Small Business Owners: Are You Being Let Down By Your Vendors?


As a small business, no matter what industry you serve, you will need help to create your products, deliver your services, or improve your organization. And the suppliers and vendors that you choose to partner with your business are of exceptional importance. 

Ultimately, poor-quality vendors often result in a poor-quality business, so developing first-class relationships with your suppliers is critical, no matter how large or small your business. 

But what if your vendors are letting you down? How can you tell if you are getting a raw deal, or are working with a company incapable of giving you what you need? Read on to find out more on how to tell if your supplier is letting you down and possibly sinking your business

Vetting The Vendors 

First of all, make sure you are performing some kind of due diligence procedure on any supplier you considering as a partner. While it’s not rocket science, it can be trickier than you think to find the right company that will fulfill your needs. A supplier’s reputation could be first-class, but if those recommendations come from the vendor’s favored customer, there is a chance you won’t receive the same service. That said, by asking around your business network and going through a rigorous interview process, and you should be able to weed out the wasters and choose the best vendors for your business. 

Keeping Track 

Once you have established a relationship with a supplier, it’s important to track your progress. Things can slip relatively quickly, and you need to be on top of things like quality control, delivery times, and contract obligations. Technology can help, of course, and whether you choose the leading contract management software advised by experts in your industry or take the time to look around for more suitable options for your business is down to you. But ultimately, tracking is critical to ensure your suppliers are doing what you need. 

Poor Communications 

If your suppliers are not being open with you when it comes to problems they are having, it’s going to cause you a big problem. At the end of the day, it’s going to harm your production, and without forewarning, it’s also going to cost you in lost time. Make sure you draw up a list of responsibilities and get everything down in writing. Once you have that in place, you then have a reference and relevant infrastructure to make sure that communications are a high priority

Inconsistency 

Finally, top suppliers are hard to find, and when you are a small business just starting out, you may struggle to get access to the very best. However, the least you should expect is consistency. Without that consistency across all levels - quality, communications, delivery times - the impact on your business could be significant. Make sure you are doing all you can to find out more about any company you are thinking about using. Ask previous and current clients about the supplier’s levels of consistency, and be quick to flag it up as an issue if you notice it is occurring.

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