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A common mistake of some business owners is to not recognize the value there is in building a relationship with vendors. Some entrepreneurs believe their relationship with the vendor ends when they pay the invoice. Experts believe you are missing out on a valuable business strategy if you don’t turn good vendors into your business partners.

These uncertain economic times have made the relationship between vendor and entrepreneur that much more important. Vendor competition is more aggressive than it was in the past. Your vendor(s) play an important part of the success of your business. The best scenario is when both parties are looking for a long-term relationship through good economic times and poor economic times.

Putting the Foundation Into Place

Like any other type of relationship, your relationship with your vendor(s) is built on communication and trust. In the early stages, it’s important that both parties are clear about what it is the need and want from the partnership. Vendors should be given all relevant information and they should know what the goals of your business are. The vendor needs to provide you with all their terms and requirements.

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Skip the do What We Tell You Model

Too often entrepreneurs take the attitude that the vendor should just do what you say. That’s not the best way to build a business partnership. When vendors were questioned about their most valuable clients, they said it was those businesses that had a clear line of communication. It’s really quite easy to build that relationship. Let go of the anxiety that letting go of every detail with your vendors means you lose control. By building a two-way communication stream, you will build a solid business partnership.

Trust Your Vendors

Think of your vendor as an advocate for your business. Of course, this means you should choose your vendors with care. You want to build long-term relationships with those that share the same values as you do, and that are knowledgeable, and skilled. You earn trust and respect and so do the vendors. Vendors who have worked with colleges you trust should be considered trustworthy by you.

Build a Partnership With Your Vendor

Building a business partnership with your vendor(s) may require some effort on your part, but you’ll be rewarded with a strong long-term relationship that you can count on. Your vendors are at the core of your business and when you know yours is solid then that’s just one less thing you have to worry about.

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