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How do I find suppliers and wholesalers?

Here are three essential tips from Startups for finding suppliers and wholesalers, and securing both at the best price.

A supplier is something you will need to deal with if you plan to sell products through your business. Unless you own a factory, you will need to find one eventually.

The purchase of equipment is a large part of setting up a new business, so you should make sure you get the best deal you can.

Follow our tips below to ensure you’re well prepared for finding suppliers and wholesalers with them. Click on the links for more detailed information on each topic.

1. Determine what kind of supplier you will need for your business

The first step you should take is to decide what kind of supplier your business needs. A prototype that needs to be made on a large scale will need to be made by a manufacturer – determine whether you want a company with a big name and a proven track record or a smaller company with niche expertise.

If your product is already widely distributed, you should consider a wholesaler. You don’t have to be a certain size to buy from wholesaler suppliers, despite what many people believe.

Are you unsure of the advantages of wholesalers or don’t want to go down the wholesale route? Wholesalers have a variety of alternatives, such as buying directly from manufacturers or importing from overseas; however, both options will usually require very large bulk purchases, and as a result, can be very expensive.

The costs associated with paying for products in different currencies can add up, especially if you see the appeal of importing from overseas suppliers. It would be wise to consider a payment service other than your bank or PayPal.

Most businesses don’t know that banks and PayPal give bad exchange rates when they accept payments in foreign currencies.

Your international invoice payments may be affected by these hidden costs.

Companies such as TransferWise, unlike banks and PayPal, let you know the mid-market exchange rate before you send money. They charge an upfront fee. Additionally, TransferWise lets you know the exact cost before making the payment.

2. Select the right supplier for your business

Selecting a supplier that meets your business needs is the next step. Because wholesalers tend to shun flashy advertising and search engine optimization, Googling manufacturers isn’t a good method of finding wholesalers. However, The UK Trader and The Wholesaler have large directories of UK wholesalers.

If you can’t commit, visiting large trade shows and exhibitions can prove to be a valuable networking opportunity and your fledgling business can get a feel for what’s on offer.

3. Get the best deal possible

It’s time to sit down and negotiate with a supplier; but before you do that, determine your business’ budget for buying stock. Be aware of some basic principles when negotiating a supply contract to ensure your business is protected – and don’t be afraid to haggle.

Hopefully, you will continue to deal with your supplier in the future, so make sure to get better credit terms from them early on if you have chosen your supplier wisely.


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