Here's my problem...
I am a part-time police officer in Western NC. The local tactical supply shop closed down recently (not because of lack of demand) and I want to fill that gap. There isn't another shop nearby with similar merchandise, so all of my fellow cops are buying online. I've gotten all of my paperwork in order and found some suppliers. The suppliers that I've found seem to keep low inventory (lots of things out of stock) and their prices aren't as good as those of the larger distributors.
The problem I'm having is that I don't have a brick and mortar store and the good distributers won't talk to you until you do. I am a student and have a full-time job (the police thing is only a couple of days a month) and don't have the means to open a store. I have the time to run a small on the side business as I'm young, single, and can devote any amount of time to this project that it requires.
My plan is to take orders and sell equipment to police, fire, and rescue squads in the area as well as individuals (cops buy police stuff CONSTANTLY). I can beat the heck out of online prices because I don't have much overhead and some of the orders will be quite large. I've been promised a chance to bid on equipment orders for three departments already if I can get my suppliers in line.
Assuming that I simply can't (won't) quit my full time job, can anyone help me think of a way to get around this problem? I'm considering speaking with local sporting-goods stores in the area and asking them to let me use their business to order goods and store items for a cut of my profit. Any other ideas would be appreciated.