We spend a lot of time dealing with our business suppliers, so you need to make sure you have a great relationship with yours.
By taking the time and effort to build relationships beyond that of just transactions, you’ll be best placed to get a better deal and make your job that bit more enjoyable.
Choosing the right suppliers
By choosing suppliers that are on your wavelength as a business, they often become much more than just suppliers, but extensions of your own business.
Trusted partners genuinely want to see you succeed and work alongside you. Lyle Epstein, President, and CEO of IT services company www.korteksolutions.com states “technology can take businesses to new heights when it’s chosen wisely” and “we understand the challenges small and medium businesses are likely to face along the way.”
Don’t just go with the cheapest supplier you can find, but one that you will be able to develop a great working relationship with.
Pay them on time
In 2017, 90% of suppliers experienced businesses not paying their bills on time.
Nothing will strain a working relationship like not paying your bills. It puts pressure on your contact at the company and you’ll more than likely want to avoid talking to them so you don’t have to have that awkward conversation.
Make sure they are paid in line with agreed payment terms. If there is likely to be a problem paying an invoice, let them know if plenty of time, they may be more understanding than you think. Burying your head in the sand will damage any trust that has been built up.
Take time to understand your suppliers
Take an interest in your suppliers’ business. Be supportive of them where you can. Ensure you how their account management structure works. Is there one point of contact that you have to route all requests and queries through or is it a team that deals with client queries as and when they come in.
Brief your suppliers properly
Some areas of business aren’t just the usual transactional ones. When looking to work with a branding agency or website development company, a strong brief, agreed by both parties is the cornerstone of a working relationship.
Make sure you know what to expect from them in terms of overall project milestones, timings, and deliverables.
This is to protect both parties. With an agreed brief in place, you can hold someone to account if they aren’t delivering on what they promised. From an agency’s point of view, it means that they are not at the mercy of someone who moves the goalposts on a regular basis as to what a project should consist of.
Remember that people buy from other people
Apply the same principles to working with suppliers as you would to any other business relationship. Be personable, not just an email or occasional call. You don’t need to become best friends but by just being an approachable person, who is genuinely interested in others, you’ll reap the benefits for your business.
By building this foundation, you are in a much better position to handle any issues that come along.