Should you partner? Go direct? This is an article that I wrote many years ago, and a lot of things changed since then. These hold true however.
1.- Failing to choose the right model from the start
It seems simple, but it can really make a difference. The right decision will depend enormously on the client base you are trying to reach and second, your product. There are certain products that are just not made to be sold through a distributor, or maybe the Internet. Conversely, there are customers (and demographics) that you will never reach effectively unless you utilize the same reseller/retailer that they are used to make business with. Same applies for wholesalers, your product has to be carried by those who sell to your retailer of choice.
2.- Not making it clear
We like to go around making our own decisions and we don’t really bother on letting people know what we do. But informing the market know what type of Channel we engage with and under which policies is crucial to have the community properly align itself. Those who feel that your model resonates with them, will look after you.
3.- Not being honest
If your decision is to sell direct, say so. You can suddenly become someone’s competitor but you will still be known to be a trustworthy individual (and Company!) in the industry. Always stick to the rules that you put out (if you don’t, who will). If you need to change them, do so but honor whatever happened under them when they were valid.
4.- Not having a “Channel Specific” plan
Channel Partners are in the business of sustaining their own companies and they will only behave in a way that supports these objectives. Vendors and Manufacturers COMPETE for their mindshare. Being one of the many that they carry, making it easy and profitable to do business with, is on our own interest. Failing to have a Channel-Specific team and tools such as Channel support, Channel Marketing, Channel Portal, etc. will make partner adoption much slower.