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Before you decide which online inventory management system to use, you need to make sure all your suppliers are reliable. Often small businesses find it difficult to find suppliers they can trust completely. They start the business, have a perfect idea for a niche market, and yet cannot find anywhere a suitable supplier for products they want to sell. To the beginner it can seem like a daunting task to acquire products, particularly if the products are somewhat specific. Three good places to start looking are: trade magazines, trade fairs and trade associations.

Trade Magazines

Trade magazines can be a useful and inexpensive way of browsing through lists of product suppliers and manufacturers. If opting in to this route, be sure to subscribe to a trade magazine as products change on an on-going basis.

Trade Fairs

Trade fairs are renowned for putting retailers in touch with suppliers. They’re perfect for retailers because you can see a wide range of products and suppliers that are separated into categories. By attending the trade fairs you can establish a relationship with a number of potential suppliers. The added benefit of trade fairs is that you can compare prices of different suppliers.

Trade Associations

Trade associations are organizations that are founded and funded by businesses that operate within a specific industry. They are renowned for networking and match up buyers to sellers. They can be a useful resource for finding suppliers.

When you actually find a supplier of the product you want, be sure to present yourself as a business rather than an individual. Suppliers want to see companies with a desire to grow and succeed. This will also help you down the road in those moments when you would need to buy items on credit from a supplier.

When you find the right supplier, you can use an online inventory management system to keep track of your inventory items. You can use reorder point inventory management to automatically reorder stock when it reaches a certain level. This will ensure that you never run out of stock and that you keep a good relationship with your supplier. The relationship between a retailer and the supplier is hugely important because it’s interdependent. Both sides need to keep up their end of the bargain to have a successful relationship.