No-one can run a business completely on their own. Even one-person operations depend on a number of third-parties to get their products into the hands of their customers. Website providers, courier services, and modern payment solutions are often the minimum to get up and running. Searching for the right supplier might seem simple on the surface, but in order to find the one that will be the best for your business you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions.
How Many Do Sources Do I Need?
You may be tempted to work with several different suppliers early on, as you can try and leverage their prices against each other in order to get the best deal. However, not only can this quickly become unwieldy, but it also makes it difficult to create a connection between you and your suppliers. For instance, if you need a specific product by a strict deadline, a supplier that has a positive history with you may be more likely to go the extra mile for you. They have their own businesses to look out for, and recurring customers likely play a significant role.
Is Price the Most Important Factor?
As hard as it might be to believe, price should not be your number one priority when it comes to choosing a supplier. You also need to take into account the supplier’s reliability, communication, and, most importantly of all, their quality rate. If your vendor’s goods are noticeably poor quality, you’ll quickly start to gain a reputation for using substandard products. This will be the same whether you’re buying furnishings for your restaurant or packaging materials to send out orders. With the advent of the internet, word of mouth travels quickly so make sure it’s positive.
Does Location Play a Large Role?
Finally, it’s also important to consider the location of the vendor that you’re buying from. Dealing with overseas suppliers rather than local ones has both its advantages and disadvantages. While the product may be cheaper initially, you’ll also have to consider the cost of shipping and the longer delivery times. Conversely, while a local supplier may cost more when compared to countries with cheaper labour costs, the additional benefits may outweigh this. As well as the faster shipping, communication with someone in your own time zone will be easier and it may benefit your brand to advertise your products as locally sourced.