When business owners try to carve their own way with a completely unheard of idea, it is expected they will face issues trying to find a supplier to partner with and take their concept onboard despite the risk.
According to Zed Klingenberg, founder of online tyre store Tyroola, the best thing a business owner can do, while simple, is establishing as much trust as possible.
“It's multiple meetings, showing [suppliers] that you take the information they provide seriously, that they're doing something new, but that you’re not in the market to harm the interests of them,” says Zed.
When Zed started Tyroola, he also faced a real concern from suppliers that he would try and compete against brick-and-mortar retailers, while Zed saw there was room for everyone. Today, Tyroola has partnered with Supercheap Auto, proving that both digital and physical stores can co-exist.
“We were saying, ‘No, no, look, this is what we're doing, this is what you're doing, and there is margin in the chain for everyone if we do it like this,’” Zed says.
As well as establishing trust, Zed says putting your money where your mouth is and proving you can take on volume is also important to convince sceptical suppliers.
“Showing them you can do a bit of volume is also very important, because if they're going to take the plunge, they also want to sell products,” Zed says.
“It's something we try to show that we can live up to what we are saying.”
In order to prove their volume, Zed showed potential suppliers the statistics of online visitors to Tyroola, and says it has been a significant factor.
“Showing [suppliers] literally the figures of how many people are coming onto our sites and searching around, even when we were only really dealing with one supplier ... is something [that] helped,” Zed says.