Whether you’ve already registered your online store or you’re still at the preparation stage, the issue of finding reliable suppliers and good quality products is bound to have crossed your mind. In today’s world, where the opportunities provided by e-commerce are also potential threats, it’s crucial to be cautious both in terms of selection and organization of your business.
If you’re considering making arrangements with a supplier who’s offering acceptable conditions, but you don’t know any company that has done business with them, you need to be extra careful. Some fraudsters will try to exploit the fact that you’re new to online business and try to cut into your potential margin so much that you’ll soon find yourself struggling to make ends meet.
You need to do your homework and check the reputation of your potential supplier, as well as their business results. All the information you need is available online, but you need to know what you’re looking for and where to find them.
Don’t forget that this is a two-way street and that suppliers will most likely run a background check about you and your company, which means you have to register your business and receive registration and tax file number (depending on the country of your residence). Reputable suppliers will never deal with unregistered entities. If you’ve still not registered your company and somebody is willing to do business with you regardless of your legal status, it suggests they are ready to perform illegal activities and should, therefore, be avoided.
It’s pretty easy to find out who supplies the products you want to sell in your area. In most cases, you’re just a phone call or an e-mail away from making contact with them. Whether they’ll be interested in working with you depends on many factors, but even if they aren’t, they might refer you to someone else who could be better suited for the job.
Also, there are trade shows and various craft markets that you could visit in search of a reliable business partner. The fact that you’re just a small online seller doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have problems finding a supplier. On the contrary, you might be perfect for a small manufacturer looking to make a breakthrough with their products or you could even find suppliers listed in wholesale directories.
In order to be able to compete with bigger and more developed online stores, you need to be ready to deliver products as quickly as possible. That means either being able to have products shipped directly to customers by drop shippers or having a suitable warehousing facility at your disposal, equipped with suitable pallet racks and shelving storage solutions.
You need to make sure that your supplier is capable of meeting the demanding requirements regarding the quality and speed of delivery. It might be a good idea to talk to people from the warehouses where similar products are stored and get their input on how reliable certain supplier is. They also might be able to make good recommendations.
The idea that money will start pouring in once you open an online store couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a lot of work and research involved, which should help you make a sound and informed decision regarding the products and suppliers you’ll be working with. You should look at the whole business process as a chain and bear in mind that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Making no mistakes when it comes to sourcing products makes one of the most important links very strong and you can devote your attention to other aspects of business. Instead of troubleshooting issues brought about problems in the supply chain, you may concentrate on developing your offer and making your business grow.