Tag: phoenix score

How to Get Your Suppliers to Give You a Better Value

Written by: Acceler8 Business Advisors

Does it seem like some business owners have all the luck when it comes to their suppliers? It always seems like they’ve got a newer, better deal than what they had before. So what’s their secret? It’s all about knowing how to get your suppliers to give you the best value they possibly can—and realizing that value doesn’t always mean money.

Getting the highest value from your suppliers is the fastest and easiest way to reduce the cost of operations. Of course the term “supplier” can mean your vendors, maintenance contractor, or even your landlord. So here’s how you go about getting the best value.

  • Look over your supplier arrangements regularly so that you are always on top of what you are paying and what you are receiving for that money.
  • Talk to your suppliers about bulk or loyalty discounts or other terms for those arrangements regularly. Often buying larger quantities or signing a longer contract can make a big difference in the price you will receive.
  • Consider if you are satisfied with the quality of the goods or services you are receiving from your supplier. If not, then it’s probably time to replace them.
  • The way your suppliers manage your account also makes a big difference because if it takes too much effort on your part to get answers to your questions, then you can probably do better.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose another supplier if the one you are using won’t let you negotiate to get the terms you need.
  • When looking at ways to cut costs, be sure that you aren’t getting lower quality. Reducing the quality of your own goods or services is the fastest way to send your own customers packing.
  • Think about whether you could reduce the number of suppliers you currently use. You’re actually spending extra time dealing with multiple vendors, and if one can supply the same goods or services as the other, why not deal with the same supplier for multiple services or goods. Just remember not to put all your eggs in one or two baskets though because you could end up with the opposite problem—no one to supply those needs if those companies suddenly go out of business.
  • Look at other benefits than just saving money. Paying less for delivery or being able to extend your payment terms can be a real benefit to you down the road.
  • Examine any intangible benefits you are receiving from your supplier, like development work that they are constantly doing to be able to serve you better.
  • As your business grows, you may even need to change your suppliers altogether, especially if you intend to diversify your own offerings.
  • Look everywhere for suppliers—even if it means taking your business offshore. The marketplace is bigger than it ever was before because now you can go almost anywhere to find a deal.

Just remember that not every business owner will find value in the same places. Improving your bottom line isn’t always about the cash. Sometimes it’s about tools that will make it easier for you to do business or to reach more customers. Spend some time figuring out what the term “more value” means to you. Sometimes getting a lower price won’t mean nearly as much as having an opportunity to double the number of clients you have.

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Floyd Fence Company

Alicia Lopez was studying for her MBA at The Citadel when the opportunity to purchase the fence company her husband worked for presented itself.  He had the industry experience and she had the business studies but they wisely turned to SCORE for advice from seasoned professionals who had logged years of experience in starting and running successful small businesses.  Floyd Fence now specializes in aluminum and custom fences for Tri-county residents that wish to protect or add beauty and style to their homes with quality constructed, long lasting fences.

My Successes

During their first two years of ownership the company enjoyed solid growth.  While Floyd Fences started by serving the residential market, they have since expanded to serve commercial and industrial markets. Their largest commercial project is the Island House Pool, Fitness Center & Playground at Seabrook Island.  They currently have 2 full time employees and up to 10 part time employees depending on the project.  The North Charleston business has been so successful that it earned SCORE Coastal’s 2010 Small Business of the Year award after just one year in business.

How SCORE Helped

Of SCORE’s aid in their success Tristan comments, “They helped us out with any little questions we had.  They wanted us to succeed as bad as we did. It’s free information, and they were extremely helpful. We started when the economy was not very good. We were iffy about it, and they advised us to keep overhead as low as possible so that when business was slow, we could ride it out. On a scale of 1 to 10, their help was a 10.”

What’s Great About My Mentor?

SCORE mentor Joseph Conti advised the husband and wife duo on many facets of business ownership including accounting, advertising, business plan development, obtaining financing, analyzing cash flow, human resource management and marketing.

To Learn More About Floyd Fence Company, Click Here!

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4 Surprising Facts About Social Media For Small Businesses

1. 40% Say They “Like” A Business’s Facebook to Get Promotions and Discounts

According to this RocketMedia infographic, a majority of a business’ Facebook fans were originally attracted to hitting the “Like” button because they thought doing so would get them special deals or promotions. Feel free to update your feed with interesting articles on your Facebook page to engage a customer, that’s all well and good, but if you really want to incentivize new people to “Like” you and want to keep your current community’s attention perked; post a link or a code to a freebie, coupon or promotion at least once a month.


2. Launch Your Social Media Campaigns on Tuesdays; Never on Fridays

YesMail, an email marketing services provider ran a three-month study to research the success of social media campaigns for more than twenty top retail brands. Their findings: Although most campaigns are deployed on Fridays, the amount of actual social media engagement peaked the most on Tuesdays (engagement fares the worst on Fridays). Although the study wasn’t conclusive on why this is so, you could use common sense to deduce that most people are more-or-less gearing up for “weekend” mode on Fridays and they’re probably spending more time on confirming dinner plans than on a shop’s website.


3. Blog Posts That Are 450 Words Long Have A Higher Chance of Being “Shared”

Statistic & Image Courtesy of Dan Zarella of HubSpot

Three to five paragraphs seems to be the “sweet-spot” length for blog posts that get shared more often than their shorter or longer counterparts. This makes sense seeing that bite-sized content that can be summed up in less than a paragraph should probably be boiled down to a tweet that “packs a punch” and anything longer than five paragraphs will have attention spans wandering. Turn that lengthy blog post into a whitepaper instead.


4. Facebook Content Posted on Wednesdays at 3PM Have the Highest Click-Throughs


Statistics & Image by bitly and RakaCreative

When posting Facebook updates, aim for the middle – middle of the week and middle of the workday, that is. Much of social media exposure depends on the likelihood that eyeballs will be in front of computer screens. What’s the best time to catch people on Twitter and on Facebook? After lunchtime, when people are back at their offices of course! Take advantage of that opportunity by posting primarily in this time slot. As for Twitter, the time to tweet for the best exposure is on Mondays-Thursdays between 1pm-3pm.


Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has 15 years of financial and entrepreneurial experience including co-founding start-ups like Nu-Kitchen, an online food retailer. Bryan is an active board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and StartOut. He is dedicated to the success of all small businesses.
www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart | More from Bryan

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