Finding a Supplier
A great place to start is generally online. This is one of the best ways to locate suppliers such as manufacturers and wholesalers. Attending industry events and roadshows is another great way to find suppliers, allowing for you also to really get a feel for their products and services. You can also use your own business networks such as looking at the competition.
Negotiating Price and Value
This is critically important. If you are in a new business, a key consideration for choosing suppliers may be affordability. If you are focused on managing your finances, competitively priced suppliers are an attractive option. However, cheap does not always represent the best value for money. If the quality of your supplier’s product or service is poor, you may incur extra costs for returns and replacements, and risk losing business with any delays that result. If you decide to pass poor quality products on to your customers, you risk damaging your business’ brand perception.
Reliability should be another key consideration for choosing suppliers. Reliable suppliers deliver the right goods or services on time, as aforementioned. Large suppliers are generally reliable because they have enough resources and systems in place to make sure they can still deliver if anything goes wrong. However, you can often develop a closer relationship with small suppliers, especially if you are their main customer. In these cases, your supplier may also respond better to different requests, such as expedited orders or holding on to inventory stock for you.