As a small business owner, you know that managing material costs and receiving goods in a timely manner are key to running your business effectively. If you’re just starting out or are looking for more efficiency in your business, consider that selecting the right material supplier is critical to your success.
Wholesale suppliers can help save you money by doing the bulk purchasing for you, so you can get the exact amount of goods you need at a competitive price. Here are tips for finding the perfect wholesale supplier:
1. Utilize Professional Networks
Online forums and other sites specifically directed to small business owners are great ways to connect with others in your industry to share resources, including help with procuring material goods. You can often find these resources through your industry’s professional network, subscribing to industry-related newsletters, or by contacting your local commerce department.
2. Check Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces are a great source for finding wholesale distribution for your business. You’ll want to look for a marketplace in your specific region or country, and consider utilizing one that is specific to your industry. These marketplaces offer many different goods at competitive prices.
3. Spend Time at a Trade Show
Trade shows are great ways to locate manufacturers and suppliers of products you need to run your small business. As you spend some time chatting with the representatives of the products you utilize most frequently, you can get many of your important questions answered. You’ll also develop face-to-face relationships that can go a long way toward helping resolve any issues you may come across in the future when sourcing materials. Online trade shows are becoming more common and can also be great ways to make helpful connections with potential suppliers.
4. Research the Industry
Every industry has slightly different methods for distribution of goods from the manufacturer to the business owner. For example, a small boutique retailer may buy goods directly from a small manufacturer, while a larger retailer may work with a distributor. By spending some time researching the distribution methods for your industry, you will be more empowered to find the right supplier that specializes in the type of goods you need.
5. Reach Out to Manufacturers
One of the first places to look when finding a distributor is directly with the manufacturers of the products your small business uses. These manufacturers can often put you in direct contact with the distributors you need, or give you a list of possible contacts. If you’re just starting out, you can also request a sample of the products you’re interested in, to make sure they’re the right fit.
6. Stay Organized When Making Contact
As you begin contacting potential distributors, it’s important that you remain very organized and methodical in your search. Make sure you ask for all of the necessary information regarding geographical distribution, minimum orders, and rates. By keeping a detailed list of this information, you’ll be able to easily compare and contrast different companies to find the one that’s the best fit for your business.
7. Utilize Specific Online Searches
It’s important to be very specific when searching online for a potential distributor. By searching with a specific industry term or product in mind, you are more likely to find great results. Online searches are useful to collect several possible contacts, which you can compare in order to identify the most competitive rates.
8. Be Patient
Finding the right distributor takes time, and it’s important to keep moving forward even if you don’t have success right away. The process may take some twists and turns, and it’s okay to make changes along the way.
Finding the right distributor will help alleviate much of the anxiety and stress that comes with running a small business. When you have someone you can rely on for your distribution needs, you’ll be able to stay focused on other important aspects of your work.