There are a number of factors contributed to the success of your business. Among them, the crucial part should be locating a reliable supplier for a product you have in mind. Either you want to import it or find it in a local market. No matter which you choose, you have to identify a reliable supplier, which should be the key to run a smooth business. But how will you find such a supplier?
1). Getting you prepared
You will have to develop a group of suppliers who can give you happy deals without any aversion. The most important things you must look for should be the price, quality, and speed.
Price: Finding suppliers with low price is a difficult task. There’s a chance of importing low-quality products. If you’re looking for a good customer response, then think very little about cheaper products. But, if you want to make a large purchase, then cheaper suppliers with good products can be found.
Quality: Stumbling into better products depends on your instincts. A little homework would be nice to know if the product of your choice can actually reach your standards. For instance, after finding a reliable supplier, give your product a trail in the market and see if customers are falling for it.
Speed: If you are thinking about importing on a small scale then importing from online sources like Wal-Mart, E-bay and Amazon.com is a better option. Since it will take a wholesale supplier at the same time to process a deal of a few dollars to a deal in thousands of dollars.
2). Categorize your supplier
Manufacturer: Approaching companies directly. Many retailers execute deals with sales representatives of a company. One of the advantages of this type of supplier is lower prices. Another advantage is that you will be able to lower the prices on your products and thus out pricing large chains of supplies. But if the manufacturer is from another country then freight charges may not worth it. Moreover, it also depends on the quantity. Importing from manufacturers in large quantity is a better option to lower the price on your products and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Domestic Wholesaler: There are wholesalers and distributors who import foreign goods in great quantities and then operate at a domestic level. Their prices are comparatively higher but the good thing about them is: they can entertain small orders. Selecting a domestic supplier is a good option if you don’t have any familiarity with foreign sources. It saves your energy and time. You will not have to run quality checks on shipped items because they have already done it. But, you can always improvise. Start with a domestic wholesaler, and then continue to grow and execute deals with foreign wholesalers or manufacturers.
Craftsmen: If you’re looking for unique products, such as handmade rugs or cultural dresses, manufactured by craftsmen then it’s a unique idea. However, such products are hard to come by. But you can find such craftsmen in trade shows or through sourcing agents.
3). Searching for the right star to shoot
If you are not sure how to start, then perhaps some reading might help you. Go to your local library and ask the librarian to find publications relevant to your trade industry. You can also find trade publications on search engines like Google or Bing.
4). Assistant Web
If somehow you were unable to locate a supplier in publications and magazines, then perhaps try the internet. Enter keywords of a product along with word likes “suppliers” “manufacturers” or “wholesalers” in any major search engine; for example, write in Google search engine “Wireless headphones supplier”. The search engine will come up with a list of suppliers from different regions. You can select one from those and evaluate if the supplier is reliable enough.
5). Evaluation of supplier
After selection of a supplier from any of the sources mentioned above, you might consider the following key areas that can help you evaluate your supplier. If you selected a foreign supplier call for assistance from the embassy or consulate of your country to find out about the authenticity of the supplier. They must have something to assist you with.
6). Knowing the details
In addition, you can follow other means to further evaluate if your supplier is reliable. For instance:
a. Survey other products, similar to the one you chose, of your supplier in the market.
b. Keep in mind supplier freight policies. Have a look of them before you conclude a deal.
c. Look for the company’s administrative and operational policies. Your supplier must be a well-reputed vendor.
7). Characteristics of a Reliable Supplier
Since we are discussing the characteristics of a reliable supplier, some of the detailed qualities you might look for in your supplier can be:
Established Suppliers: it’s normal that you will be looking for suppliers who have been in business for a good period of time. A supplier with a solid reputation with other customers is another good sign. Since, you will be able to assess the history of his company, troubles in delivery, customer responses and overall standing of the supplier in the market. However, this does not necessarily mean you have to exclude freshly started suppliers.
Location of the supplier: Finding out the location of a supplier you chose is very important for your business. Shipping goods from a foreign country will take a longer time than you can expect. Moreover, there are shipping charges too. If you’re looking for the fast delivery of goods, then the foreign supplier is maybe not the right choice. However, if you’re looking for a large-scale business, and you think that shipping from abroad will also cover the freight and can generate better revenue, then the foreign supplier is a good choice.
A Competent supplier: You’ll be looking for a supplier who can deliver the latest, unique and advanced products. They should offer you attractive financial deals, and service their goods in a professional way. You are their customer, and they should be able to go above and beyond for you.
8). Develop Supplier relationship to a higher level
Suppliers are much more than just help to your business. They can be your first-hand source to information, evaluating products, tracking competitors, and knowing new trends in the market. Once you have found a reliable supplier depending upon your business- you might not need to look for new suppliers.