Whether you are sourcing products to resale or products to use as part of your daily business operations, when it comes to sourcing getting it right can save you money and indeed go on to increase your profit margin. Product sourcing can be the linchpin of your business, in which so much rests. So to help you get it right, here are some tips to follow when sourcing your business product needs.
Know the product inside out
You want to ensure you thoroughly research the product you are looking to source. Do you know the exact specifications you need, what functions you need it to perform and include, and what you don’t – you don’t want to be paying more for something you don’t need. Make sure you have all this information to hand before contacting suppliers. If you are looking for a product to resale you want to make sure you have carried out sufficient market research and be comfortable in the knowledge that there is sufficient demand for it.
Reach out to suppliers
Now you know what you are looking for, it is time to reach out to suppliers to source it. We all know what the model employee looks like but do you know what the model supplier looks like? Make sure you know what it is you are looking for from a supplier, be it the products, additional services they offer, or simply just more information. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples as this can form an important part of your sourcing strategy, after all, you wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it first.
Don’t be afraid to contact multiple suppliers and ensure you carry out your research on all of them. Compare their offerings and business practices carefully. You can often glean a lot of useful information by simply exploring their company website, some may even make life easier for you and have published works as to why their products are superior, such as this comparison piece. Just remember to view all of this information objectively.
Consider initiating a trial period
Once you think you may have decided upon a supplier before going all in and committing everything, consider setting up a trial period that suits both you and the supplier. It could be that you purchase a certain number of units or use them over a certain time period. Know what it is you expect from the supplier in this time period, so you can sufficiently evaluate them at the end of the trial period.
At the end of the trial period consider whether they met the expected goals you had and if they didn’t were there any reasons for it. Was everything handled in a timely and professional manner with clear communication throughout, and how about the cost? Did it meet expectations? All of these are important considerations you will need to make when product sourcing.
If the supplier did not meet your expectations, then don’t be afraid to say so. Business is business but be mindful to offer constructive feedback as to why you have not chosen to use that supplier on a longer-term basis.