Five Ways To Improve Supplier Relationships

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It doesn’t matter who you are talking to, good relationships in business are key to success. You can have as many clients and supplier relationships as anyone else, but if you’re not managing these relationships correctly, you’re more likely to find that problems arise later on. 

Having strong relationships with your suppliers doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and time together to build something worth having, and any company stands to benefit from these secure relationships. It pays off to put in the time and effort to build meaningful and worthy relationships with your suppliers, and it’s important to stick with it every step of the way.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five ways you can improve those supplier relationships.

Excellent Communication

Establishing the relationship between two companies isn’t always easy but with the right communication, you can make it work. You may think this is easy, but it’s difficult to master when you are new to business. There are ways to communicate effectively and respectfully, whether you are going to your supplier for cardboard boxes or butterfly valves. Understanding how to work with them is vital to your success, and you can open up the relationship to be more beneficial to you both when you communicate well.

Set Efficient Goals

You want something from your supplier, and they want something from you. The key is knowing what each other want and sticking to it. Having mutual respect comes from knowing what to expect from one another, so lay down those goals early on and you won’t be disappointed.

Be Financially Punctual

It doesn’t help your business if your clients are late paying you for your service, so as you can imagine, it doesn’t help your supplier if you are late paying yours. If you absolutely must be late with your payments, then you absolutely must tell your supplier that the payment is coming late. It’s respectful to let them know. It’s even better to not be late in the first place!

Be Positive

You are human, and your supplier is human, too. Instead of placing blame, always give each other room for mistakes. They happen and the best thing to do is to move past them with positivity and not blame. If something is your fault, own it and move on – and they’ll do the same.

Always Review

There is always room for a cheaper option, a better option or just plain new pastures when it comes to supplier relationships. One of the most effective ways to avoid being complacent is to ensure that you are keeping up with reviewing your relationships. Review these against your budget and your expectations, and let yourself explore what else is out there. It doesn’t mean you have to leave a trusted supplier, it just means that you’re open to the things that will benefit you and your business.

Relationships are important for success: don’t take them for granted.


All Business Relationships Survive & Thrive In The Following Ways:

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Businesses are known for acting in a relatively selfish manner. We all know that while a business might exercise goodwill and be ran by profoundly decent people, the structure of a business must be geared towards survival if it hopes to continue. Even non-profit organizations in pursuit of a great cause will need funding to pay salaries, office rental, and a range of logistical costs to ensure their work can be achieved. This means, just like people, our businesses can be friendly up until a point, as long as their basic needs are met.

However, just like human relationships, sometimes a firm can help itself survive by allying itself with those around it. Businesses can thrive on goodwill just as human partnerships can, and not only survive, but thrive. It can be essential to know where to begin if you hope to establish yourself as more of a reliable force in the market.

Consider our advice:

Goodwill Between Firms

Goodwill often comes in the form of little actions. For example, you may decide to forgo a current small debt thanks to a large upcoming order, or perhaps deliver the goods for free despite the relative cost incurred to you. You may send free sample or full products to their office. For example, if you supply a firm with computer parts, you may send a batch of branded mouse-mats for free to help them set up. View this guide to nurturing your supply chain relationships for even more advice regarding upstream and downstream business connections.

Goodwill can also mean referring them to another firm who could better settle inquiries you can’t quite manage, putting in a good word for them. It might be that you offer free training, or something simple. A restaurant might offer discounted delivery lunches for staff of an office responsible for handling their marketing. This kind of goodwill connects firms, people, and helps out in small ways. It is akin to having a friend. In such a competitive industry, this can feel like a breath of fresh air.

Take Care Of The Customer

The customer isn’t always right, but they are always valuable. This means that taking steps to take care of your customers will often help them take care of you in kind. Remaining honest about how products are made, honoring long-term customers with loyalty rewards, celebrating customers with an outreach program or generally doing everything you can to keep quality high will result in a carefully considered relationship that helps honesty travel in both directions.

Remain Transparent

Remaining transparent is the easiest method of gaining trust. Let’s say one of your business partners commits a PR nightmare, such as posting a tweet that has vaguely abhorrent political undertones. This sounds like an unlikely scenario, but it happens. Your connection to a firm like this can be a PR nightmare for yourself also, so disconnecting from them but doing nothing to hide your previous relationship can show you are committed to living by your values. Or, it might be that you believe the firms intention was mischaracterized, and sometimes sticking by them can show rationality and dedication that both customers and other businesses may appreciate.

With these tips, we hope your business relationships remain worthwhile.

Growing Your Small Business By Outsourcing

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In business, you don’t have to keep every procedure that you do ‘in-house.’ You can outsource specific assignments, or even whole departments of your company to other businesses, when it comes to work that you can’t (or don’t want to do) yourself. Businesses don’t always need to be in direct competition, and can work side by side for mutual benefit. Here’s what you need to know about outsourcing.

Why would you send work to other companies?

There are certain tasks in business that require specific tools, materials or expertise. Purchasing your own equipment and hiring your own employees comes with risk. What can be quicker, cheaper and less hassle can be sending the work to a company that already has these things in place. For example, instead of manufacturing your own products (that would require factory space, warehousing space, vehicles, machines and more) you could hire a company which already has this set up to manufacture for you. When it comes to IT services, companies like will have employees with experience and expertise, and the right equipment. In the long term, you might consider setting up these processes yourself, but it’s not something a small business can necessarily afford (or have the skills to do) in the beginning. Therefore, outsourcing allows your business the chance to grow but with less pressure on you to oversee every task, and without being held back by money for upfront costs.

Be sure to sustain business connections.

Outsourcing work to another company requires trust. Your business is of course important to you, and you need to know that everything being completed on your behalf is done to a standard that you’re happy with. For this reason, you need to maintain good business relationships, with good communication and regular meetings to ensure the standard is being met. Outsourcing benefits both companies- they have a regular client and regular work coming in, and you have a company who is able to complete the work that you can’t. So it makes sense for you both to nurture this relationship.

Evaluate frequently

If you find that the standard slips, or that another company is able to offer you a better deal then it could be worth making the switch. If you attend trade shows or business expos, you’ll come across lots of other companies who may be able to offer you a better or more tailored service. To keep your business moving forward you need to ensure that the outsourced company is doing the best work possible. So it won’t always make sense to stay loyal to one business, especially if another is able to offer you something better.

Outsourcing is a way for your business to grow when you don’t have lots of money upfront to create new departments. In some cases, it will make sense to continue outsourcing long term, and others you will be better off creating your own in-house departments when you can afford to do so. Either way, it’s something that can be highly beneficial to most kinds of businesses at some point in their journey.