You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Your Supplier Is Your Friend You must establish good relationships with suppliers to keep your business stocked with success.

entrepreneur daily

Reliability is the key factor to look for in suppliers. Goodsuppliers will steer you toward hot-selling items, increasing yoursales. If you build a good relationship and your business isprofitable for them, suppliers may be willing to bail you out whenyour customers make difficult demands.

Remember, though, that suppliers are in business to make money.If you go to the mat with them on every bill, ask them to shaveprices on everything they sell to you, or fail to pay your billspromptly, don't be surprised when they stop calling.

As a new business owner, you can't expect to receive thesame kind of attention a long-standing customer gets right off thebat. Over time, however, you can develop excellent workingrelationships that will be profitable for both you and yoursuppliers.

Once you have compiled a list of possible suppliers, ask forquotes or proposals, complete with prices, available discounts,delivery terms and other important factors. Don't just considerthe terms; investigate the potential supplier's financialcondition, too. Ask for customer references; call them and find outhow well the supplier has performed. If there have been anyproblems, ask for details about how they were reconciled. Everysupplier relationship hits bumps now and then; the key is to knowhow the rough spots were handled. Was the supplier prompt andhelpful in resolving the problem, or defensive anduncooperative?

Be open, courteous and firm with your suppliers, and they willrespond in kind. Tell them what you need and when you need it. Havea specific understanding about the total cost, and expect deliveryon schedule. Keep in constant communication with your suppliersabout possible delays, potential substitutions for materials orproduct lines, production quality, product improvements or newproduct introductions and potential savings.

Suppliers often establish a minimum order for merchandise, andthis minimum may be higher for first orders to cover the cost ofsetting up a new store account. Some suppliers also demand aminimum number of items per order.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-UpBook You'll Ever Need, by Rieva Lesonsky and the staff ofEntrepreneur magazine

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Living

Narcissism Can Help You Be Successful — Here's How to Harness It Without Going Too Far, According to an Ivy League-Trained Psychotherapist

Matt Lundquist, founder and clinical director of TriBeCa Therapy, breaks down the benefits of healthy narcissism.

Franchise

Looking for a Spotless Investment Opportunity? Discover the Best Cleaning Franchises to Own in 2024.

From sparkling floors to polished windows, clean your way to success with the best cleaning franchises, according to the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking.

Business News

A Look Inside the Company That Is Making $500 Million a Year Serving Italian Beef Sandwiches Made Famous by 'The Bear'

Portillo's CEO Michael Osanloo shares his secret to keeping hungry customers coming back again and again. (Hint: It requires a lot of napkins.)

Business News

A Non-Profit Newspaper Published a Column Criticizing Facebook. Then Meta Blocked All of Its Posts.

Facebook's communications chief said that the posts were removed because of "a mistaken security issue."

Science & Technology

4 Ways AI Startups Can Avoid Becoming Obsolete

Navigate the AI revolution with these strategic insights to build startups resilient enough to withstand rapid AI advancements and the ever-evolving tech ecosystem.