When you were starting out all those years ago, you probably invested a lot of time and energy in finding good suppliers. But how much time have you spent recently looking for new jewellery and accessory suppliers?
Wholesalers come and go. The good ones are rarely good forever. They change styles, they increase prices, they pay less and less attention to quality control, and like you and your business, they are prone to the effects of the recession. Is your supplier up to scratch?
You need to be asking yourself how good your supplier is, and you need to be aggressively looking for better suppliers. Better could mean cheaper, it could mean newer or fresher styles, it could mean that they offer you better terms or handle problems in a more efficient and effective manner.
Where do you find new jewellery wholesalers and suppliers?
As with pretty much everything these days, you do so online. Suppliers who do not have an online presence are old fashioned and rarely carry the best or most contemporary styles. The newer companies tend to do business online first and offline second, and it is to these that you should turn. Even better if they don't have an offline presence such as a show room and a team of sales reps, as this means that all of their spare cash gets funnelled into sourcing new styles of jewellery from manufacturers.
Ask yourself this: who is likely to invest more in new styles, the traditional wholesaler for whom stock accounts for only 30% of expenditure, or the newer, leaner online wholesaler for whom stock accounts for a whopping 80% of expenditure.
You should be looking through Google results regularly to spot new wholesalers, and when you find them, focus on their stock, not their location or premises. If you're in the Home Counties, it doesn't matter if your new online supplier is in Aberdeen or Penzance, all that matters is the stock they sell.
What phrases should you search under on Google?
You should be looking at variations of "wholesale jewellery," "wholesale costume jewellery," "wholesale fashion jewellery," and "jewellery wholesalers." And for God's sake, spell the word JEWELLERY correctly - the amount of people in the jewellery business who cannot spell the word jewellery is simply disheartening. If you use American spellings, you'll be inundated with US companies and dodgy dealers from China. Your search phrases should be wrapped in quotes like the examples above, as this helps narrow the focus of the search.
Google search results span many pages, and you should not content yourself with checking only the first half of the first page. Browse to pages 3, 4 and 5, as this is often where newer companies start out.
And when you have found a potential new supplier, place a small sample order to test them out. If the quality and the styles measure up, use them, and do not be afraid to drop your existing supplier.
Remember, it's all about survival. Loyalty to an inferior supplier simply means you'll both go out of business together.