We all understand the importance of good business relationships but rarely do we ever put that understanding into action. Some of the flimsiest relationships we have as business owners are the ones with have with our suppliers. Be it a supplier from China, from your own country or even someone a few minutes down the road from you, it’s important to build good working relationships with the people that supply you with the tools and goods you need in order to be successful.
So to help you out, we’ve put together a few tips on how you can maintain and build better relationships with your suppliers.
Never rush orders
Suppliers hate it when unnecessary pressure is put on their employees, even if it means they’re getting paid more. Be fair to your suppliers and never put unnecessary pressure on their staff because you messed up an order and accidentally ordered too few or too many of an item.
If there are no alternatives, focus on those relationships first
Let’s face it, how many architectural cladding suppliers do you think exist in your local area versus tech equipment suppliers? If you’re in a niche business or you connect with suppliers that are one-of-a-kind (at least in your area) then you need to build good relationships with those businesses. If you don’t focus on these, then there’s a good chance you’ll be out of business or be forced to source your materials from suppliers that are further away or more expensive.
Speak with your suppliers on a regular basis
Even if it’s just conversing over the phone about your latest shipment, you need to build good relationships by taking advantage of any networking opportunities you come across. When you pay your invoices, chat with them and tell them how much you appreciate their business. Consider sending them gifts of your products when appropriate and invite them to your speeches and keynotes to make them feel like they’re an appreciated part of your production chain.
Never make late payments
Businesses hate it when punctuality is ignored. Make sure you pay your invoices on time and promptly to avoid a bad relationship in the future. If you have to make a late payment for one reason or another, make sure you communicate with your supplier or else you’ll find it difficult to mend your relationship in the future. Coordinate with your financial department and make sure you always have the right amount of money to pay your suppliers or else you’ll quickly spiral into a poor relationship and you might find it difficult to work with your supplier in the future. If you manage to always make payments on time and never cause problems, then you’ll easily build a good working relationship with your supplier.
Don’t be afraid to renegotiate
Make sure you’re not afraid to renegotiate the terms of your trade now and then to get the best deal for both you and your supplier. This is especially important when dealing with overseas suppliers from places like China. This is especially important if the quality of the products declines.