The fourth blog post in our series of guest articles is all around suppliers.

Suppliers can make or break business. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship; we need them, they need us.

There often good reasons why we decide to change our suppliers, but there’s also a tendency to just look at the dollars when making these decisions. If the new supplier provides a better deal – why not switch?

In some industries, such as banking, energy and telecommunications, there are rewards for switching suppliers, but there are also costs associated with changing suppliers that aren’t always obvious.

Let’s take a look at a few and if you’re thinking of switching suppliers, use this as a checklist to ensure you really are getting a better deal.

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A great supplier is a brilliant asset to a business and the value they deliver to your business can increase the longer you’ve been their customer.

Unfortunately like in life relationships, not all business relationships are positive for both parties. They may have started off brilliantly, but you may get a feeling it’s not going as well now.

It’s easy to stick our heads in the sand and focus on getting through each day delivering to our customers. But this means we may be missing the signs that our suppliers are actually holding our business back.

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The easy flow of money between businesses is not just good for those businesses; it’s good for the economy.

I also think it sets a good example as a business if you treat other businesses in the way you’d like to be treated.

So paying promptly without fuss is not only vital in a commercial sense, but it can make also make the difference when it comes to who people choose to work with.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. In fact, a group of business leaders got together a couple of years ago and developed a code around paying small businesses promptly.

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Keep an eye out for coming posts which will include themed articles such as networking events, PR and more. If you missed the first three in the series, you can read them via the links below.

Guest articles – a series: End of financial year for small business

Guest articles – a series: Customers

Guest articles – a series: Motivation and rebooting your mojo