Lots of entrepreneurs get into running their own businesses out of a desire to be their own boss. This is admirable, but it doesn’t mean that you can take on the world on your own. Not only will you need a team of dedicated staff by your side, but you’ll also need to work with various suppliers over the years. Maintaining strong business-to-business (B2B) relationships is a key component on running a company. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Does It Matter?
First of all, it’s important to ask why improving your supplier relationships is important. The reality is this isn’t just about being nice. It’s actually an advantage to you as the business owner to build B2B links. The relationship you have with your supplier can not only have a direct effect on the quality of products you have coming in and the timeliness of their arrival, but strong B2B links can even spur innovation and help you to stay on top of the competition. You should try and take advantage of their knowledge of the industry to better your products and services. Remember, if there’s one person who knows your product more than you do, it’s your supplier.
How Can YouImprove?
Don’t be unprofessional: Of course, the biggest way you can improve your relationship with your supplier is to be professional. Maintaining the basic business standards, like meeting payment deadlines regularly or consistently adhering to a professional image, doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover though. Outline your requirements early on and ensure that all parties in the agreement are upholding their responsibilities.
Don’t be a stranger: Making clear communication a priority should be another one of your initial priorities. Unless it puts you at a clear competitive disadvantage, you shouldn’t hesitate to give them clear and achievable expectations for how many products you expect to sell. Keep them up to date on any significant changes to your requirements and enough time to adjust their own business strategy accordingly.
Don’t let the world pass you by: You shouldn’t be afraid of adopting new technology. Businesses are now more reliant on software than ever before. Specialist software providers can quickly get you up and running with your own telephony network to handle calls, email, fax, and more. Creating an infrastructure that can effectively scale with your business and incorporate all of your B2B relationships will be a huge asset to your company.
You and your supplier share common interests. After all, when your business does well so does theirs. While maintaining a positive relationship with another company isn’t always easy, the end results are much more appealing than the alternative.