Running your business day to day leaves you in charge of all the decisions both big and small. When you are in the early days, you might opt for the most convenient suppliers or the cheapest. But as you grow, you should be comparing other companies, look at their case studies to see who they already work with, and choose something closer to where you are now. What they used to provide might not be the best thing for you anymore. So here are a few key considerations for choosing suppliers (of almost any services) for your business.
Unsurprisingly the best place to look for suppliers is online. Customers can leave feedback on the products and the service. You can also talk to other business owners and see if they have positive experiences with any particular suppliers. When it comes to lousy feedback people aren’t shy to share their opinion. Start by making a list of your current suppliers and running some comparisons for things like utilities. Once you have a well-rounded list of possibilities, you can then start calling for quotes. Most companies have a standard quote on the website, but with a few minutes of conversation, you can usually negotiate a tailored deal.
Depending on your business this might not matter too much. But if you are importing, exporting, or working with fresh goods of any kind, you might need to think about location. Suppliers who are far away from you are going to add costs on to their base value. There will be lengthened delivery times, and the cost of shipping added on top. Not to mention that if something goes wrong, a closer supplier is more accessible to speak to face to face. If you have a few items coming from different locations, you might be able to cut a deal on bulk orders, or combined pickups and drop-offs to reduce costs. Often, closer is better.
Price plays a big factor in everything you do and will make a significant impact when it comes to suppliers. From internet service providers to parts manufacturers. A key consideration will always be the price of the services or goods. However, the bigger you grow and more revenue you make, the more you have to spend on excellent service. Cheapest isn’t always best though, and sometimes a price really is too good to be true. If you opt for cheap only to later find out that their service is poor and the goods are below par, it is a substantial loss in time and finance.
While it is nice to help out newer businesses, sometimes you need to think about the length of time a company has been open. This may impact the services that they can actually provide. If you are entering into long-term agreements, which most of the time it will be, then a track record you can read in your best interest. Stability is essential for you at any stage, and it is worth asking what other companies use them. This will give you a reasonable indicator of their history.
Reliability goes hand in hand with stability. Stable companies tend to be reliable. The run a service you can trust. They deliver their services on time, in good order and as described to you in the first instance. There are plus sides to both large and small suppliers. Larger suppliers have more materials and money at their disposal, but smaller ones tend to go above and beyond to provide for their clients. If you are the primary client, you might find that before long you have a close working relationship, which always bodes well for great business.
Sometimes it is more beneficial to work with multiple companies. Other times it is better to work with a group that manages many different things. With separate suppliers you usually have the opportunity to cultivate great working relationships, you might not have that option with a group. You’ll like be calling a center location and talking to whoever is on duty rather than anyone by name which is familiar with your account.
Keep Up To Date
There will be new companies, better offers and new technology popping up all the time. So don’t be afraid to look into switch suppliers and try new things out. Providing for your business is their business, and once you negotiate a deal that works for you, your company will benefit too.