As a new – or seasoned – beauty salon owner, you need to know the fundamentals, one of which is learning how to source reliable suppliers to provide you with the equipment you need to run your business effectively.
What helps you more as a business owner though is to have suppliers that go beyond the obvious requirements of selling equipment and consumables. You need suppliers who are ready and willing to build long term relationships and offer more benefits to your business. Benefits such as providing information, assisting with the evaluation of new products and tracking what your competitors are up to.
Things to Note When Looking for a Supplier
Affordability is a key component when sourcing suppliers, especially if your beauty salon is still fresh off the ground and has not had much time to grow as a business yet. Competitively priced suppliers might be the best route to take when you are trying to stay on top of your business spending in the beginning of your company’s journey.
You will of course want to retain high standards, although this really does depend on the market you’re catering for, but the point is not to opt for lower quality goods just to save money, the point is to find the best quality stuff at the best price! Consider that it will most likely end up being more expensive to buy a cheaper product if it means that the quality is poor, especially if you are catering to a high LSM (Living Standards Measure) market.
Buying low quality machinery might result in repeated returns and replacements. In the long run, this might mean losing business because of delays. This is especially relevant if the equipment you need delivered is required to be sturdy machinery, such as EMS machines or machines to treat cellulite or give facials. Especially in these cases, it would be wiser to invest in a more quality-driven supplier.
Suppliers need to deliver the correct services and goods, and do it promptly. This is an important feature to seek out when you are looking for suppliers for your beauty salon.
It might seem like larger suppliers would be more reliable since being more established in the industry means they would have more resources available to ensure prompt deliveries and fast response times on support. However, it can be equally beneficial to find smaller suppliers who run according to strict business protocols that put their clients first. This is generally where business relationships shine – smaller suppliers might prioritise your business more. Chances are that they would respond better to different requests such as rushing an order or holding on to stock.
Stability, in a way, goes hand in hand with reliability. Experienced suppliers who have been in the business for an extended amount of time is a paramount factor in your decision-making process.
You would definitely want to enter into a long-term contract with a supplier who has been in the business for several years without changing businesses every few years. A good sign for a stable company is also whether they have a good reputation with other beauty salons that they supply.
Types of Suppliers
Manufacturers are usually representatives who handle the goods of a variety of different companies. They usually sell these wares at a lower price, but that is sometimes balanced by a high shipping fee.
More commonly referred to as wholesalers – they buy in bulk from manufacturers and keep the wares in storage, which then get sold to retailers. Although the prices of the goods are sometimes a little higher, low shipping costs and swift delivery compensate in most cases.
Domestic importers work similarly to domestic wholesalers, and you can get some goods from overseas by using their services. Otherwise you could always travel to buy your equipment abroad, but this option is not available for everyone.
While the above-mentioned traits are essential, there are also other things that should factor into the hunt for a good supplier. You need a supplier who can offer you the latest products and services, well-trained professionals to sell these products and services, and a selection of good financial terms on purchases.
They should also have a good and helpful attitude towards you as their client, so that they are willing and eager to work with you and help you grow your beauty salon.