As a small business owner, building strong business relationships is a crucial component to the overall success of your company. Not only is developing connections with both your customers and employees important, it’s also just as important to have strong relationships with your vendors. And while you aren’t able to exactly control the profit you make you are able to manage your costs and improve your profit margin by building and maintaining these relationships.

Communication is the key in any working business relation. By providing friendly, open dialogue you are proving yourself to be trustworthy. Trust leads to respect and negotiations are best dealt with when there is an underlying mutual respect between the parties. Know how both sides will walk away feeling pleased with the outcome. You never want to come across as cut-throat. Being mean and nasty will only leave you with a bad reputation and a limited list of people willing to work with you.


Quick tips to assure you are ready for negotiations:

-Be sure to get quotes from more than one vendor. Have at least two other suppliers you can reference during the negotiation process. In a competitive market, having these numbers can greatly influence any decision making if made known to the other side.

-Don’t accept the first offer you receive. You should be prepared for a counteroffer, and ready to bargain back and forth until both sides are happy with the conclusion.


And no matter what, remember to keep emotions in check and convey respect at all times. That way, vendors and customers alike will want to continue doing business with you in the future.


Article by
Ava Collins
Content Writer and Researcher

Student award winner Ava Collins