Locally made products
Locally made products
These days, sourcing has always been a crucial business activity to keep your small business abreast in the competition.

The competition, like it or not, tempt us small business owners to enter price war. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, we are exposed in some ways.

Not only that, we are all now face the recession and low(er) buying power of potential customer. And don’t forget the impact of inflation – Rising resource costs and overheads.

One solution to tackle those problems is global sourcing.

I remember those days when my relatives’ businesses are doing product sourcing. Thousands of dollar business overheads come in the form of global sourcing communication and negotiation, not mentioning the business trips to visit the location of sourcing. Not all small businesses can handle such surmounting amount of business expenses.

Lucky for us living in today’s Information age – Products, services, equipment, devices, materials, components, chemicals and more can be sourced easier and more affordable than ever, thanks to the Internet. Small businesses and large corporations alike can (and should) do global sourcing more than ever, as we all know that the best value for money resources are residing overseas (remember China and India?)

You can cut business trip and communication expenses, again, thanks to the Internet. Say goodbye, too, to your middle man – Direct global sourcing is hip today!

Where to find business listings for your global sourcing needs

I’ve scoured the web occasionally for business sourcing, both premium and free directories.

There are some qualified resources on the Net like AsianProSource.com, but since the early days of PLR (private label rights) content, global sourcing directories are almost be found everywhere. The downside of this: Many of those business sourcing directories are listing the same ol’ business.

Fortunately, some directories do stand out, such as the new and upcoming global business sourcing directory, source point. I think that it has the potential, and the best thing about Source Point is that access to thousands of listed business is completely free.

What next?

Of course, you would like to short list businesses from the directory of your choice, and establish contact with them. To cut cost, you can use Skype and any other Internet-driven communication tools to initiate first contact – A conventional email communication still work the best today.

The next step would be price negotiation. But first, many small business owners and experts advise that you should look for a representative in the country where you source products and services to. For example, if you are looking to partner with a Chinese manufacturer, you need to hire a representative to pay the manufacturer a visit to validate everything, including product quality, quantity and logistic issues.

I recommend you to do the above step, as many small business owners I know are experiencing problems, mainly in sourced product handling issues.

Ivan Widjaya
Global sourcing
Image by Klearchos Kapoutsis.