Suppliers can be important sources of information and industry insight for your business. Though you may feel comfortable working with suppliers that are about equal in size to your business, it often makes sense to partner with larger companies that can keep up with your needs as you grow. "If you are confident about your growth," says Mark Haas, COO of gluten-free flour mix maker Cup4Cup and adviser to food startups, "choose suppliers who will be optimal for you in the future," even if the cost of using that supplier today is somewhat higher. The last thing you want is to find out you can't meet a big order from a new client because your current supplier is maxed out. Bigger suppliers have a greater breadth of products to offer and can often provide useful advice on how to solve some of the supply-chain challenges that come with rapid growth.

Published on: Mar 30, 2017