|Top tips to get more from your suppliers & professional advisers
1. Review your terms of engagement with your suppliers: Chances are you may not need the same level of service than when you first engaged your supplier. Or, market conditions may have changed and you may be able to get the same level of service or quality of product for significantly less. For example, a 256Mb memory stick would have cost you over £50 in 2004. You can now buy a £16 Gb memory stick for £17! In the last 3 months the energy suppliers have all cut prices – are you seeing this price cut being passed on?
2. Use their network to find new business: Referrals and introductions are the second most cost effective method of business development (the first is gaining business from existing clients/customers). Who can your suppliers and advisers recommend your services to?
3. Don’t be afraid of the ‘new kid on the block’: Sometimes a relationship can get too cozy, or you have outgrown your current supplier. Relatively new businesses, rather than established businesses, are often keener and hungrier for business (plus have lower overheads!). In return for your supplier building expertise & credibility with yourself, you can negotiate very favourable terms and conditions. A new supplier or adviser, as well as giving you preferential rates to gain your business, will bring a fresh pair of eyes and ideas to your business.
4. Build strategic alliances: Where do you and your suppliers have mutually dependent goals and objectives? How can you both help each other with these goals?
5. Aim for long-term supplier relationships: It costs money and time to change your suppliers and professional advisers. The greater the knowledge your supplier has about you, the greater the chance that they can tailor their service, product, terms and conditions to what you actually need. When looking for a supplier, look for ones that have built up the long-term relationships with their customers.
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