Trust is a key element to a successful business community. Trust between business and customers is necessary for ongoing sales opportunities. Trust between business partners is key to successful ownership. Trust between businesses and vendors is key to maximizing the return on your investment.

Good owners are very cost conscious. It's a key to creating a profitable business. Unfortunately, being sensitive to expenses sometimes crosses over to stress about expenses. Most of us know better than to take stress out on customers, but the stress goes out somewhere. Sometimes that stress finds it's way to our vendors. We get convinced that our vendors are somehow taking advantage of us, not providing the value we expect or are somehow undercutting our efforts.

The reality is our vendors are business people like us. Just like us, they have good days and bad days. Vendors want to provide products or services for a profit (sounds familiar). That means they want to provide us a strong value as long as they can make it successful for their business. Their relationship with their customers is the key to their success, just like it is with our.

Like any good relationship, the key is communication. Just like us, when one of their customers calls up without warning and cancels service, vendors are confused. No one likes to be caught off guard. If there are concerns about value, bring them up in a professional and constructive way. Give your vendor a reasonable amount of time to address your concerns and respond to them. Vendors can also be a valuable source of ideas and support for your business. They likely work with many other companies in your industry and may have insight to share. They want you to succeed, because that helps them succeed.

So remember, your vendors are partners, not vultures. Treat them like a valuable part of your success and they may turn out to be the key to growth.