Appreciating your vendors even when you don’t feel like it.

I have many small business owners or mompreneurs who come to me complaining about their China vendors. Most of the time quality is not the issue. It is cost. Costs gradually go up over time, and sometimes there is a big increase. The small business owner, with all the downward price pressures they face, feels helpless and approaches me to help them find a new vendor. Of course I am more than willing to help them but my advice very early in our conversations is always to stop for a minute, take a deep breath, and look more sympathetically at their current vendor. After all it is their current vendor who has helped them build their business to this point.

I have said this many times that just as there is no perfect spouse. there is no perfect vendor. If you have a vendor who has helped you build a business over the years, no matter what issues you have with that vendor, you have to see them as part of your family, so to speak, and appreciate them for that. That does not mean you can not look for a new vendor. You can and perhaps should. But don’t do, as so many who come to me are inclined to do, and look on those years you have spent with your current vendor as a waste of time.

If you do find a new vendor, make sure you spend time with that vendor before you leave your old vendor. Who knows the new vendor might be much worse than the old vendor. In fact, I just had a client say to me the other day, “ Geez, Vendor Y (her current vendor) is looking better all the time. “

The bottom line is growth. If your business is growing with your current vendor, is that so bad ? I don’t think so.

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