Partnering with a supplier and building relationships can bring beneficial results to your business.

Choosing the right partner, be it a symbol group or someone to help grow a particular category like food to go, can frequently yield a positive impact. Two-way communication is key to a successful relationship. Building trust among your partners is also vital.

Having the right partner or supplier can open up a customer base that perhaps was previously non-existent

Recently we re-negotiated a contract with our coffee machine supplier and we are already seeing the benefits of this at a very early stage.

It has allowed us to invest in our business and launch a new loyalty app, replacing the cards we used to have. We’re also now able to offer our shoppers more deals, using coffee as an incentive.

But would this have been possible without having a mutual understanding? Having the right partner or supplier can open up a customer base that perhaps was previously non-existent.

We had to show that we wanted to work with them and were prepared to deliver the results that not only benefited their business, but also our customers. Think of your partners as an extension to your business and use their expertise to help drive your business forward.

Here are my top three tips on how to build a good relationship with suppliers:

  1. Do your homework – research your partners. Talk to your colleagues and peers and find out if they have had any experience of working with them. Find out what benefits they can bring to your business.
  2. Share your goals with your partner. Ask them to come on the journey with you. What help and support can they offer you to achieve your aspirations?
  3. Don’t be afraid to grow. Learn by your mistakes and if something is not right don’t be afraid to fix it. Take the lessons and move forward.