Usually, suppliers will begin stocking up on inventory earlier than you think. Right now, we are in May, and students are preparing for their summer break and getting a break from school soon. However, many retailers are already preparing for “Back to School”. Why is that? Because it takes time for many retailers and small businesses to prepare for the big rush that will follow the summer break. So would now be a viable time for small businesses to begin stocking up on cool backpacks, pencils, and binders? Absolutely, and here is the reason why.
What most new businesses do not understand is that (especially if you are signing up with a new supplier) it takes suppliers time to fulfill your order and deliver the goods to you. After you’ve received your goods, it will probably take you time to have your newly received inventory entered into your system, listed on your website, or displayed in your store. After you’ve placed your products, you have to start making preparations for promoting it or letting your customer base know that these products are available, and that they are getting the best deal ever. This process takes a lot of time, but it will pay off because you made preparations early.
Have you ever seen the Halloween pop up stores? Do you think these stores just pop up out of nowhere? Well, I’m sure they can set everything up overnight. But everything else including getting inventory and making the preparations probably took them months. Then within that one and a half month right before Halloween, they’ve made enough money for the entire year. That is how you are supposed to see every niche product and aspect of your business.
If you are looking for a reliable source for a wide variety of inventory, AllTimeTrading.com is one of my personal favorites.
There are a number of ways that retailers and small business owners like you can find suppliers. Think back the last time you made contact with your last supplier, how did you find them? Are they reliable? Are you two in business today? Here’s a short guide to how you can find some reliable suppliers.
WholesaleCentral – WholesaleCentral is a huge directory of businesses, many of which may even be located near you. Suppliers have to pay to get listed in the database, which filters out a lot of the fake suppliers. You can also browse by category if you’re looking for something specific. Does this mean that every supplier that you come across will be reliable? Not necessarily. You will still have to speak to the suppliers and use your instincts. Some of the suppliers will be distributors and some are manufacturers. Some will have large and unreasonable minimum order quantities, some will not. It will take some time to find a supplier among the thousands.
Publications – Although publications aren’t as popular anymore, there are a few available. The entire publication is filled with ads from various suppliers. Each ad will probably give you a general idea of what the supplier sells and their contact information and/or their website. Even though almost everything has gone digital today, you can still find reliable sources if you subscribe to print publications.
Google – In a time where Google is the center of most of our universes, it is no surprise that Google is still a viable source to find wholesalers. Even though Google is such a powerful search engine, you will still have to do a lot of digging to find reliable sources. Most wholesalers do not have websites that are optimized for search engines, or some do not even have websites at all!
When you’re looking for suppliers, always be patient. Do not jump right into signing up for an account with a supplier until you have as much information as you can. Some sites will offer you a shopping cart and checkout process, allowing you to get your wholesale goods so seamlessly.