When you’re looking for suppliers for your business, what’s on your mind? Is it costs, convenience or quality? When comparing suppliers, it’s probably a mixture of those key criteria, which isn’t surprising. We all want suppliers that are cost effective, easy to buy from, and supply quality products.
That’s why sometimes you might look for new suppliers. This can be a daunting task, similar to consumers that are hesitant about switching energy suppliers. Or perhaps you’re in a new business and looking for your first contract? You might be put off looking for new suppliers due to a lack of time.
Luckily, there are several ways you can actually save time when looking for new suppliers, or just comparing suppliers to see how you can get the most out of them. Here are our top five ways you can save time comparing suppliers so you can get better deals.
If you network, and you should as there are lots of benefits to networking, then you’ll likely have lots of contacts in the business world. These people are a valuable resource. They could probably give you lots of information about potential suppliers and give you insights not available online.
Plus, you can grab this information while you’re networking and developing leads for your own business. A win-win situation.
- Seek Business Proposals
While doing the research yourself might seem like a good idea, this is very time consuming. The opposite of this is to seek business proposals online on business forums, listing sites, or other websites. This strategy has its flaws, as it invites businesses to highlight their best aspects and not their negatives.
However, you can get around this by reading between the lines. That is, taking note of what they aren’t saying. If you find this difficult, try asking a colleague.
- Ask Staff
This is a great one to ask if your staff have the most experience dealing with suppliers or you’ve got staff who have come in from other businesses. They’ll have intimate knowledge of the failings and successes of working with a selection of suppliers.
This can also boost morale as staff will feel more valued as they have contributed to the success of your business.
- Look On Forums/Social Media
Social media and forums are a great way now to source information about the quality of suppliers. Many people use these platforms to voice their opinions about other businesses and sometimes this is done subconsciously.
For instance, have you liked another company’s Facebook page? That’s a sign of approval that others can use to see how trustworthy a potential supplier is. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks can also contain hidden gems of information such as reviews, complaints and compliments. Use these to build a picture of their work practices.
- Work Smart Not Hard
There are plenty of ways to work ‘smart’ in order to reduce time spent on these projects. Firstly, you can develop a spreadsheet or document that allows you to directly compare suppliers, both current and potential. This document should be user friendly so anyone can make informed decisions from reading it.
Another option is to use third party software. Many of these can give you instant real time information on suppliers that can include prices, delivery times and other data you might need.
You want the best for your business, but there isn’t limitless amounts of time for that. That’s why you need to get the right suppliers for your business without spending too much time on it. Contact us for further support in your business’s ventures.