5 Things You Should Be Looking For in a Supplier

By the small business content developers at BizLaunch.com


You rely on vendors to provide you with the office supplies you use and the products you sell. It’s imperative that you have a positive relationship with each supplier you work with. From the start, be picky about who you give your money to, and make sure they deliver everything you need in that business relationship.

Here’s what you should look for when vetting suppliers:

  1. They Care About You

You don’t necessarily need your supplier to send you a birthday card each year, but you do want to feel like your small business matters to them. Salespeople are sometimes known for promising anything just to close the sale, but you should feel like more than just a number.

Trust your gut on this one; if you feel like you’ll be brushed over down the road when you need something, it might not be a good fit.

  1. They’re Willing to Negotiate

While you can’t always haggle for a lower price, you should look for opportunities where your vendor will cut a little off your price if you’re willing to buy larger quantities of product in bulk. Likewise, if you find a lower price from another vendor for the same products, see if the supplier you like will honour the lower price.

  1. They are Available

What happens when that shipment of binders you ordered for tomorrow’s sales presentation doesn’t show up? Do you have to wait on hold for an hour, only to have to go through a phone tree before reaching a human being?

You want to work with a supplier who is easily accessible through a variety of channels. Calling a toll free number is fine, but do they respond promptly via email, chat, or social media? Give bonus points if you are assigned an individual you can direct your issues to.

  1. They’re Cutting Edge

No matter what you’re buying, from restaurant supplies to printer cartridges, you want to have access to the latest tools and technologies. If your vendor is stuck in the past, the company might not get you access to tools that will make you more competitive as a business.

  1. They’re in it for the Long Haul

You’re not looking for a supplier for just today. You want someone you can rely on for as long as you’re in business. Look for a business supplier who will nurture a long-term relationship with your business, and who you can depend on to provide top level service, prices, and products.

By Andrew Patricio

August 12, 2015