Did you know most 20 percent of businesses fail within the first year? If you want to make your business a success, you’ll need to choose the right small business supplier. For tips on how to select a supplier, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to find small business vendors.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
- Collect Referrals
If you need to find suppliers for your small business, consider asking your network. Personal referrals tend to work well when you have to pick a supplier. Build your network of trusted business professionals.
Also, you should provide referrals when you do find a solid vendor. People will see you as trustworthy. They will know you’re someone who provides valuable resources.
- What Are Your Needs?
Before selecting vendors for your business, you’ll need to determine your needs. You should make a detailed account.
You will have an easier time weeding out different vendors when you have a guideline. You’ll be able to quickly identify what vendor offers the things you need.
When meeting with the vendors, you’ll also have an easier time judging what they can do for you.
- Start Researching Vendors
After you have figured out your specific needs, start calling different vendors. When talking to the supplier, introduce yourself.
Explain what you’re looking for, and find out more information from them. You should provide them with a summary of your needs as a business. Try to meet with them one-on-one or schedule a meeting.
- Invite Vendors to Your Business
Potential service providers should come to visit your business site. The supplier should talk to you and your team, explaining how they will meet your needs.
Consider inviting 10 different vendors to come to visit your business. This will help you determine who’s the best fit for your business.
- Start Removing Vendors From Your Initial List
After you have met with different vendors, you can begin removing some from your list. The vendor might have the right product but charge an excessive amount, and some vendors won’t meet your specific needs.
Remove those providers from your supplier list. You should hopefully have two or three vendors with who you can meet again. You want to compare prices. Invite the suppliers for one final discussion.
- Make the Final Cut
You should bring the suppliers back to your business at separate times. At this stage, the final suppliers will try and make their offer a winning one.
Talk about the price and the way they can meet your needs as a business. Make sure you repeat the specific needs you have as a business. You want the best vendor in terms of service and price.
- Choose a Supplier
After reviewing the notes you and your team compiled, you should make your decision. Base your decision on the price and the vendor’s ability to meet your needs.
If you end up changing providers, you’ll have to spend more money. Make sure you learn about potential back-out fees. Consider staying with the supplier for a year before switching.
- Find Experienced Vendors
You’ll want to find a vendor who has plenty of experience working in your industry. The vendor should be able to give you some results from your industry.
If you work in a niche industry, find an experienced supplier.
- Do You Share the Same Mission and Values?
When talking to suppliers, you should consider if you gel with the supplier. Do you have a particular set of values you uphold? Do you want a supplier who has the same perspective?
- Make Sure You Order Samples
When you get close to choosing a supplier, you should ask for some samples. Sample the products you hope to buy.
Suppliers may end up sending you a pack of items. Sometimes, the supplier will only send you the item you ordered.
Most suppliers will charge freight for samples under a specific amount. Get the same kind of item from various suppliers. Spend time comparing the item. Are they quality products? How was the company’s customer service?
You want to determine if you could imagine working with the supplier.
- How Was the Delivery?
When you order a product from the supplier, you should also track the timeliness of the delivery.
Often, delivery dates will get overlooked by a new business owner. Suppliers need purchase orders from you before fulfillment.
You should outline when your order’s due and then write “in-hand date firm” on the PO.
If your new supplier isn’t following through, you should look at working with a different company. Late product delivery could end up affecting your business. You might have unhappy customers who leave bad reviews.
You’ll want to learn how to manage suppliers. Learn more info.
- Existing Customers
If you need a new vendor, you could look to your current customer base. Paying for services from a local customer will show you support their business, as well.
You want to establish trust. There will be mistakes you will have to face together. Make sure you trust your gut when you choose a supplier or vendor from your current client base.
Choose the Right Small Business Vendors
We hope this guide on choosing small business vendors was helpful. Make sure you take your time determining your needs.
You want to find the right supplier for your business needs. Interview a few different suppliers before making your final decision.