When you are at the beginning of your booklet adventure, you might imagine your business as a business of one. But, the truth is your business is not a solo operation. While you will play the chief role in your business, you will need the help of vendors in order to achieve success. And even when you do your job perfectly, if your vendors don’t do their job it can cost you your riches. Here are the four signs of a bad vendor and why you should avoid them.
Vendors Who Can’t Meet Deadlines
One of the biggest problems you will face with your vendors is not getting your deadlines met. These vendors are not well organized and don’t know how to prioritize. They become overwhelmed when business gets stacked up, and they tend to take the largest and best paying projects first. If your project is a smaller one for them, it might be shelved for a while, or perhaps permanently. This can be extremely frustrating when you are anxious to get your project finished.
Vendors who don’t meet your deadlines often can’t meet their own either. You ask them for a price quote, and then you wait, and wait and wait, even when they’ve promised to get right back to you. Or, you hand them your project and they’ve told you it will take one week for them to get their part done, and a week later you haven’t heard from them. When a vendor tells you something will be done by a certain date, you have every right to expect that work to be done on that date.
Avoid these vendors like the plague. If you’ve worked with a vendor who has always done a good job for you in the past and suddenly misses a deadline, give him one more chance. But, if he misses the deadline again, move on. This vendor will cost you in time, which will cost you in money. Remember, the sooner you get to market the sooner you can make money. A vendor who can’t meet deadlines will keep you from getting to market.
Vendors Who Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
Some vendors will promise you the moon to get your business. These vendors may do a spectacular job for you the first time around, but the next time you use them you’ll have nothing but problems. Suddenly they can’t seem to get the work done right, or on time. And what’s worse is they don’t seem to care. They’re too focused on getting new business in the door to take care of you.
If you find yourself in this situation, give the vendor one last chance. Sometimes things come up that can cause a problem the second time you use them. If their work was stellar the first time, the hope is it will be the next time, but remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Give them one more chance, and if the third time isn’t a charm, RUN!
Greedy vendors will give you a fantastic price on the work you need done, and then raise the price on the next project you give them even if that project is the same in size and scope as the first one. Sometimes these vendors raise their prices over a few weeks or months, a little at a time, thinking you won’t notice. Other times they’ll bump the price up immediately, giving you an excuse for the price hike should you happen to ask about it.
If a vendor offers you a fantastic price, by all means take it. But, don’t expect them to do it again. If they do, that’s great. But, be prepared for them to raise their price the next time around, and be willing to walk if they do.
Vendor’s Employees Who Couldn’t Care Less
Finally, even when you do have a good vendor doing a job for you, you’ll often find that the vendors employees don’t seem to care about your project. It’s not a priority for them. They don’t care about the vendor’s business. They care about their paycheck, but they don’t seem to equate it with the business they work for. Their mind isn’t on your project or what you need from them. They’re too busy thinking about what they did last weekend, or what they’ll do next weekend. They’re making plans for what they’ll do when they get off work. They think the boss works them too hard and pays them too little. These people are indifferent. Sometimes they have attitude problems because they don’t like their jobs. And while they’ll never tell you any of this directly, it will show up in their performance.
Just as your business can only be as strong as everyone involved in it, the same holds true for your vendors. Vendors who have employees can only offer great service when their employees do a great job. When the employees don’t care and yet continue to work there, something is wrong. The boss needs to fire them. If he doesn’t, he’ll lose business – yours! Don’t put up with callous or uncaring employees. Make your complaint to the boss. If nothing happens, take your business elsewhere.
You Can’t Fix Their Problems
You can’t fix any of these problems. You can’t prioritize someone’s time or work for them. You can’t make a vendor be honest about their services or the prices they charge. You can’t train their employees or motivate them to do a better job, nor do you have the power to fire those employees. The only power you have is to walk out the door, and hopefully you’ll use that power before you become too frustrated and the situation costs you too much in time or money.
Once a vendor goes bad, expect they’ll always be bad. Even if they do manage to someday correct their problems, you can’t afford to wait for that to happen. Leave now and you’ll spare your sanity and your wallet. There are plenty of good vendors out there who will appreciate your business and be happy to serve you.
To your riches!
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