• Benjamin

饾棛饾椂饾椈饾棻 饾棔饾槀饾椏饾椂饾棽饾棻 饾棫饾椏饾棽饾棶饾榾饾槀饾椏饾棽

Updated: Feb 19

Engaging vendors and customers in certain ways can be the secret to great opportunities in route to uncovering your fortune.

饾棓饾椆饾椂饾棿饾椈 饾棭饾棽饾椈饾棻饾椉饾椏饾榾

Ironically, fast growth could cause a problem to fulfill products or services immediately while payment takes months to arrive.

Vendors can be especially useful during periods when expenses remain high but invoices aren't due for months.

Pay vendors on time (when possible) so the conversation is easier if you have to ask for additional time to pay when times are tight.

Vendors can help in other ways, such as no-interest payment terms and accepting prepayments (useful for cash-based companies).

饾樇饾櫒饾櫊 饾櫅饾櫎饾櫑 饾櫁饾櫄饾櫓饾櫓饾櫄饾櫑 饾櫏饾櫀饾櫘饾櫌饾櫄饾櫍饾櫓 饾櫓饾櫄饾櫑饾櫌饾櫒 饾櫁饾櫄饾櫅饾櫎饾櫑饾櫄 饾櫘饾櫎饾櫔 饾櫍饾櫄饾櫄饾櫃 饾櫓饾櫇饾櫄饾櫌.

Reach out every 6-12 months to discuss credit terms and pricing, especially if you see a lot more business heading their way.

Communicate your strategy, plans, and achievements early and ask for their input on any challenges to foster a collaborative partnership.

Other ways to establish a strong working relationship:

饾槢饾槮饾槾饾樀饾槳饾槷饾槹饾槸饾槳饾槩饾槶饾槾. Assist vendors in reaching more startups or companies in your industry by touting your positive experience.

饾槞饾槮饾槯饾槮饾槼饾槼饾槩饾槶饾槾. Introduce them to potential new customers. Also, offer them a gift or fee if they refer business to you.

饾槜饾槩饾槼饾樀饾槸饾槮饾槼饾槾. Introduce vendors on big deals. With a potential huge customer, this shows your ability and commitment.

饾槈饾槩饾槼饾樀饾槮饾槼. Trade your services to help solve their business issues in lieu of cash.

饾槍饾槻饾樁饾槳饾樀饾樅. Offer equity for payment to align your success with them.

Vendors with a solid connection to your company are rooting for your success in the hope that they will get more business, too.

饾棤饾椉饾榿饾椂饾槂饾棶饾榿饾棽 饾棖饾槀饾榾饾榿饾椉饾椇饾棽饾椏饾榾

Occasionally, some customers are so excited about your vision that they will invest as a strategic opportunity.

More typical, however, is to leverage your customer relationships into better cash flow.

The best case is getting paid before you have to lay out any money for production and overhead.

For instance, this happens when a client is so excited about your roadmap that they pay for the product before its completion.

Other ways to improve cashflow:

路 Increase prices (e.g. sell a premium feature or deliver faster service)

路 Shorten payment terms

路 Offer discounts for pre-payments or deposits

路 Build a subscription model

路 Improve your collections process

Before these steps, make sure you are giving customers a significant competitive advantage, leveraging value into the discussion.

With any plan, understand the benefits to the other side and search for ways to align your success with theirs.

Your vendors and customers will be eager to help you reach buried treasure when they can share in the rewards.


Howard Pyle illustration of pirates burying Captain Kidd's treasure, from his 饾惖饾憸饾憸饾憳 饾憸饾憮 饾憙饾憱饾憻饾憥饾憽饾憭饾憼. More about Howard Pyle can be found here:

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