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By Chimeremma Nwadialor

It is not difficult to define the term ‘Middleman’ and the meaning is not far fetched from the words that make it up. A middleman is an agent (male or female) serving as an intermediary between two parties (Supplier and buyer).

Middlemen make money by simply helping a buyer get a product from a supplier. They facilitate trade and must act as the quality assurance officer to make sure the product is valid before selling to his/her buyer.

A middleman must first have a ‘market’ (buyers) and a product (supplier) with a relatively high demand in order to turn in a profit.

To be successful as a middleman you must have unique products and consistent demand from loyal buyers who have come to trust the quality of your brand and your delivery.

Building a career as a middleman can be tough as every career path can also be. But here are some steps that can be taken so as to surmount this inevitables:


Once you conceive the idea of being a middleman, think through it and know the niche you can slide into. You should not go where the demand and supply structure is solid, rather slip into where the supply and demand structure is in dire need to speed things up while satisfying the consumers and likewise the suppliers.

Establishing your business as an independent middleman is no child’s play. In truth, for this kind of work you can start quickly with fair capital while professionally treating your brainchild. 

You have to get yourself a business phone line and a professional e-mail address. You also need a computer and a special workspace in your house. Get a name, colour and logo (use a name specific to your field) and ensure that you register your business depending on the nature of your locale.


Determining your potential buyers and suppliers is the spine of your new career. Your success depends on them and the products or services in question. Focus your search on small and medium businesses instead of major brands because you are just starting.

Do not forget to get in touch with your prospective buyers finding out what they need and when they need what. When you contact your buyers (retailers), ensure that you speak directly with the purchasing manager. This makes you look professional and serious.

Research as many prospective suppliers for your chosen product or service as possible. When you deal with services ensure that your suppliers be local albeit when dealing with products, you can research for local or international manufacturers.

When you connect with them, ask for their quotes, consider the value of the quotes and make comparisms with quality in mind as well.


Addition of a considerable sum to the cost of product or service is exactly how the middleman makes his earnings. There is no two ways but one – One will earn money being a middleman by earning a specific commission from each sale one makes.

Commissions of 10 to 15 percent are common for many industries because the exact amount varies depending on the suppliers. While researching your suppliers, one detail is necessary – how much commission percentage is paid to the middlemen they’ve worked with in the past or overtime?

Once the commission aspect is covered you will contact your prospective buyers and this time you give the final cost of the product or service. Remember the final cost has your commission included in it.


Understand that many industries are working to cut middlemen off the chain. You must therefore provide value and keep to your business terms religiously. This will make your buyer and supplier know that you are serious.

In order not to get lost in the pool, you need to diversify within your specialty. Specializing yourself in one type of product or service will limit you and you might not last long.

Whatever product or service you work with, it is wise to work with more than one supplier. This is because working with one supplier puts you at the mercy of the success, policy and decision of this your only supplier.

The moment you are affected, your buyers will be hit as well and this is bad for business. If you wish to encourage customer loyalty you must have multiple suppliers, focus on quality and also provide top-notch customer service.


Every serious business today has her name online. One can know a lot about any company today with just a few clicks. Like a lot of businesses today, you should be online and not wink in the dark.

You should consider creating a website but you must create social media accounts to interact and chat with your clients and they can know more about you for instance via Facebook pages and groups, WhatsAPP Buisness account, Twitter etc.

One disadvantage of the traditional middlemen is time wasting. Leveraging technology to speed up the process of exchange and you will have an advantage over your competitors.

In conclusion, you must know that communication is key in this type of work, therefore you must be consciously transparent and receptive to feedback so as to keep growing and developing professionally in this career of yours.

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