If you’re a small business owner, you know it’s difficult to have complete confidence when making purchasing decisions: Is the supplier appropriate for your business? Will they provide good service? Are they going to deliver on their promises? (Or will your business be caught in a storm of shadiness and ineptitude?) Will the supplier support you during difficult times? All of these questions might race through your mind as you’re considering different suppliers, reading through price quotes, negotiating terms, and ultimately deciding whether to place an order with them. If you are racked with concern and doubt during the purchasing process, you are not alone.
There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States (6 million of them have employees), and almost none of them have a way of effectively vetting suppliers.
Until now, there hasn’t been a reliable way for business owners to check on supplier reputation and trustworthiness prior to placing orders. To compensate, small business owners often resort to one of the following:
- Calling up random friends to ask if they “know the supplier is legitimate” or if they “know anyone who’s purchased from this supplier.”
- Checking out the supplier’s own website and having to trust whatever information they provide (Apparently, everyone is “the #1 supplier” in their industry…).
- Searching for the supplier online and likely finding little information about them, other than their own website (which leads us back to the bullet above).
Small businesses in the US alone employ 59 million people, and make up nearly 46% of our economy’s GDP. Whether you’re a small business owner or not, think about those numbers. Let them soak in for a moment. That’s $8.5 trillion of economic output- yes, trillion with a “t”. And all of that output, until recently, hinged on the time-honored practice of “asking a friend.” At Kinnek, we don’t want “asking a friend” to be the standard for finding trust and reputation information about B2B suppliers any longer.
That’s why we launched Kinnek Trust Reports.
Trust Reports are one way Kinnek is empowering small businesses to make the most informed purchasing decisions they can. We realize small businesses face countless survival risks — only 50% of them make it past their fifth birthday. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to develop a solution that would make it dramatically less likely that a small business failed because it didn’t have the resources to easily vet supplier trustworthiness prior to purchasing. Our goal with Trust Reports was to make it possible for small business owners to make informed purchasing decisions with a quick email. And we’re proud to have done that. If you’re a small business, all you have to do is email email@example.com with the name of the supplier you’re vetting in the subject line. Like this:
After you do that, check your email inbox, and you’ll see a Trust Report for that particular company delivered straight to you. Here’s just a sampling of the information contained in a Kinnek Trust Report:
- Verified customer reviews about the supplier
- Customer endorsements of specific business capabilities
- Confirmation by our Trust Team of the supplier’s business license, I-9 verification, and similar information
- Awards the supplier has earned
- Organizational affiliations the supplier has
- Certifications the supplier has earned
- Press coverage the supplier has received
Our research has shown that this information is a critical input during the purchasing process — it captures, in a comprehensive but easy-to-read way, the information small business owners need to affirm their trust in a supplier. It could potentially save you the heartache and headache of an uninformed purchasing decision; plus, it’s free of cost to you. Our recommendation to small business owners: Before you buy for your business, check the Trust Report.
Kinnek now provides reputation information about suppliers to over 50,000 small businesses every single day. We currently have data on thousands of B2B suppliers across the world, and our database of reputation information is growing each day.
So if you’re a small business owner, regardless of your industry or geography, take firstname.lastname@example.org for a spin. If we don’t have a Trust Report available for a particular supplier and you want it, let us know! We work hard to follow up and get you the information you need. We know how important it is for your business to work only with the most trustworthy suppliers, and we’re committed to making this a reality for you.
If you’re a supplier that sells to businesses and wants to learn more about how you can ensure our team has a verified Trust Report for your company, please email us at email@example.com or call us at (800) 784–3151. We’d love to chat more!
Karthik Sridharan is co-founder & CEO of Kinnek.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he was formerly a Researcher at AQR Capital Management. He’s passionate about helping small businesses. In his spare time, he enjoys breakfast cereal, the Utah Jazz, and mangoes.