Despite the legends of self-made tycoons, the business world is an interconnected web of professional contacts. This dependence is most evident between business owners and their vendors. Without one another, work would grind to a standstill. Since suppliers can make or break your business, it’s your priority to find reliable vendors and build relationships.
Seeking Out Suppliers
Especially starting out, the search for suppliers can be tough. Besides cost, there are countless other concerns. Whether you need equipment for your office, materials for your factory or used truck body parts for your fleet, you want vendors you can count on. Suppliers should not only provide a quality product, but also have an efficient delivery system. Moreover, representatives must be responsive to queries and requests.
To really know who you’re dealing with, research each candidate’s reputation as a company, including info on individual leaders. Pay attention to financial disclosures and other public records. Upstanding firms tend to have higher levels of transparency.
Cultivating Working Relationships
While securing suppliers is a fine start, maintaining good relations is what really keeps businesses running. This means extending your vendors a certain loyalty, even when some of your shipments show up in a subpar state. If problems persist, you naturally have the right to reconsider your relationship. Just remember that all businesses suffer setbacks, including yours. By cutting your suppliers some slack in their time of trouble, they’ll likely give you a little leeway during your own difficulties.
This sort of courtesy and communication characterizes the best business connections. A close rapport with your regular supplier sales reps can get you your goods at the best possible price, and much more besides. It also allows you to address any issues that arise before dismissing your vendors out of hand. The hope of a casual solution can save you the headache of seeking new suppliers.
In business, suppliers and owners function in a symbiotic system. Treat your vendors with respect, expect them to do the same, and both of your businesses will benefit.