Whether it’s a product for your business or an outsourced service like online marketing or a once-off project like designing a new website, at some point in your business, you’re going to have to hire a supplier (or two). No matter how dedicated and multi-talented you are, you might not have the skill or the time to do the work or you might need an expert in a field you don’t know much about.
Much like outsourcing work, hiring a supplier for those areas of your business that need it, can be a daunting task. You don’t want to try and do everything yourself but the thought of trusting someone else with matters associated with your name or brand can be stressful. Start right by making sure you pick the right supplier for the job and avoid the stress of poor quality products, lack of delivery, or shoddy service.
Top tips for picking the right supplier for the job
1. Write it down
Start with a list of supplier criteria – the essentials a supplier must have to work with your business. To do this, you need to know what your supplier needs are and what a supplier needs to do to fulfil them. The resulting criteria list might include quality assurance standards, lead times, delivery procedures, payment terms, and contactable references. This way, you’ll know who to consider and who to dismiss before delving too deeply into your recruitment process.
2. Decide how you will find suppliers
Examine your recruitment process. Are you going to advertise in local media or in industry circles? Use referrals? Search the net? How you look for a supplier will have an impact on the type and number of suppliers you come across. Referrals from reputable connections are a good idea as this means you will have the experience of someone you trust to work with when considering the suggested supplier. But it’s also good to remember that just because a supplier is the right fit for someone else’s business, that might not be the case for your business.
3. Check the paperwork
Ask yourself what qualifications or certificates does a potential supplier have to have in order to properly deliver on the job. From academic qualifications to safety certificates, proper accreditation can be the difference between a reputable supplier and a fly-by-night company that doesn’t deliver on their promises.
4. Follow the clients
Along with expertise, experience can play a crucial role in selecting the right supplier for the job. Find out how long a supplier has been in business and, more importantly, a bit about their client base. Does the supplier have experience working with a business like yours? Are their clients long-standing and supportive? What does the supplier understand about the specifics of their clients’ business that makes them stand out from the crowd?
Choosing the right supplier for the job is essential to ensuring that your business runs smoothly and you are able to deliver a great service to your clients. In whatever you do, make sure you work with reputable, experienced professionals who care as much about their business as you do. Need help with branding and marketing your small business? That’s what we do and what we care about! Contact us to find out why we’re the best supplier for that job!