Vendors and Suppliers

There are so many things to think about when starting a business.  We begin with amazing ideas that can help others in a variety of ways.  We nurture our ideas, test approaches and re-design our concepts.  When we arrive at a concept we are comfortable with, more decisions present themselves. 

A decision that many entrepreneurs have to consider relates the vendors and suppliers we used.  For example, think about the person who plans to open an internet café.  Suppliers will be need to address everything from the internet provider to the company that will provide the cups and napkins.  Before a final cost for products or services can be determined, we must explore and re-explore all potential vendors.

One of the most important thing that can be done – and very early on is to decide what’s important to you.  You may find many, many vendors with items and services that you want.  Their prices may be very comparable, and their customer service both garner rave reviews.  What will separate the competition and help you to decide? While price and service are important so too are shipping and lead time for orders for example.  If one potential company is oversees, shipping can take quite a while.  As a result it will be important to take shipping lead times into consideration.  Another important factor relates to minimum and maximum order quantities.  Some companies have established minimums.  Do these minimum meet your needs?  You may wish to purchase from a vendor without minimum and maximum requirements.  Other consideration to take into account include quality assurance processes and payment terms and conditions.  Setting the criteria in advance will enable you to evaluate potential suppliers on each of the listed items and ensure that you don’t overlook any important requirements.

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