You have a brilliant idea for an amazing product, but you also need at least one source for materials to make the first sale. Where do you go to get the quality you want at a price you can afford? Finding a wholesale supplier can be a bit daunting, but with some research and these tips, you’ll have a better chance at finding the right business vendors.
- Find channels that match up manufacturers and distributors of products. Attending trade shows and keeping up with trade magazines are two of the most successful ways to connect with the right people. These paths allow you to stay current with trends and find sources that keep your overhead within budget.
- Join industry or trade organizations that are related to the type of products you want to sell. Don’t discount international suppliers in case you find an excellent resource outside of the country.
- Always be on the lookout for successful retail organizations and figure out why they are profitable. This insight will help you explain to a potential vendor why you are successful and how you compare to other businesses in the area.
- Present yourself as a serious professional who wants to build and grow a business. Always be ready to talk about your business and why a supplier would want you as a customer. You may have to show documentation from your bank or other forms of reference, so have them ready just in case.
- Scour your social network to find out who can be of help to you. Let your friends and family know what kind of business you’re going into and what it entails. They might just happen to know the right business vendor for you.
How Many Business Vendors Is Enough?
It’s one thing to be loyal to a supplier, but what if something goes wrong? It could back you into a corner and put you out of business, at least temporarily. Make sure you have two or three vendors, just to have a backup system in place.
Other Places to Look
You can use any search engine on the internet for wholesale suppliers, or you can go “old school” and refer to the printed Thomas Register in your local public library. The Thomas Register is online as well. This collection can assist you with finding products or companies in North America. Another valuable resource is the U.S. Department of Commerce, which can match you to the proper business vendors.
Most importantly, look for a vendor who listens, fixes problems with efficiency and expediency and who wants to build a relationship. This can make for a long-lasting, profitable partnership for both of you.