Supply chain 14 September 2016

How to find perfect suppliers as a new business

suppliers
New business owners need to determine their own needs in order to find suppliers capable of meeting them

Starting a company can be the beginning of a wonderful adventure. Yet, even before registering with Companies House, it’s essential to have a plan in place for finding the best wholesalers or suppliers to help get your startup off the ground writes Rapid Formations founder Greame Donelly.

One of the very first aspects of setting up a business you will need to tackle is finding suppliers for your products, and the subsequent contract agreements that will help your business function and operate successfully.

Even before registering your limited company with Companies House, it’s essential to have a plan in place with regards to where you will find the best wholesalers or suppliers to help get your venture up and running.

How to start your search

Unless you are taking everything on in-house, and produce all your own products, you will have to find and work with a supplier at some point.

It’s important to start looking for the best possible supplier out there from the offset, rather than having the worry of trying multiple suppliers, only to find that they don’t offer a service that covers your needs, or simply isn’t worth the price that you will be paying. But how can you tell if a supplier is perfect for your needs?

What does your business need?

First and foremost, you’ll need to determine the needs that you need fulfilling by the supplier. They won’t know the first thing about your company – especially if you’re a startup – so it’s essential that you understand your businesses needs and requirements before you even think about approaching a supplier and using their service.

It will also depend on what products you require as to which supplier you should choose. For example, if you’re looking to purchase a product that you don’t need a huge quantity of, you would most likely find the best deals from a wholesaler rather than the manufacturer themselves. Wholesalers often require businesses to make large bulk orders rather than just ordering the amount that they need.

To find these suppliers, it’s a great idea to attend as many trade shows or exhibitions as possible. Not only will this showcase what suppliers are available to choose from, you’ll be able to ask them any questions that you have directly. It’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight your business and network with other people who may be able to help your business achieve success.

Finding the right price

Price is always going to be a pain-point for many business startups, which makes finding the perfect deal a necessity.

Although you may have set your heart on the perfect supplier, it’s recommended that you sit down with them and work out a price that can suit both the supplier and your business equally.

Negotiating is an important business skill and, when it comes to finding a supplier, you are going to need to have exceptional negotiation skills to work out a price which will fit the budget that you will have set out with regards to product procurement.

There’s a certain art that entrepreneurs should master when it comes to negotiating with a supplier. Whether it’s finding an area of mutual gain or angling your pitch to a supplier with their point of view in mind, there’s plenty of ways in which you can successfully work with your chosen supplier to strike a great deal that benefits you both – after all, it is a partnership.

Greame Donnelly is founder of Rapid Formations  – an agency specialiing in aiding new businesses  registering as  limited companies with Companies House.

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