Your Vendors: How To Manage Them

When a business relationship with vendors is good, it can form a strong and strategic partnership that
strengthens and develops your business.

Many businesses don’t have the capability or skills that are needed to build technology departments into their business
plans. Vendors can support businesses in this area. Vendors have the resources to tap into their expertise and
provide guidance on how your business can promote your services. A vendor can give advice on which goals should be a priority.

Establishing solid relationships with your vendors is crucial to staying competitive. This is true in both
customer service and business growth. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

Two-sided relationships

The relationship isn’t a one-sided one. Both you and the vendor need to engage with one another to establish in-depth growth and development plans. Hold one another accountable. Vendors can also help businesses execute
strategic plans by providing services that may be out of reach. These could be marketing resources or technical
recommendations. Vendor partnerships with strong foundations also lead to efficiency in operations. Having a
good vendor allows you to reduce the number of resources required with simpler, automated processes. As you
can tell, this is good for your bottom line.

A positive vendor lifts you up

Vendors have lots of expertise and valuable advice to share with you. Whether they’re forthcoming or not
depends on the relationship you have with them. Just like any working relationship, a relationship between a
business and a vendor is not just transactional. The traditional format of the vendor-buyer relationship is no
longer enough to stay competitive. You both need to go much deeper than that. To have a vendor that lifts you
up requires you to establish a two-way relationship and dialogue. Strive to help each other.

Both parties have key responsibilities. Vendors should listen to their clients to discover what services, support,
and products they truly want. You, on the other hand, should engage proactively with the vendor to gain access
to promotions, bundles, and marketing tools. This will help you provide better services to your clients and
stand above your competition.

How can you get more out of your Vendor?

Often, small businesses don’t have enough budget or time to plan and carry out technical programs on a big
scale. Vendors can plug this gap. You can ask vendors how they invest in making their client network a success.
Another question to ask is, do they create systems to help your business scale? To help support the vendors become
actively involved in their promotions.

You need to work to make the most out of your vendor partnership. When dealing with a vendor, articulate
your needs clearly. In turn, your vendor has to make it easy for you to have access to the materials and
resources you need to sell your services. There is no place for being timid here. Ask the vendor how they can
help you and what the available support is. An example of this might include vendor management. An IT company that handles all of your vendor needs and connects with your trusted vendors is a great way to optimize your relationship to make your business run smoother.

Build your relationship

Often, business owners are quick to criticize a vendor for not providing or offering the support that was
expected. We must remember that this is a reciprocal partnership and a two-way street. The relationship needs
to work for both parties. Sometimes, owners find that their vendor isn’t creating the positive effect on their
business that they would like. For this to happen, you must engage fully with the vendor to set achievable,
common goals. Spending time to establish the right partner is an investment SMBs often can’t afford to miss.
Having a trusted partnership with a vendor impacts your company’s success.

Collaborate with technology

Simply listing each other’s company on your website is not a collaboration. For the relationship to go deeper, it
should involve the integration of technology. An intertwined technological relationship will open up ways to
create more innovative services.
Being collaborative as a technology partner is an important consideration that many businesses can benefit
from.

What if your Vendor is negative to your day-to-day operations?

Strive to build and maintain good relationships with vendors. Remember, vendors also have to play a positive
role in the relationship. Some vendors aren’t good for your business and it’s important to work with the ones that
are. As MSPinsights.com describes, sometimes vendors alienate themselves by offering “channel” products that
mean they have direct contact with your clients. You might even find vendors that offer competing products to
the end clients or require them to sign contracts. This kind of ‘offer’ often suggests that these vendors are not
interested in treating your business as a legitimate partner.

Final thoughts

For best results, you need to become your vendor’s favorite partner. Essentially, you’ve got to find someone
who wants to build a partnership that works two ways. If you need a little help managing your vendors,
remember that we can do that for you. Contact us and we’d be happy to get the ball rolling.