You may already know that a successful business relies on happy staff and a steady stream of satisfied clients. How about your suppliers? Here’s why you should show your suppliers that you value them.

Gone are the days business owners thought it acceptable to treat suppliers poorly. The most successful SMEs treat tricks like late payment, voicemail-tennis and “the cheque’s in the post” as archaic practices which have no place in today’s business landscape.

In fact, the most profitable businesses know that good communication, respect and appreciation play a key role in driving the success of any business, on several levels. Treat suppliers well and your brand, reputation and finances will benefit.

Here are 3 ways you can show suppliers you appreciate them:

1. Take time to meet regularly with key suppliers and prospects

Try not to always talk shop. Getting to know suppliers (particularly if they are a small business, like you) will build strong relationships that last a business lifetime.

2. Segment your suppliers list

Segment your suppliers into people you could get to know personally (small businesses) and those who you value but are unlikely to ever meet such as business electricity suppliers. You can then devise suitable ways to show your appreciation to the two different levels of business

3. Remember suppliers at special occasions

Don’t forget your SME and face-to-face suppliers when sending Christmas cards or business birthday party invites. This shows your appreciation but can also lead to deeper and more fruitful business relationships between suppliers, clients and staff members.

What about the larger suppliers who you’re unlikely to interact with regularly?

You can still show vehicle, insurance and business energy suppliers that you appreciate their support. Making the most of any online tools, trackers and business energy saving systems they offer shows them that you use their services they provide regularly.

Finally, don’t forget the suppliers who support you through more difficult business situations. You may not automatically associate your business accountant, tax advisor and solicitor with happy times, but these suppliers are critical to the continued health of your business. Show those suits a little love. It might just surprise them.

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