Building vendor relationships is crucial while running your own business. It’s a mutual understanding between a buyer and a supplier who work together to supply or provide a quality product, service or experience, accomplish realistic goals, all while establishing a sense of trust.
It's important to establish a mutual understanding and growth opportunity of your brand with your vendors to create the best experience for your business. You want your brand to have a strong foundation and be exclusive to your journey. This experience is like constructing a sandcastle. Think back to a time when you last visited the beach. The most successful foundation for a sandcastle required great quality shovels and pails, unlimited amounts of water and sand, and your determination to see the plan all the way through. Once all your materials were put in place, you became engrossed in your craftsmanship and meticulous responsibilities. Building this relationship with your vendor is a similar concept. Does your vendor share the same goals with you? Are they meeting your quality of raw materials or products? Do you trust them? Do they trust you?
Embellish your metaphorical sandcastle by producing new products, new services, new markets. Do so in a way that keeps your brand’s integrity intact. Wholesale is one of the best ways to have consistency with your brand. A suggested retail price to your retailers with a written contract eliminates confusion, miscommunication, and promotes consistency. No matter where your items are being purchased, there’s clear expectations with the retailer and the consumer. As you’re carving the fine details and placing your flags at the top of your sandcastle, don’t get buried with inconsistent pricing for your goods and services.
While managing a vendor relationship may be a little bit more detailed than creating moats around sandcastles and decorating with flags and tunnels, the takeaway remains the same— build a strong foundation.