How do I Become a Vendor?

Carol Francois

In order to become a vendor, you must meet the following criteria: have a product or service that you sell, register your business with the government, and have customers that you serve. Vendor is another word for supplier and is often used to describe a small business or company. The role of a vendor is central to the modern economy and business landscape.

The term vendor usually describes a small business or company.
The term vendor usually describes a small business or company.

The first step to become a vendor is to identify what you can provide to customers. List your skill set and determine if you will offer a product or a service. Product vendors can be divided into two categories: manufacturing or distribution.

Vendors often go to retail stores to ensure products are properly presented on shelves and to set up promotional displays.
Vendors often go to retail stores to ensure products are properly presented on shelves and to set up promotional displays.

Manufacturing is the process of creating a new item. The products can range from cupcakes to cars, but the role in the business world is the same. They purchase raw goods, add labor and time, and produce an item suitable for sale to a specific consumer group.

Manufacturing is the process of creating a new item, such as cupcakes.
Manufacturing is the process of creating a new item, such as cupcakes.

Distributors do not create anything. They simply purchase finished goods from a manufacture and move it to a location where consumers can purchase them. They are responsible for storage, logistics, and making arrangements with the retail locations on pricing and delivery schedules.

Service providers connect directly with customers. The services available range from nail technician to lawyer. These vendors typically do not require many materials, but have a significant labor requirement. The quality of the staff and level of service they provide is critical to the success or failure of this type of vendor.

Service vendors have a slightly different business model. Due to the nature of the business, more interaction between client and supplier is required. This means a greater investment in training, support staff, documentation and communication tools.

Each state has slightly different regulations, but all vendors must register as a business with the government. During this process, you must provide the name and address of your company, the name of the principle owner, and type of business. Depending on the business type, additional regulations may become relevant. There are specific rules surrounding the hiring of employees, remittance of taxes and worker safety. It is your responsibility to become familiar with these requirements and ensure that your company is in compliance before you can become a vendor.

Every vendor has a target client or customer group. Identify your customers and find a way to communicate your services to them. Remember the purpose of a business is to provide a good or service that meets customers' needs, in exchange for monetary compensation. Find the customers and then you will become a vendor.

Every vendor has a target client or customer group.
Every vendor has a target client or customer group.

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Discussion Comments

anon85740

OK. It's the "find a way to communicate your service to them" that I'm having issues with. Cold calling is ineffective, fliers and mailers end up in the trash. I'm at a loss. I know I can save them money and time, and I have great follow-through. It's getting them to give us a try. I need a marketing solution that doesn't cost a fortune. Anyone have any ideas?

anon42769

Very great information. Just what I'm looking for. Thanks so much.

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