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Top Four Tips in Selecting a New Product or Service Provider

Businesses may want to follow these guidelines when searching for a new produc

As businesses expand, some may find their old product or service providers simply can't keep up with the growing demand. When it's time to make the switch to a new provider, there are some basic things every manager should take into account to pick the right company for the job.

Determine the eventual needs of the business

It may sound obvious, but the first thing businesses should do when looking for a new product or service provider is to evaluate needs. By taking a thorough look at their current situation and factoring in plans for growth and expansion, businesses can not only find a provider to meet their needs now, but can find one that will be able to handle their needs 10, 15 or 20 years into the future. If a business doesn't have to re-evaluate its providers every couple of years, it can focus on staying competitive in the marketplace.

Evaluate customer service

Business conditions can change quickly, and companies need to be flexible enough to change with them or they may find themselves drowning in red ink. If business owners can't quickly get a hold of their service providers, that could be a serious hindrance to a company's ability to adapt to shifting market conditions. By making sure a provider offers an appropriate level of customer service, executives can avoid falling behind in the marketplace.

Seek advice from peers

Whether choosing a new telecommunications company to help connect offices across the globe or choosing a new coffee machine to put in the employee lounge, it's always a good idea to look for company reviews online before committing to a product or service provider. While some peer review sites like Yelp and Angie's List offer consumers and businesses evaluations of certain products and services, a CFO or other industry executive might need more specialized information. The business directory section of industry social networking site Proformative is an invaluable tool that helps professionals connect with one another to find product and service provider information that may not be readily available elsewhere. You can find peer reviews of product and service providers in B2B Directory.

Negotiate price carefully

Businesses are often used to implementing strong negotiating tactics in order to get the best deal possible, but this may not be the best time to strong-arm the competition. Information management association ARMA International reminds business owners that the providers they're negotiating with now may be the same ones that will be servicing their company for the foreseeable future.