Are you planning an event, maybe a wedding, or corporate party? Looking for vendors is so much more than just going to Google and looking up things like caterer, photographer, DJ, photo booth, etc. The vendor must fit your style to have a cohesive understanding. I have always tried to educate our clients or perspective clients on what to ask and look for in a vendor.
One of the first things I tell them is, ask the vendor if they are bonded and insured. Why is this important you ask? Its simple, the last thing you want to worry about is if a vendor damages something at the venue, you do not want to be the one that has to pay to cover the damages. A vendor should always carry liability insurance to protect the cleint, as well as themselves. If a vendor tells you they do have insurance ask them for their limits of coverage and if you book with them will they provide you with a copy of the policy. If they refuse to do so, then I would recommend moving on to a new vendor.
Next, I always tell the client to examine the vendors website, social media, and reviews. Websites and social media, are a great place to make sure what the vendor offers is a fit for you. It is also a great way to see the type of work they have done. Reviews are a little tricky, just because someone could just have a bad day and leave a bad review. Its a good thing to try and reach out to the person who leaves a bad review and ask them what exactly happened and if the company did anything to remedy the issue in a timely manner. Then ask someone who left a good review as to why they left a good review. Always get both good and bad.
Next, I let the client know its always good to ask the vendor if they are able to meet your needs in the time you need everything. Sometimes we are planning for things and the time frame is too short and the last thing you want is a vendor who cannot provide the services you are looking for in a short amount of time.
Finally, price. Price is a major factor in any decision we make on a daily basis. Do not be turned off because one vendor charges more for a service than someone else. It is OK to ask the vendor whty they charge this price over another vendor who charges a lesser fee. Every vendor has their reason for what they charge, but you should ask them and understand. Take me for example, there are other compettitors in my market that charge less for some services that I offer and I am OK with that. I know the value of the work I put in to make your experience unforgettable is worth every penny. Cheap is not quality work and quality work is not cheap.
Remember, do not be afraid to ask questions. A reputable vendor will always take the time to answer all your questions.