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By Benetrends • June 30, 2020

Small Business 101: Managing Vendor/Supplier Relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many challenges. Everyone is under pressure right now, but no one more than the small business owner. There is optimism that the gradual reopening process dictated by state and local governments will bring us back to being fully operational.  Even with all the challenges, there are opportunities for small busines owners. One is in the form of improving how small companies manage their supply chains.

There's a lot of talk about broken supply chains, but there are ways small businesses can prop up their vendor and supplier relationships by managing them more appropriately. Here are some tips to help you improve, and resources for small business funding to give you the leverage you need to compete in a volatile market.

Tips for Small Business Supply Chain Management

One of the lessons inherent in the COVID-19 crisis is that supply chain vendor management is critical to your small business success. Building a stronger relationship with the companies you depend on is crucial to the success of your business and, in most cases, just as important as small business funding and cash flow. 

Relationship building is a key component of managing customer relationships, too, and these same techniques will help you improve your supply chain. Here are some tips to apply to your vendor relationship now to help you weather any other unforeseen events in the future:

    • Leverage your vendor commitment. The goal is to build up enough of a relationship to ask your supplier for two things: A long-term price guarantee and for any discounts the vendor can provide. Small business owners must realize the competitive nature of the market and make concessions by committing to the vendor long-term as long as the relationship is a win/win for both parties. The alternative is to change vendors frequently to save a buck here and there. Small business owners must balance the time they spend researching these short-term opportunities against building stronger long-term vendor relationships. 
    • Get to know your suppliers and understand their business. They are likely to feel the stresses of the current market. Seek to develop enough of a relationship that you can work together to create a mutually beneficial relationship. Are there resources that you can share with the vendor to strengthen their bond with your company? Are you transparent about your situation whenever possible and do you seek that same transparency?                                                                                                         
Building stronger supplier relationships starts with small business funding that gives you the cash flow to shore up your business. Benetrends is here to help you establish a stronger foundation.

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Working Capital Funding and Small Business Supply Chains

Benetrends is a valuable first line of defense for companies in a volatile market. We can help your vendor relationships by giving you the breathing space you need to get your supply chain back on track. Our services include working capital funding and 401(k) funding to help the small business owner. We specialize in an innovative approach to small business funding that will help you stay prepared during what has become a very challenging time for many of our clients. Talk to our team. We can help you move forward.

To find out more about small business funding, download The Definitive Guide To 401(k)/ROBS Business Funding.