10 Tips That Could Save You From a Big Headache Later
Choosing a vendor can cause anxiety and concern, especially if it is bound to be a big purchase. Use the following tips when deciding on a vendor:
1)Check with the BBB! Of course, we would tell you to use the BBB as a resource. The reality is that we have tens of thousands of reports. Businesses that can cause problems for consumers usually do the same with their business clients.
2)Are they “players? Most industries have their own professional associations. Just like those who choose membership in the BBB, companies deeply involved in their industry and with their colleagues generally make for good business partners.
3) Are they experienced? Sad to say, but many businesses that are just starting out may become a great company someday, but do you want to be the guinea pig they test upon? We recommend that you use companies that have at least a year of relevant experience and can give you valid references.
4) Are they solvent? Getting a bank or credit reference is not as easy as it used to be. Still, when doing business with another company, getting a snapshot of their fiscal stability can be worth the time, cost and effort it takes same goes for checking the court records for bankruptcies and judgments.
5) “There is no place like home!” True, sometimes contacts from another city or state must be called upon, but working with contractors right here in your backyard offers you a two-fold advantage of finding them if you have a problem, and the reality that local word of mouth, whether good or bad, stays local.
6) Contracts. Unless you went to law school, contracts are not bound to be exciting for you. However, they are what separates a handshake deal from one that provides binding, legal protection. You know the rule “get it in writing!”
7)Know when you are in over your head. Recognize when you need a sharper set of professional eyes to make sure the business relationship is a good one. The costs for getting an attorney or accountant to look over a proposition before you do business will always be cheaper than the legal costs after the fact.
8)Insurance, warranties and guarantees – You know that old expression, “…they are only as good as the company that issues them.” If you are doing business with another company, how do they measure up in these departments? And, have you checked to make sure that the coverage is current?
9) You get what you pay for. As a business person yourself, you understand this reality. If you have thoroughly researched the cost of doing business with another company, watch for the price or offer that is just way too good to be true. Trust yourself, it is!
10) Last tip, what does your gut tell you? You have been successful in business. Less than one percent of the complaints that the BBB receives deal with business to business disputes, and in virtually every one, the complainant knew in their heart, head and gut that it was a raw deal. They just chose not to listen to that “little voice.” Make sure you do! If you have a question about a particular company that you are thinking of using, please call the BBB. We are always here to provide information for you.
Warm thanks to Nan Campbell of the BBB of the South Plains (TX) for the great tips.