A major factor in the health and profitability of your business is your relationship with your suppliers and vendors that will be supplying you and your customers with services and products. Nowadays when competition is so intense, and time is critical, it’s more valuable than ever before to have a handle on the vendors and suppliers who work with you. You absolutely need systems in place that not only enable you to determine whether or not a particular vendor will be right for you, but also keep your business legally protected. This goes for online businesses as well, particularly if you are outsourcing services.
Start at the beginning – Evaluating a vendor or supplier
Taking the time to research a potential vendors resume is best done at the start, so you can avoid as many problems as you can. Know the answers to questions like these:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many employees do they have?
- How well are they doing?
- Ask to speak to current and former customers, and if there is any hesitance, reconsider this choice.
- Who would you be working with, and what kind of guarantee is there that they’ll come through for you?
- What happens when there is an emergency?
- How hungry are you for my business?
Make everyone accountable!
Making sure everyone is doing their part is essential in a relationship that uses vendors and suppliers. In addition, it has to be a beneficial arrangement for all involved. Set performance guidelines early on as to what is expected, and adhere rigorously to them. Don’t let weak performance go unchallenged. Be sure that the vendor or suppliers you choose have a solid management style in use. You really want someone there looking after your business for you!
Don’t be scared to cut ties!
If it all goes south, and it does from time to time, don’t be hesitant to move on to another vendor or supplier. Give them an opportunity to correct things with a formal notice, but if it doesn’t get fixed, move on. You can’t afford not to!