Developing Relationships with Suppliers and Vendors:
Most business owners know the art of developing relationships with their present and new customer base. However, your connections with suppliers and vendors are also vital to your business’s success. Without your suppliers, you will lack the raw materials needed to operate your business and provide your product or services.
Of course, you look for the cheapest suppliers and vendors. However, reliability, quality and, most importantly, customer service, will all affect the total cost of your product. If you cannot rely on your suppliers, you may lose business from customers that need a quick solution or turnaround rather than a low price.
Do not rely on the first vendor that approaches you, whether it is Staples, Office Depot or a factory that will custom design your products. Always ask for references from fellow customers so that you can question other customers regarding the vendor’s reliability, communication and ability to solve problems quickly and cost effectively. Of course, never sign a contract with a vendor before you do your due diligence.
Have at least one backup vendor you can rely on should your main supplier fail to meet your needs at any one time. Even placing small orders with these order vendors to keep your relationship growing is preferable to scampering to find a new vendor when your current vendor cannot perform to your expectations.