When starting a business to sell products, you may have an idea of who you want to buy from wholesale. But are they the best source with the best price and delivery? Can they supply all the products you want to market, and do they continually come out with new, improved, or related items? (The more related products and add-ons you can sell to your regular customers, the more profit you’ll make.) Will they deliver on time or offer rush service if necessary? When you need new products or more competitive costs on large orders, where do you find them? This is always a challenge, but if it were easy, everyone would be in your business. Finding the best suppliers can be the key to a successful, growing business.
Make a list of what products or services you’re looking for and always be on the lookout for new suppliers. Don’t stop looking when you find one; keep looking to see whether there is a better supplier with better costs and products. Here are some ways you can start your search:
- Scan industry trade publications.
- Ask at your Chamber of Commerce.
- Visit tradeshows in your industry.
- Ask current suppliers about non-competitive products.
- Search company directories in your local library’s reference section.
- Search online directories by industry.
- Search the Internet by keywords and phrases.
- Look in your local and large city phonebooks.
- Check out associations for your industry.
- If you know someone with a similar product, ask where he or she got it.
Finding new suppliers for products you want to sell can give your new business a big boost and may save your business if your products are becoming obsolete. What you’re looking for is likely out there; you just need to find it. If it’s hard for you to find, it will also be difficult for your competitors to find. And many of your competitors won’t have the perseverance to keep looking.
You can also ask any suppler if you can have an exclusive right to sell their products in a certain area. They may not agree right away, but you may be able to work out an agreement when you reach a specific sales level. Many new businesses will find a better way to market an existing product (or a private label) and become successful quickly. But you must be aggressive with your marketing to achieve these goals. New suppliers often have new products that will allow you to expand your market and pursue new customers.