Reciprocal business

Oscar Wilde's famous definition of a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. In a world where we are constantly blitzed with offers that are usually based on prices of goods, thus effectively masking the true value gained from the transaction as a whole, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. This period of enforced inactivity, may be a good time to reflect on value and how we can get more of it from the people who supply us with our business needs. Value isn't just about money though, getting the best value from our time is equally important. In a small business, we have to get the best out of every resource at our disposal.
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nhcbr900
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Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 am

Reciprocal business

Post by nhcbr900 »

Taking a look at the supply chain for our businesses may be revealing. Are we buying inefficiently? Could we change suppliers to someone who may give us business in return, or offer us promotion to their network? Could we get better prices/terms/shipping costs by changing sources? Maybe a local provider has been overlooked in the past but could offer better overall value in other ways?

nhcbr900
Site Admin
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 am

Re: Reciprocal business

Post by nhcbr900 »

I often say semi-jokingly that if it wasn't for suppliers and customers, being in business would be easy. The sad part is that it is often too close to the truth for comfort. When both groups comprise businesses bigger than yours, you can become the rope in game of tug-o-war between suppliers who want to be paid on the button and customers who have an army of accountants whose job it is to delay paying their supplier, in this case, you until the courtroom doors are about to swing open.

This enforced period of reduced activity may be just the time to think about from whom we buy the things we need and how we can get more favourable terms.

Money isn't the only currency here of course. The big international stationery store that currently supplies you may not be the best overall value. In the way of more flexible payment terms, lower delivery charges, less packaging used, thus less waste, mutual promotion, lower minimum order quantities or less 'unmissable' offers on things you don't need, a smaller, on the surface, more expensive local provider may just be the way forward when things get back to normal.

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