How does your business find suppliers?
Good suppliers are the backbone of every successful company. Whether you’re looking for manufacturers or wholesalers, finding reputable suppliers can be a challenge. If you’re having difficulty when it comes to sourcing new suppliers, here are four potential places for you to look.
Exhibitions are a fantastic way of growing your business for a number of reasons. They’re ideal for meeting with current customers, networking with leads, and if you’re investing in a stand you can showcase your products and services to thousands of prospects. They’re also the perfect place to find new suppliers. Find an exhibition that’s relevant to your industry and research the organizations that will be attending. Once you’re there you can find suppliers, meet with numerous potential vendors and begin to build relationships with them.
2. Chambers of Commerce/Trade Associations
If you’re a member of a trade association or your local chamber, it is worthwhile enquiring about suppliers on their member list. A chamber of commerce’s purpose is to promote business in the area. If their members are falling short when it comes to finding new suppliers, it is in their interest to help. Trade associations serve a similar purpose to Chambers, but they’re industry or trade specific. These are also a valuable resource when finding suppliers.
3. Journals and Trade Publications
Not everybody has the time or resources available to attend multiple exhibitions each year, which makes subscribing to trade journals an excellent alternative. Suppliers and vendors don’t solely rely on attending trade shows. They will often advertise new products or technologies in trade journals and magazines. So, it’s worth your while to consider a subscription to ensure you’re kept up to date with the latest products they offer. You may even come across exclusive subscriber offers.
4. Online Directories and Trading Platforms
Another way to find suppliers is by using online trading platforms. Platforms like Europages and Alibaba have thousands of suppliers from hundreds of business sectors, so they’re a great place to start looking. Sites like these provide visitors with business listings and company details, usually at no cost to the buyer. From there, it’s up to you to do your research into the company, assess whether they’re suitable for you and then start negotiating.
For more UK, EU and US based wholesalers, Andrew Minalto has a great list.
Xpo-Online is a new platform and has been developed to overcome the challenges procurement professionals face when trying to find suppliers. We’re currently in Beta mode and would appreciate any feedback or comments. Register free today to see how Xpo can help you find the best suppliers for your business.
When you need a new supplier, where do you start your search?