Choosing vendors is never an easy thing to do. The truth is, you have a lot riding on the decisions you make. Not only do you have to make decisions based on your needs and your budget, but you also have to consider the impact your association with the vendor can have on your business reputation.
Vendors also have a lot at risk. Your success is truly a reflection on their business. This really is a situation in which the two of you will work hand in hand; each will either enjoy benefits from the relationship – or not.
Tips for Choosing Vendors
There are some rather obvious things you should consider when choosing vendors. For instance, you could start by asking other businesses for recommendations.
The Better Business Bureau can let you know if any complaints have been filed against vendors you are considering. Online searches often reveal a lot about a company’s reputation. Always take the time to do your own research before you decide to hire a vendor.
Getting quotes is, of course, one of the most important steps in comparing vendors. Your goal is to develop a long-term relationship, one that will benefit both you and the vendor. And the reality is, the vendor should be very used to giving quotes. It is simply part of the business he/she is in.
With that in mind, you should have an idea of what you plan to spend and set out to get quotes. If you are looking for a new vendor, it is ideal to gather at least three quotes for comparison’s sake.
Sometimes, even quotes can be misleading. Be sure you have all the details. That is, ask if the total cost is included in the quote and if the quoted price is fixed. The quote should be provided to you in writing.
In some instances, you may be able to get lower prices if you buy in bulk. If this is something you are interested in, it is best to ask about those terms early on.
Where to Get Quotes
Small businesses have all kinds of needs. With that, they need various types of vendors. Below is a list of the top five places to get quotes on various business vendors. There’s sure to be something listed you can use.
This site lists vendors in business categories like credit card processing, web design, VoIP services, SEO, call centers and answering services, payroll services, business cash advance, and other business management related services. Qualified vendors are encouraged to add their listings to the site.
Site users choose the category they are interested in and answer a few simple questions related to the service they need; then they are provided with quotes. It’s a very simple and efficient system.
This site offers a variety of business service oriented categories, including credit card processing, background screening, business phone systems, sales outsources, e-commerce solutions, and collections services.
After selecting the desired service and answering a few basic questions, the site user is presented with quotes.
This is an ideal site to visit for quotes on business loans. To get started, you will need to determine the loan amount desired, and you will need to provide information about how long your business has been in operation. Other information requested at the site includes your credit score and your average monthly revenue.
This site is super easy to use. Just choose your industry and the primary area of services you offer. Then you will be asked to provide your area code and select the policies you are interested in.
Before you choose a vendor, you should take the time to do some online research about the vendors you are considering. Getting quotes is always a great starting point. But keep in mind that not all quotes are equal.
Always ask if the price includes the total cost and if the price quoted is fixed. Be sure to get the details in writing.
Use the links provided to get quotes on everything from call centers and payroll services to business loans and insurance. Then choose the vendors that meet your specific needs.
Debbie Allen is an online marketer and content writer with a background in Organizational Development. Many of her articles focus on topics related to small business management issues, such as reputation management and online marketing strategies. Debbie also writes about home and garden topics, such as how to find home improvement contractors, and home decorating concerns.