Since they’re the ones who enable you to create products and results in the first place, the vendors make Mistakes That Keep Sending Your Suppliers Running For Miles, you choose are just as important to your success as your customers. Unfortunately, a focus on impressing customers above all else means that, in many cases, small business owners are painfully guilty of overlooking this fact.
This can lead to a loose business thread that, when it comes time to expand, could even cause vendors to refuse to grow with you. To avoid this, it’s vital that you avoid these common mistakes, each of which has the power to send providers running for miles if you’re not careful.
How To Find Suppliers For Your Business
- Research different providers online
- Communicate with them: Find your sellers to chat with them
- Research Providers You Like
- Order sample supplies from them
- Review prices for bulk orders
- Ask if inflation will cause price increases
- Know your delivery times
- Check the amount of inventory available
- Ask where the goods are produced.
- Learn what tools they use to track inventory
These questions above are a good guide to follow when searching for providers online. Today more than ever it is important to know where goods are produced.
If your supplies are not made in the US, the availability and time constraints with the supply chain issues may be too overbearing for your small biz.
# 1 – Not Knowing What Supplies You Want
Let’s say you’re in the growth stages of a company that makes outdoor equipment. You will most likely want to play around with things like your materials based on customer feedback, evolving designs, etc.
Unfortunately vendors will only accept this back and forth for so long, especially if returns etc start costing them money. If you continue like this, there will inevitably come a time when a supplier will no longer want to work with you, leaving you with no way to manufacture your products.
Know what you want to order before calling your suppliers to keep them running for miles.
That’s a problem, and it highlights the need to always know what you want before placing an order by using, for example, material samples like those offered by Rockywoods well in advance. This way you never risk confusing your suppliers, but can still ensure the quality results and supplies you need to be successful.
# 2 – Failing To Align Your Priorities With Your Suppliers
If you own a farm shop but partner with a vendor that is more commonly used by vegan businesses, you risk significant damage to your reputation, all because you didn’t do your research.
However, this is no way to get suppliers who will often trust that you have already done this legwork. And furthermore, you could see them lose high-value customers because of your association.
When word gets out, that could leave your vendor with fewer prospects. This is why you should always start with research. You will ensure that your ethics and business are forever aligned with the values of your chosen vendors.
# 3 – Ignoring Supply Chain Planning
Inadvertently overlooking supply planning priorities, including delivery dates, outage management, and even regular communications, can lead to unexpected delays and delivery hiccups that are sure to act as a red flag to any supplier. .
After all, global trade agreements, in particular, are based on the conjunction of sometimes complex plans. Without this, you become a supply liability and a company that few suppliers will be willing to do business with.
As such, proper supply chain plans, implemented through streamlined, cloud-based supply chain software like EDI, should be a priority to ensure supply relationships you can trust.
In Conclusion: Keeping Your Suppliers From Running For Miles
Keeping vendors on your side is crucial to giving your small business the best fighting chance. However, it will never be possible unless you rectify these fatal errors.
Do you work with vendors for your small business? I would love to hear from you how your relationship with your suppliers is working or not working. I’d also like to know how you find suppliers for your business in the comments below.