those products in the event of an issue. The vendor should be knowledgeable about the
products and also know about industry trends and rumors that may be floating around. A
good vendor source can give you the edge over the competition in terms of information.
As you establish good relationships, I encourage you to continue to shop around. It gives
you a chance to “test” your vendor and keep him or her honest. Once you have an estab-
lished account, and then stop ordering because you found a cheaper price somewhere else,
a good vendor will react and retain your business.
When you're working with vendors, remember that they are working for you. That's to say,
you're their customer, so it's protocol for you to demand that they keep their promises and
deliver excellent support. Your customers will demand the same of you, right?
A good vendor is easy to do business with. When placing an order, you'll be able to count
on the fact that the product you're looking for is in stock and will ship with a turnaround
time you're used to receiving. If there are any hiccups in the process, the vendor will con-
tact you immediately and give you a solution.
At the same time, communicate with your vendors, stay professional, and treat them with
the respect that they deserve. Since you're going to be running a professional, well-respec-
ted business there's no reason to not treat your vendors as you would want to be treated.
In the long run, you will find that vendors will help you, the calm, reasonable customer,
before they go out of their way to help the unreasonable one.
The bottom line is that the better the relationship between your business and your vendors,
the more concessions they will make. If your sales skyrocket and you start spending hun-
dreds of thousands of dollars each year with vendors, they will give you better pricing,
which in turn leads to more profits, which leads to more money available for advertising,
which leads to more sales and more items you'll need to order from your vendor.
How to Get Net Terms
It can't hurt to ask. New businesses without a credit history are the highest risk. You may
want to introduce yourself and your business directly to either the business owner or the
credit department manager of the supplier you would like to do business with. Offer to
show the decision maker your business plan and explain that you need your first order on
credit in order to launch your service business. The vendor you're looking at may have
terms available to new businesses or simply grant you an account based on your open con-
versation and honesty.