Whether you’re in fashion, food service, or any other industry, one of the hardest aspects of setting up your business is finding reliable suppliers. There might be plenty of options out there, but how do you know when you’re onto a winner? It can be as simple as following the steps below:
Whether you’re looking for a supplier who allows you to select cookware sets online or a textiles provider who has ethical production standards, you likely have some prerequisites in mind. Write down everything that’s important to you so you can make an informed decision.
Perhaps you need a guarantee that you won’t have to wait too long between ordering and shipping, or maybe it’s an assurance of reliable quality that you need. You may even want clear payment terms and a flexible returns policy.
Once you have written down these key points, compare them to the offerings of the suppliers you’re considering.
After comparing the available suppliers to your list of criteria, you should be able to narrow them down to a select few. At this point, it can help to review them based on their reputation and security.
Read online reviews about your preferred suppliers to see if there’s anything that stands out about them. You may even like to ask them to provide evidence of how secure they are, such as fraud protection and insurance policies. This information can help you narrow down your options even further.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising, and it can work in your favor when selecting suppliers. When the time comes to source stock from a new supplier, you may like to talk to business owners in fields related to your own to find out who they use. This information can be valuable for making sure you’re aligning yourself with a supplier that others around you are comfortable using.
If you are not entirely sure that you’re making the right decision, request a trial run before signing a long-term contract. As each order comes in, pay attention to the timeframe for orders, the accuracy of them, and the quality of the goods you’re receiving.
If you are unhappy with any part of the service they are providing, you can bring these problems up with them or decide to try another supplier instead. Sometimes, a little bit of trial and error can be involved.
There may come a time when you’ve made an error on your order or simply need to contact your supplier with a question. How easy they are to communicate with can ultimately determine whether they become your preferred supplier.
You should be able to receive a fast response to an email, and they should be easy to contact over the phone or even via text. If you find that it’s often challenging to get in touch with them, consider whether they may not be the most desirable supplier for your business.
There can be a lot involved in choosing a new supplier to provide goods for your business. As complicated as it might seem, though, there truly are only five steps you need to take. Before signing on with a new supplier, consider following the steps above to ensure you find the ideal one for your needs.