Choosing a business supplier is not to be taken lightly.
The right partner often makes the difference between growth and failure, so it requires careful preparation and research.
Here are 5 key factors when choosing a business supplier.
Begin by making a list of your requirements for a supplier.
This involves determining what your business needs, so consider the products you need, the immediate and future stock levels required and the quality of your offering.
At this stage you should also draw up a shortlist of suppliers and assess each one against the most crucial criteria.
The quality of your products plays an important role in the success of your business, so you should never compromise it for the sake of a lower cost and staying within budget.
The supplier charging the lowest price might seem ideal, but a bargain basement cost might mean a poor-quality product. Such items will likely have a higher return and be less durable, making them a weak long-term investment.
In short, cost is important but shouldn’t be your primary concern – and it’s something you can negotiate when buying in bulk.
The best supplier is reliable, delivers goods on time, keeps you updated and meets deadlines.
So you need to establish whether or not your potential suppliers have a track record for being dependable – find out from checking customer reviews on comparison websites, social media and Google.
You should also check out your potential supplier’s website, as this is usually a good indicator of its business credibility. Mashable has some great guidance on the features of a good website – it’s worth reviewing.
When choosing a business supplier, you should look beyond its core business function and consider history and values. In doing so, you’re more likely to find supplier whose vision is closely aligned with your own.
For example, if you’re selling eco-friendly products, customers will expect those in your supply chain to have a similar commitment to the environment and sustainability.
A supplier that is closely aligned with your business mission is more likely to take an active interest in your business, be of more use and really go the extra mile for you.
You need to ensure that your supplier has the skills and expertise that you require.
By partnering with a knowledgeable supplier, you’ll be less likely to run into problems or, at the very least, they’ll be better equipped to deal with the situation.
A long operational history is a good indicator of expertise. For instance, wire supplier Ormiston Wire has been operating since 1793. Such long-standing businesses have stood the test of time and have a long and proud pedigree of innovation.
Take these five factors when choosing a supplier into consideration and you’re well on the way to a lucrative, long-term partnership.
What other factors should you consider when choosing a supplier? Share them in the comments section.