Lots of entrepreneurs that are just starting out think that choosing a supplier is simply finding the cheapest option. In reality, there are a whole host of other factors that a business owner needs to consider. Whether it’s an electronics supplier or logistics provider, these partnerships could turn out to be some of your most important B2B relationships. Here’s what you need to know.
Narrowing Down the Options
The first thing any business owner needs to do is look at the different kinds of options available to them. There will be a large variety of different vendors, all advertising in directories like the Yellow Pages, at exhibitions and trade shows, or online. Specify the criteria of what you’re looking for to help develop a shortlist. Some of the things you to consider might include: how long have they been in business, do they come with any recommendations, and, crucially, can they deliver what you want when you need it.
Getting a Quote
After you’ve managed to narrow down your initial options, start to contact the suppliers. Use the same criteria you’ve established to request a quote and, if possible, a sample of their product. This is also a good opportunity to ask about the possibility of discounts on long-term or high-volume contracts. When you have all of the quotes from different retailers, you’ll be able to compare prices and see which company offers the best overall value. Remember, this isn’t simply about which firm offers the lowest rate. Take into account the reputation of the supplier, their reliability record, and the quality of their product as well. You may even be able to use another firm’s quote to leverage a better deal when negotiating.
Research Their History
Finally, before you commit to any deal, it’s important that you research the company in question as much as possible. Some suppliers even make the point of including real feedback from clients on their websites. This is often one of the best tools in determining if a business has a good track record. You also may want to perform a credit check to ensure that the business is in good health. If down the line it turns out that they’re struggling to keep their doors open, this could have disastrous effects on your own business if they end up having to cancel an order,