Managing Vendors and Suppliers
It’s pretty much impossible to grow a small business without relying on qualified vendors and suppliers—relationships that can drive how quickly you’re able to grow your company. Of course, you’ll need vendors to provide computer hardware and software, office supplies, insurance products and banking services. However, you’ll also rely on relationships that are specific to your type of business. These include:
- Manufacturing, where suppliers provide a steady supply of raw materials or components.
- Retailing, which requires that you maintain an appropriate level of inventory or risk losing customers.
- Service businesses, where you may need supplies, machinery and equipment to help you serve your customers.
For each need, you’ll need to make sure you select the right vendor, and manage the relationship to assure prompt and reliable shipments and that you get an appropriate level of service and support. But you’ll also need to prepare for contingencies—such as if a vendor relationship deteriorates or a supplier goes out of business.