As landscape pros we rely on a host of subcontractors and vendors to fulfill our clients’ needs, from mulch and plant suppliers to irrigators and equipment dealers. We can’t succeed without them—they are truly our business partners, and we need to think of them and treat them that way. We have a few rules we follow at Grunder Landscaping to foster and maintain good subcontractor and vendor relations:
1. Discuss goals and expectations with them. Make sure they understand what you’re relying on them for and the role they play in the success of your business. Make clear what exactly you need and when you need it by.
2. Pay them on time. We all know how draining it can be, on both our companies’ financial health and our time and resources, when our own clients don’t pay their invoices on time. Don’t turn around and cause the same problems for your subcontractors and vendors. If you want them to deliver on time, pay them on time.
3. Show your appreciation. Everyone likes to hear it when they’ve done a job well, and subcontractors and vendors are no different. When’s the last time you sent a vendor a thank-you note? And yet that’s the kind of small act that can really reverberate. People are much more likely to be there when you need them if you’ve shown your appreciation in the past.
4. Remember that just as their business is important to you, your business is important to them. Good business partnerships are two-way streets. You have leverage in negotiating better terms with your subcontractors and vendors. Don’t be afraid to use it.