As a beginner in business, you have to put extra effort into finding suppliers for your business. Either you have a brick and mortar business or an e-commerce store, suppliers are key to the growth of your business. Here are a few tips on how to find suppliers:
Understand how the distribution channels of your industry work
There are a lot of distribution channels between the manufacturer and the retailer. When you understand the distribution channels that pertain to your business, you will know the type of supplier to get. Also, you can try getting your goods from the manufacturer directly. The fewer the people between you and the manufacturer, the less your capital, and the more your profits. This way, you will be less competitive and more productive in the marketplace. If you cannot buy directly from the manufacturer, go through established distribution channels. If you can, get a sample from the manufacturer so that you can see inspect the quality of the product you intend to sell.
Have productive meetings with suppliers
A manufacturer that cannot sell to you directly will give you a list of established distribution channels you can contact. If not, you can use phonebook listings or wholesale directories to get the supplier’s contact. Give them a call or send them a mail asking their minimum order requirements, wholesale unit prices, and the regions they supply. Depending on the replies, you choose the best match for your business. It is advised you shop around for suppliers so that you would have more quality information to base your decision on. Also, when reaching out to these suppliers, ensure they know that you are a small business owner. Do not try to seem bigger than who you are.
Search for wholesale suppliers online
You may not find a good match for your business among the list of suppliers the manufacturer gave you or the ones you fish out from the directory. When searching online, be specific. Use the keywords from your niche, use the product, model, and brand names. There are many platforms such as eBay that you can search for clients on. You can also check out major B2B platforms such as Alibaba.com, Global Sources, EC Plaza, etc. Look for platforms that can serve your country. The more potential wholesale suppliers you get for your business, the better you will be able to make the right choices and get competitive prices.
Join industry networks
Joining industry networks will make it easier for you to find suppliers for your business. If you are relying on your strength only in finding good wholesale suppliers, you might find the task daunting. Besides, you can easily make mistakes that may end up crippling your business. However, if you leverage other people’s knowledge, you will find that you perform better. As such, you must meet with other experienced business owners. Join the groups and forums relevant to your industry. Build networks that will help you scale up your business faster. In whichever forum or group you find yourself in, be a person of value. Utilize your social media profiles as well. For instance, LinkedIn helps you in connecting with the relevant people. Additionally, subscribe to your industry’s newsletters and trade publications. Frequently visit relevant blogs and websites as well. The more you do this, the more you get clarification and resources on how you can get what you want in your business.
When you are just starting in business, you can ask those in your social circle to recommend any supplier they know. If you have friends in the same business as you, try using their suppliers as well. If other people have transacted with the supplier and they were satisfied, they would surely recommend the person to you. Besides, there is a greater possibility of the person doing a good job because they have been tested and trusted. One of the best ways to get recommendations or follow up on recommendations is to read reviews from independent and reliable online reviews platforms like US-Reviews. For instance, if you are looking for credit cards that you can use for your business, you can read reviews about Letyshops credit card and then decide if their credit cards are right for you or not.
Do not be afraid of making changes
Your first supplier may not be the person you will work with throughout. You may need to change them along the way or get more suppliers so that you can cope with the demand. Besides, the price your first supplier gives you may not be the best for your business if you are looking at long-term survival. However, as your network expands, you can make changes that are best for you. if you made a mistake with your first supplier, you should not allow that to get you down or take you out of business. simply learn from your mistake and move on.