An ex-Equanet salesman who set up his own reseller after being made redundant has talked up the growth of his fledgling firm, despite struggling to secure credit from disties on big-ticket deals.
Dean Mason set up Teqex in 2014 after being let go when Kelway – now CDW – took over Equanet. Since then, the firm has grown quickly and is on track to smash the £1m sales barrier this year, after doubling sales in its last year. Ambitious Mason said the plan is to reach £5m sales in the company’s fifth year, and within 10 years, he wants to appear on CRN‘s Top VARs list, which ranks the top 100 resellers in the UK market.
The firm’s four employees are currently based in an office in Manchester, but Mason hopes to sign up more staff in the near future.
Mason used to specialise in NHS accounts during his time working at other resellers, such as Insight and PC World Business, and so focuses on this area in his new venture. Although getting on public sector frameworks has brought the firm success so far, it also has won deals with big corporates too.
Mason told CRN that one of the challenges of being an up-and-coming reseller is that more negotiation is required when it comes to distributor credit.
It’s challenging for some of them now because I guess there are fewer disties out there than there were – Eddie Pacey
He cited one recent large deal it signed off when he was unable to secure distributor credit, so appealed on LinkedIn for help, which worked, and the big contract was signed.
“We’re going through a quick growth stage,” he said. “The credit insurance companies the disties deal with are cautious and I understand that – I’m not knocking them for that. To ship [big deals] all in one go, we need the credit in one place – not some here and some there. It’s kind of a Catch-22 – [disties] are governed by credit insurance, but we’re going through quick growth.”
He said the issue was sorted quickly and that its key distributors have agreed to increase the company’s credit limit on a regular basis as more big sales come through.
Credit consultant Eddie Pacey sympathised with the situation in which some small resellers can find themselves when deals exceed their credit limits, but said there are ways around it.
“It’s challenging for some of them now because I guess there are fewer disties out there than there were,” he said. “It’s a common theme and it has always been around. If resellers are struggling to get the required credit from suppliers now, I would be really disappointed because there are so many ways in which a reseller can do big deals when their credit can’t take it.”
He said that separate and specific deals can be drawn up between the reseller and distie in order to satisfy the requirements of each. But he said the key to getting bespoke deals signed off is communicating early on.
“The only potential issue is that you have small resellers which don’t take the time to talk to disties early enough, or they don’t bother to open up and tell them what they want to achieve. The rule is to talk to your supplier and give them all the info they want – and yield and bend a bit. There are ways.”