the education, resources and the network that Proforma provides. Her designated strategic advisor has helped guide her through RFP's and RFI's, hopped on calls with prospects to assist with a sale, and has even participated in client meetings to help with important presentations.
“Proforma provides the opportunity for you to learn all aspects of the print and promo industry, and more," she said. "I came from a print background, but have been able to expand my portfolio to include promotional products, grand format, e-commerce, multimedia and completely custom projects, helping to grow my bottom line—all through partnering with the best of the best. From preferred limited suppliers to the support center team to our extended family of owners, Proforma does an amazing job cultivating a community of support. There are also opportunities for continuing education at regional events and the Proforma Annual Convention and Family Reunion.”
Since joining Proforma, Terri has increased her sales by 533 percent and is well on her way to becoming one of more than 170 Proforma owners who are selling $1 million to $30 million annually.
“I cannot attribute my success to one particular job. It’s the growth and knowledge I’ve gained as Proforma Owner that has led me to my successes. It’s all about where Proforma can take you and what you do with it. ”