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Find suitable suppliers – washing chemicals, business equipment, workwear & Co.

Before you start to do business in your car wash, you need to find suitable suppliers – not only for consumer goods such as washing chemicals, but also for goods in your shop, for your employees' workwear and for operating and office equipment. The following tips will help you to keep track of the situation.

Make a list of requirements!

Consult your business plan. Under the item "Investment plan", you have gathered everything you need for the start. Create individual sub-items of your requirements list to cover the different business areas.

  • Operating and office equipment: Furnishing of the shop/cashier's office and staff rooms, telecommunications equipment and IT technology, office materials, tools and implements
  • Washing and care chemicals: Detergents, wax etc.
  • Goods: Ice scrapers, microfibre cloths, anti-freeze, engine oil, etc., if necessary also snacks, drinks, cigarettes, etc.
  • Workwear: protective clothing appropriate to the workplace for all seasons, jackets / tops, trousers, shoes, gloves, caps, if necessary adapted to the design of the logo or with imprints, for outside with signal colours

These points are essential for good suppliers

To keep your business running smoothly, you need to find suppliers who are absolutely reliable. The best quality and lowest prices don't justify waiting for your delivery and putting your customers off. Ideally, you will have an alternative in reserve for all consumer goods that you can fall back on at short notice if necessary.

However, quality and prices must not be neglected either. You can either compare the latter on the provider's website or ask for quotes. You can reduce the number of suppliers you ask for more detailed information for a long-term order by preselecting them. By reading reviews of products and delivery services, you can eliminate some providers from a qualitative perspective.

Among those who continue to appeal to you, you choose according to further criteria you consider important. If, for example, you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, you can avoid long delivery routes. If the price of the product is particularly important to you, you can also first select the suppliers located in the region and add them first to the pool of suppliers to be compared.

If you have reduced the possible providers in this way, you can further narrow them down by comparing the prices they quote online. You can then request cost estimates from the most attractive three to four suppliers.  The best thing to do is to call so that any questions can be clarified immediately. You will then receive the estimates in writing.

Finding suppliers for different goods

Searching online is the easiest way to find and compare suppliers. You can get a rough idea on major comparison sites. Alternatively, you can contact people you know in the industry if you know any and get recommendations. However, you should still make comparisons!    

You can also visit trade fairs related to the respective fields. Here you can find out what's new, talk to the exhibitors directly and find out whether their conditions are acceptable to you. Pleasant, although not absolutely necessary, is the actual contact. You and also the supplier perceive the commercial relationship as more personal after meeting in person.   

The washing chemicals are a special case among consumer goods. Here you should definitely consider whether the manufacturer of the car wash recommends a particular brand to you. If this is the case, the system will benefit if you use the corresponding products. This normally narrows down the circle of potential suppliers even further. Here you can also ask the car wash manufacturer which products they recommend.

Summary: Good things take time

You can find the perfect supplier for any type of consumer goods if you take enough time to search. Thanks to the Internet, this research is now much faster than before. If you carefully draw up a list of requirements and define your quality requirements and price limits for all goods, sorting is relatively quick, especially as other criteria such as environmental friendliness and reliability narrow the selection. From the alternatives, choose the one with the best estimate. Nevertheless, you should always have an alternative in reserve.

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