IWF Education: The Importance of Suppliers & Customers

15. April 2020 16:51
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: James Fox, Owner: Fox Woodworking

This may seem like an obvious title to any business person, especially the owner of a one or two person woodworking shop.  I encourage you to read along, though, to learn more about how both suppliers and customers are important to your business.

Suppliers

In the woodworking business, you may have suppliers for the following services: hardware, lumber, plywood, finish, machinery, tooling/sharpening, etc. In order to work efficiently and effectively with your suppliers, the most important factor is your relationship. Nope, it’s not price, delivery time, or any other component of the system. It’s your relationship with them that is the crucial part of your business. And not necessary about how they treat you: it’s how you treat them. Be sure to pay on time, develop friendships with the sales staff and – especially – the drivers. Also be loyal, and finally, don’t be intimidated. How you treat them will impact how they reciprocate. You can control in this relationship based on your behavior.

Customers

Your customers more than the end-users of your products. Customers can also include contractors, architects, designers, and even other shops. Just like suppliers, your relationship is what’s important with them because your business lives or dies here. Also like suppliers, it’s important to treat them well. Be sure you always deliver a quality product because you are as much of the product as the cabinetry. You should sell your personal connection to the job: remember you are the artist – not just a hireling. And last, but certainly not least, charge well for your work and time.

To learn more: I encourage you to attend my session "Running a One or Two Person Shop: How to Make it all Work" during IWF 2020.

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