A balanced relationship with vendors is integral for the success of your start-up. No matter in which industry you operate, you will need to rely on outside parties in order to provide products and services integral to your operation. Whether you like it or not, you will need to rely on these vendors. As a start-up dealing with external vendors, its important to realize that you’ll likely be one of the smallest customers to those vendors. You’re new to the party and everyone else has been involved for more time. Can you tolerate being at the back of the line?
The question arises as to whether you could ever be a top priority for a vendor. An outsourced vendor, by definition, is not an employee, therefore, they might not have your interests in mind. This lack of priority may cause delays within your organization.
Try This: work with vendors who are of a similar age (start-ups or recently successful start-ups) or size. Age and size are two mindsets that lead to a host of other shared personality traits. It may be easier to deal with vendors and partners who are of a common personality trait.
Avoid This: Don’t try to micromanage a vendor. Assume that they have built their business because they are successful. While you can make sure that your business is getting the attention you feel it needs, don’t put your nose in their business, it will likely result in acrimony.