Finding reliable business suppliers and wholesalers and negotiating the right purchase price is just as important as your ability to attract customers and sell - and that's before you consider issues such as trading terms, delivery options and quality control. Pick your business suppliers carefully and treat them well. This guide shows you how:
Many start-ups choose suppliers based on price, but reliability and speed are just as important - you'll need a supplier who can deliver the right number of goods at the right time. Larger suppliers can often be the most reliable as they have resources to spend on back-up if necessary. Seek out suppliers who have been in business for some time and have a solid reputation.
Spend time on research and ask other businesses that have been through the process for advice. Look through directories such as Yellow Pages, check out trade associations and visit trade fairs. Trade magazines often carry advertisements from potential suppliers. Don't stick with just one supplier - it's worth having an alternative to turn to if necessary.
Reviewing your suppliers' performance at regular intervals can help you spot any areas for improvement. Check whether you are getting the best price, quality and delivery options for your business. There are times when you'll need to end the relationship, however, so ensure there is an exit clause in contracts and plan for any disruption to your business while you switch suppliers.
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