A lot of growing companies focus on one trait of their suppliers: price. And price certainly is important when you're selecting suppliers to accompany you as you grow your business. But there's more to a supplier than an invoice-and more to the cost of doing business with a supplier than the amount on a purchase order. Remember, too, that suppliers are in business to make money. If you go to the mat with them on every bill, ask them to shave prices on everything they sell to you, or fail to pay your bills promptly, don't be surprised if they stop calling.

Excerpted from Grow Your Business