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How to Choose Good Suppliers for Fashion Businesses

How can I assess whether a particular company is, in fact, an interesting supplier for my fashion business? In our last post here on the START by WGSN blog, we started to address this topic, contemplating some essential steps to take into account: what exactly your company needs, the supplier's location and the viable quantity it is able to serve. Defining suppliers is, in fact, one of the most important steps when you are starting a fashion brand.


Regardless of your specific segment of activity, it is essential that you pay attention to some essential issues that involve the process of defining your suppliers.


(Image: Canva Pro)


PRICES

Price is one of the essential factors in a supplier's decision process. Keep in mind there are suppliers that will offer their product or service for all kinds of prices, from the lowest to the highest. The price you pay the supplier will be built into the final price of their product; therefore, when you can negotiate good value you can even change the selling price of your product, making it more attractive and competitive in the market.

Pay attention to payment terms, as this point can make a supplier more or less attractive to you. If you are a small entrepreneur, you may not be able to negotiate with more expensive suppliers at this time, which is understandable in order to maintain a positive cash flow. However, when prioritizing lower-priced suppliers, it's common for you to have more work during the process; if prices are lower, it usually means they still have some internal challenges, which may impact what they will deliver. In this case, it's worth maintaining a more intensive schedule review, for example, in addition to periodic reviews during the process and especially when you receive your stock.


RELATIONSHIP

The last essential point in the search for suppliers is the relationship. If you don't have a good relationship with the companies, trust is shaken whether in relation to quality, delivery time, etc. Always be honest about what you need and your expectations. Take the opportunity to have an open channel for exchanges and feedback through which you and your partners can align points of improvement and ensure the growth of both parties.

As relationships grow closer, so do commitments and loyalty. Creating a network of trust is essential so you always have your inventory updated according to what was planned. Make your goals very clear, staying open to discussion. Relationships are built over time and having good communication with your suppliers is essential to the success of your collection and, in the long run, your business.



(Image: Canva Pro)



THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSULTING FEEDBACK

Analyze comments and feedback from those who have already contracted this type of service to make it easier to find good providers safely. If you are looking for a professional or company that meets your needs without neglecting the quality of service, identifying what other consumers or entrepreneurs say about them is essential.

Research the company's reputation on websites or social networks. If you feel comfortable, talk to other entrepreneurs in your sector. Take the opportunity to conduct this supplier investigation carefully, avoiding questions that might bother or drive away other entrepreneurs. Have them as your allies and grow together.




We will continue the series on this topic in the next post! Stay tuned!


Click here to read more posts on the START by WGSN blog about trends and strategies for the fashion business. Subscribe to START by WGSN and use our exclusive tools to create and boost your fashion business.


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