“The best entrepreneurs are those that are driven, passionate, and that won’t take “no” for an answer.”
While we’re by no means refuting this, this kind of mentality can also be what can break your business. This shortsighted “I win, you lose” mentality that many bootstrap entrepreneurs have with vendors and suppliers is what destroys your competitive edge and will ruin your chances of success in any industry.
The Importance of a Strong Vendor and Supplier Relationship
The relationship that you have with a vendor or supplier will play a critical role in the success of your company. By actively managing these relationships with the people who are providing you with the goods and materials you need in a timely fashion, you’re ensuring that your business continues to run smoothly (which also gives you an advantage over many of your competitors).
Identifying Key Service Providers
Your service provider is directly involved in your company and is an integral part of your team. Your choices for service providers or vendors will be vast, but there are a few key elements that every business should be on the lookout for:
- Networking opportunities
- Value-added services (such as fast delivery services, discounts, advice, etc.)
- An extensive presence in your industry
- Whether or not interacting with them is an enjoyable and pain-free experience
All that said, there are a few other key considerations that entrepreneurs should take into account, and they include outsourcing tasks to free up time and finances.
Finding the Right Management Software
Referred to as “enterprise resource management software” or “ERP” software, this technology offers entrepreneurs an affordable way to outsource several painstaking tasks that are consuming a large quantity of their time and forcing them to lose money in the process. But then comes the question of which solution to use?
The answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In the fitness industry in particular, Zen Planner is currently one of the most popular option because of its affordability and flexibility. But what you need look for is a program that comes with a learning curve you can handle, that performs the functions you need, and that is readily accessible.
Suppliers as Brand Enhancers
The best suppliers and vendors are those that will help you enhance your company and take it to the next level. This means providing innovative products of the highest quality, at competitive prices that are within your budget. In terms of equipment, we have personally had a good experience with Rogue Fitness. Like many companies, Rogue offers competitive equipment packages that can easily meet the needs of your gym.
Keep in mind that outfitting your company with the equipment offered in these packages may not be the most efficient or the most economical for your company. Find the equipment you want at a price that you can afford, and feel free to research, review, and haggle your way into a deal that will help you elevate your brand.
Finally, the best and most influential brand enhancer isn’t who you buy from or who you hire—it’s you. The trick to staying successful in this industry is to remain engaged, and this means keep learning. There is a large supply of quality free content out there, such as Juggernaut Training Systems’ blog posts or the regular podcasts from Barbell Shrugged.
In short, dig around, explore and find great resources online that tap into your interests and into your business to stay ahead of the curve.
With the help of hundreds of fitness studios around the world, Zen Planner was able to create the most detailed financial performance data for the boutique fitness industry. Get your copy of our free Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report.