How to Find a Reliable Manufacturer or Supplier

Depending on the nature of your business, you may occasionally find yourself depending on manufacturers or suppliers to provide the goods or services you’re selling to your customers. 

Unfortunately, reliable manufacturers and suppliers are not always easy to come by. The best, most trustworthy companies tend to be quickly booked up. 

Finding potential suppliers that you can depend on for the long term is a challenging aspect of any business that can often depend on your ability to build strong working relationships with others in your industry, even your rivals on occasion. 

RELATED: Why Outsourcing Your HR Functions is Sometimes a Good Idea

Here we look at how to find reliable manufacturers and suppliers, and more importantly, how to keep them on board.

How to find the best suppliers for your business

Goods

Suppose your company focuses on providing goods to your customer base. You might focus mostly on advertising, marketing and selling these items. In that case, you will unfortunately always be limited on how much you can sell to a certain extent, as you can only sell as much as can be made or acquired.

To get around this, your company will greatly benefit from finding suppliers who operate on a large scale. This reduces the chances they’ll close for holidays, which could inconvenience your business needs. 

If your product(s) are niche and need to be made by a particular small business or manufacturer, asking them in advance for times when they might be closed for business can help you identify any potential pinch points across the year.

Whilst some companies like to approach local suppliers in person or at trade shows, if your operation requires the use of drop shipping items from abroad, you might also wish to consider finding wholesalers near to you. 

Another way to get suppliers for a business is to use wholesale distributors. They can be key suppliers that can either be a great main source for your products, or even just provide an excellent backup should anything go wrong with your main supply chain.

Services

If your company acts as a provider of services, finding the right people who will complete their job to a high standard for the right price and on time, can be particularly difficult. 

The problems that come with this model also prove to only increase the moment you decide to outsource your work to a company or country where their first language is different to the first language used by you and the majority of your staff.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Payroll

Fortunately, there are great solutions on the internet to help you build your professional networks.

Networks can put you in touch with freelancers who can meet your deadlines, fulfil administrative work, prevent your company from facing any cash flow issues and even grow your business.

One of the main sources of professional freelancers who operate in time zones and languages from across the globe is Fiverr. The main premise of their services is to offer you freelancing work of all kinds, from as little as, well, $5. 

Experts on this platform include copywriters, web designers, logo designers, search engine optimisation specialists, and the list goes on. Whether you are looking for an expert to outsource HR or payroll tasks, a virtual assistant, or a voice over for a promotional video for your company, there is someone on Fiverr whose services could be of use to you.

Maintaining your relationships

Supplier relationship management is a crucial part of the business to business process. If your products/services are very niche and in short supply, having good relationships with your suppliers will hold you in good stead to ensure that you get the last of in-demand items rather than your competitors.

RELATED: Reputation Management: Why Your Business Needs It More Than Ever

If you recognise that one company is a notably good supplier, keep them happy by paying on time, sending the annual Christmas card every year, and keep your conversations with them to the point, but light-hearted. They’re more likely to respect you so long as you do your job well, but don’t take yourself too seriously.


Hopefully, you now feel ready to find a dependable manufacturer or supplier to assist your business. To find your next product supplier, you might want to try searching sites like Salehoo, or maybe even buying direct from online wholesalers such as Alibaba. For services, we recommend looking on Fiverr for the freelancers to meet your needs.

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.