Get What You Need

Maintaining A Positive Relationship With Suppliers

Because suppliers can play such vital roles in your entrepreneurial success, maintaining positive relationships with them is a must. Here are three important ways to do so.

1. Express your appreciation. One of the easiest ways to ensure good working relationships with your suppliers is to express thanks for a job well done. Everyone enjoys sincere appreciation, and it pays off in the long run, during those times when you require rush service or special accommodations.

2. Put it in writing. Avoid the temptation to rely on verbal agreements, especially when you first start working with new suppliers. The most important piece of advice for any entrepreneur is to always put important agreements in writing. Not only will this help if the need for formal legal action arises, but it also forces you and your supplier to work out all of the important aspects of your agreement (such as prices, due dates, and specific services to be performed) in advance.

3. Fulfill your part of the bargain. You expect your supplier to deliver the goods on time, so be sure to do the same. Too many entrepreneurs today miss deadlines of their own, expecting their suppliers to work longer or harder to pick up the slack. This is both unfair and unrealistic. Follow through on your commitments in a timely fashion and your supplier will likely do the same later.

Contact Sources

B-School Cleaners, djwaldow@umich.edu

Suzanne George Shoes, 526 Seventh Ave., #3, San Francisco, CA 94118.

usedmall.com LLC, 25 Rockwood Pl., #4, Englewood, NJ 07631, (800) 683-1608.

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This article was originally published in the July 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Get What You Need.

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