All businesses want to grow to become better, bigger & stronger, but getting there successfully may require more preparation than you expect in order to provide a foundation for profitable growth
Here are a few tips to make your business ready to take on larger orders from bigger organisations without losing your shirt!
So is your business ready to make the next steps?
Managing your order book is so much more than getting them out of the door. Your business needs to be able to answer the demands and align with larger customers’ needs to be able to survive growth whilst remaining profitable
If you are a small business ready to supply a large business here are our 5 tips to get you’re your approach ready and make it a profitable experience:
Things you may not know if you are a small business looking to supply a large one
We specialise in this area and will help you to succeed – so, here are some tips to help you understand your opportunity and what you need to look out for at the outset.
Going large may be the best thing you have ever done or the worst!
TIP 1 ‘Clarity and understanding about what you will be asked to provide’
Understand the terms used and why they are important - Don’t take anything for granted; importantly; if you don’t know, ASK!
“Beware the Acronyms are coming!”
Often businesses use a variety of acronyms such as: SLA, B2C, B2B, TAT, RDC, RTM, ITP, RFI, RFQ, BER etc. Make sure you know what each acronym they use means to THEM! It will be very costly to discover that your assumption is wrong later on.
Remember: if you don’t know the rules, how can you play the game?
TIP 2 – Aligning your team to their team
Understand the ‘people and their functions’ – who you will be dealing with and what they need from you.
Understandably large businesses have complex functions supported by systems and processes BUT all have ‘Teams of People’ just like you; wanting to get things done well.
Your contact may be a Product Manager or Category Controller, who will possibly ask Purchasing to set up your account. In conjunction you may also be contacted by the Supply Chain Team or Logistics Team to agree delivery needs such as ‘product labelling’ TI, HI info etc. – confused yet?
Understanding who you’re talking to and their objectives will make things clearer to you.
TIP 3 – Full consideration of what you’re agreeing to do
The enquiry - So you’ve done the hard work of contacting the prospective company, completing a great presentation. Then, you get an enquiry…
Be clear how the enquiry needs to be answered. Who is going to answer it and who is going to check the detail before submission? Often it can be on a RFI (request for Information) basis first so the ‘customer’ can review your ability to fulfil any subsequent requirements. Remember you have not got an order at this stage.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
TIP 4 – Face the reality of the opportunity up front
All in the detail - When looking at the detail of the enquiry; ask yourself ‘What do I need to change or add internally to fulfil the requirement completely and effectively?’
It is unlikely this question will draw a blank response – if it does be concerned!
Investment needs - is there any effect on ability to service existing business and are your processes robust enough to meet all the contractual needs?
Be honest with the answers. This will ensure you understand the ‘needs’ and can plan accordingly.
TIP 5 – Make sure you’ve assessed the true value against your business
Be prepared to walk away. It sounds odd but if correctly handled it will do your business far less harm than failure to fulfil new business and the damage it will do to your existing customers.
You can always re submit when everything is in place ensuring you will meet expectation.
What we offer
We work with you to look at how to ‘value’ opportunities. We help you to understand how to service an ‘opportunity’ ensuring you are fully prepared, knowledgeable and have a cohesive plan. This includes the essential financial numbers, so your decision has a sound basis and you can confidently grow.