The success of your business not only demands complete devotion, hard-work and a keen business mind from you but equally requires that you have a good and reliable set of vendors who have the ability to meet with the challenges of the requirements of your business and partner you in the course of business building and growth.
Similar to hiring of employees and retaining services of professionals, it is equally important that you spend sufficient time and resources in properly identifying your vendors prior to signing them on for selling goods or making supplies for your business. So, there are various things to be borne in mind as regards evaluation of a vendor prior to sign-up and then a continual evaluation from time to time.
Depending upon the nature of goods or services that you wish to procure, selecting a vendor could be quite easy or an extremely thorough task. For example, general goods and services such as electrical works, plumbing, supply of stationery, maintenance of gardens and landscaping might just require you to flip through the local yellow pages or the Google local listings and choose your vendor. However, critical supplies such as raw materials for your business, technology support - hardware and software would need the best possible that you can afford.
In both cases, the following parameters are essential -
Vendor should have a permanent and a reasonably established place of business. They must be equipped with a good set of all things essential to provide you with uninterrupted services. Good vendors must have the ability to improve infrastructure, procure the latest equipment and upgrade technologies related to their business for optimization and better yield from business.
They must be financially secure, willing to make small investments for additional inventory, storage and increasing manufacturing space and scale of operations in case your business needs to increase. The vendor should appear transparent in his dealings; willing to provide references from his existing clientele and in certain cases should be able to provide live demonstration of previous work done, preferably at a client location.
A vendor with a clean and law abiding approach to conducting business is preferable. To that end, your vendor should be able to demonstrate that he abides by all laws and regulations that govern his business, does not indulge in child labour or other forms of illegal employment such as hiring illegal immigrants and delinquents. He should have obtained and kept in force all forms of registrations and licenses that relate to his business. He should be paying taxes regularly and paying employees on time.
A pro-active vendor with a zest for growth, willing to accept challenges and a healthy appetite for growth gets my vote in evaluation. Vendors are partners to any successful business and as such should be willing to trust you and also be willing to take risks in business so that both realize the joys of success in the long run.
Finally, the vendor's price quotations must be market-competitive, terms and conditions for business engagement must be valid, reasonable and fair to both sides. The vendor should demonstrate a confidence that he is in it for the long haul. These are some of the factors that will help you in the evaluation of vendors for your business.