One of the most important things that come to mind when launching a new start-up is where to source office supplies and other materials. Depending on what kind of business you run, you may need to contact special vendors and companies to source specific materials. If you need office supplies, there are plenty of businesses that specialise in that too. In general, you’re going to make dozens of different contacts to keep your business supplied with the necessary tools and items it needs to run.
Do Your Research
Never stick to a single supplier for all your needs. You could find better deals elsewhere, or you could be unhappy with the quality of some of the items from your current vendor. It takes a bit of experimentation, but you need to try different companies to make sure you’re getting quality materials and items for your money. After all, a start-up business should focus on making contacts and learn where to source the best materials.
For example, if you need general office supplies then there are dozens of websites online that will sell the same things. Make a list of supplies you need every month and compare the costs. Instead of always going for the cheaper option, try the more expensive option if you’re unsatisfied with the quality that you get from the cheaper vendor. If you need very specific materials such as ball bearings, then a simple Google search of “Ball Bearing Suppliers” will reveal lots of different choices. With highly-specific materials, it’s best not to experiment too much with value and go for trusted sources.
Spend a lot of time researching. It’s vital to know your options when dealing with supplies. Always have a backup supplier ready for when your regular supplier fails, shuts down or lacks stock. It’s important to keep your business running like clockwork.
Be Wary of Scammers
It’s easy to think of overseas supplies as fake. While their quality is questionable, they are usually reliable sources for very specific pieces of equipment or materials. After all, their quality will reflect on their brand, and they’d be out of business if they followed the “Made in China” stereotype and produced bad quality.
Unfortunately, anyone from any country is capable of being a scammer. Be wary of businesses that act like they are knowledgeable or trustworthy. If you or your staff have never heard of a brand or company, then chances are you’re going to get scammed or the quality will be sub-par. Some things to look out for are:
- Generic website
- Undercutting by larger margins
- Ridiculous claims
Even if your budget is tight, never travel the short road and try to make savings by skimping on quality or buying from unknown vendors. Chances are you’re going to get scammed and kill your business.
Visit Trade Shows
Any reputable vendor, regardless of if you’ve heard of them or not, will attend trade shows to show off their equipment and supplies. You’ll find countless smaller manufacturers, and it’s a great way to connect with different businesses to ensure that you have good quality merchandise at affordable prices. Don’t let the size of a company fool you at a trade show. Some of the best manufacturers are the smaller ones which focus on quality over quantity, which is especially important if you need specialised equipment for your business.