By: David McIlwaine
May 02, 2022
Businesses must always innovate and find new ways to connect with their market and fulfill customer expectations. There is pressure to evolve and have a distinct upper hand over the competitors in the market. This level of innovation can be difficult to achieve for small- and medium-sized businesses since they do not have the large-scale capital that bigger businesses have.
This is where third-party involvement becomes a viable option. A third-party entity provides extra support for product development, technical industry knowledge, finances, and other aspects of the business. More specifically, getting a partner will allow you to elevate your business to great heights. However, it is important to go with a partner rather than with a vendor. These two have distinct differences that may be confusing and may cause misalignment in your company, hereby snowballing into problems such as reduced productivity, lack of solutions, and overall poor performance. We have outlined the 13 signs your business partner is really a vendor.
Partner Vs. Vendor: What’s the Difference?
A partner is a person or a company that builds a long-term relationship with your business. This results in a mutually fruitful relationship. The partnership involves the formulation and application of long-term strategies, executed over a period of time. A partner is invested in your growth since that is also how they profit – by ensuring that their investment in you is a success.
A vendor is a mere supplier or seller of services and goods. A vendor’s primary goal is to encourage you to purchase from them and to take up as much of their offerings as you could, even when you do not need those. Their support for your business is most likely for their benefit. At the end of the day, a partnership with a vendor may not be able to provide you with an honorable ROI.
Signs Your Business Partner is Really A Vendor
1. Slow response
A slow response means that the person may not be fully committed to you. They are not eager to work with you since you are not prioritized. This may also imply that they are preoccupied with other accounts which means that they won’t be able to provide you with the ample time, attention, and resources that your business needs.
2. Lack of attention to reporting details
Your partner may be a vendor if they fail to provide detailed reports. This means that they are not fully invested in your relationship, hereby letting a lot of things slide. Someone who actually cares about growing your business would take the time and energy to know the ins and outs so they may gain a full understanding of your operations, values, and goals.
3. Shows variable formats and information
Inconsistent reports mean disorganization. You need to keep a close eye on the quality of reports and check for any inconsistencies. These inconsistencies may also be due to their lack of transparency. They may refuse to share the whole picture by withholding information, especially bad news. This is harmful to your business since these problems will fester instead of being able to find solutions for them as soon as possible.
4. Invoices are confusing
Confusing invoices are more indicators of disorganization. An invoice that is poorly designed with a lot of inaccuracies means that the business is poorly run. They may not have a designated accounting department to handle these financial matters. Other invoicing problems include missing invoices, missing data, errors in the invoice, recurring mistakes, and wrong contact information. A good business partner will take the time to ensure that all invoices are error-free before sending them out.
5. Vague or obscure answers to questions
Good business partners are upfront and honest, especially when talking about the problems on their end. This is because they are fully invested in the success of your venture. It is in their interest to troubleshoot issues as soon as possible to prevent any delays in the operations. On the contrary, vendors are more likely to paint a perfect picture and assure you that everything is alright – even to the point of providing vague or obscure answers to your questions. They are more interested in staying on your good side to garner sales, even at the expense of the company’s health.
6. Makes recommendations that are not aligned with the primary assignment or role
You discussed the role assignments. You feel good about it. But when it is time to follow up, they propose something else entirely. They recommend workplace upgrades or other unnecessary pitches that will not benefit you in the immediate future. You need to ask yourself, “Why are they doing this? Is it a way for them to benefit?” This implies that they are a vendor and not a partner.
7. Lack of respect for your time
The lack of respect for your time means that they are not really interested in the growth of your business. This is evidenced by their lateness or inability to attend meetings. They deem that their personal affairs or other projects must be prioritized over you.
8. Does not request feedback
Good business partners will always look for ways to improve their performance. This is typically achieved by asking for feedback on their performance. They will use these points for improvement to better themselves so that they can further strengthen your partnership. On the contrary, vendors are more focused on getting the job done. They do not value your thoughts since they are not interested in a long-term relationship with you.
9. Ignores standard operating procedures
Some vendors will completely ignore the standard operating procedures you established in favor of their own. They feel like they know best or that their systems are superior to yours. Value alignment is crucial for a successful partnership.
10. Requests are always rushed
This is another implication of self-serving behavior typically seen among vendors. Rushed requests often result from failure to plan, and you need to remember that their failure to plan is not your problem.
11. Promises are not fulfilled
The inability to fulfill promises is another indicator of systemic problems. Your partner might be a vendor if he consistently fails to submit his deliverables. If he is actually invested in your mutual success, then he will find ways to hold up his end of the deal. He will also be upfront about the scope and limitations of his capabilities to prevent overpromising and under delivering.
12. Request for a large number of revisions
The operator may order a large number of revisions simply because they were unclear or disorganized during their initial request. A good partner should be able to clearly outline what they need and what their expectations are so that the deliverables match that. There won’t be a lot of back and forth on changes in orders after the initial agreed-upon transaction.
13. Lack of transparency for their processes and systems
It is important to work with an entity with clear and functional operating systems. Otherwise, the disorganization will affect your productivity levels and opportunities to push your business forward. A vendor that has unclear structures will yield unsatisfactory output that will slow down your progress. It is best to work with a partner with established procedures on how they operate.
Bonus: Won’t share bad news
The real estate world is not always rainbows and butterflies. There will be problems, and it is the responsibility of your partner to disclose these. He must be comfortable with being the bringer of bad news because the consequence is that the business will absorb the costs of these issues. The partnership must be founded on trust, honesty, and transparency for it to be a success.
Vendors can just drop everything and run, but partners stay and find solutions. Partners will stay with you through a crisis and provide additional support.
MAC Assets take your partnership and your success very seriously. We offer you access to financial freedom through superior returns on passive real estate investments. Our team will help you navigate consumer trends and market changes to arrive at a customized investment plan that best suits you. Most importantly, we will stick with you through the good times and the bad. Contact us today for more information. Send an email to email@example.com or call 720-560-2285.