Your vendors are your partners. Without them, you would not be able to stock your shelves or get the supplies your staff needs. Having good vendor relationships means less stress and better deals so you can focus on managing your business.
When working with vendors, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal, especially if you are just starting out. Fortunately, getting the most for your money when working with a vendor can be as simple as asking the right questions and being courteous. Here are four vendor management tips that can help you keep costs down while growing your business and keeping your vendor happy, too.
Do Your Research
The first way to make sure you get a good deal is to shop around before you sign on the dotted line. Researching and comparing vendors will give you a good sense of current offerings and prices. If you already have an ongoing relationship with a vendor, dedicating some time annually to researching current prices and offers will keep you informed. If needed, you can use that research to negotiate a better deal than what you currently have.
Many business owners believe that the prices quoted by vendors are set in stone. While that may be the case sometimes, it is not always so. Use the research you have done to inform your discussion with your vendor if it’s time to negotiate a better deal. You may surprise yourself by the savings you can earn just by asking. Even if the price is non-negotiable, you may be able work out favorable payment terms and give yourself more time to pay off a balance by negotiating the terms of the deal.
You make it a priority to wine and dine your clients, but don’t forget that forming strong relationships with your vendors can prove to be just as important. By making a personal connection with your vendors, they will be more willing to be your advocate. A good vendor relationship can benefit you in many ways, including discounted pricing, personalized service, expedited delivery, and faster and better support.
To maintain a good relationship, remember to be courteous if an issue or a mistake occurs and give your vendor a chance to make it right before escalating the issue. Show your gratitude for consistently good service so the vendor knows you appreciate their work.
Any vendor appreciates a consistent client, which requires you to plan ahead. While emergencies occur where you may suddenly need an influx of product overnight, generally, you should keep careful inventory and monitor your sales or usage history to create a schedule with your vendor. Once you develop a history and your vendor knows they can rely on you to be consistent, you may be able to negotiate a discount if you prepay for an entire order or order in bulk.
Need funds to pay off a big order or start expanding your inventory? Consider a small business loan so you can pay up front and get the most bang for your buck when negotiating with vendors. Contact IOU Financial for more information about how you can secure a small business loan in as little as 24 hours so you can have what you need on hand without stretching resources too thin.