For example, there are roughly 300,000 distributors in the United States that produce a combined $3.2 trillion in annual revenue.
Despite this large number of participants, the fragmented and competitive nature of the industry allows for plenty of profitable new entrants.
Cutting out the middle man while retaining the ability to sell to a broadly-based market makes online sales particularly attractive.
Harnessing social networks, online ad campaigns and message boards to spread the word, you can achieve substantial sales volumes quickly.
Your marketing plan has to have an overall strategy, because online sales can suffer from instability and large variations unless there is a strategic direction to keep potential customers engaged.
Bert Markgraf is a freelance writer with a strong science and engineering background.
He started writing technical papers while working as an engineer in the 1980s.
More recently, after starting his own business in IT, he helped organize an online community for which he wrote and edited articles as managing editor, business and economics.
You can use mail order by buying mailing lists or placing ads in a suitable publication.
If you send out material to a mailing list, you need fliers and other materials.