What’s wrong with being a vendor? Sometime during my working life every business that sells to other businesses decided they wanted to be partners, not vendors.
Being in partnership with the companies you sell to is a great idea. Partners exert much greater influence than vendors. They also stand to reap great rewards.
What partners incur that vendor do not is risk. Shared risk.
Vendors get paid for specified services and deliverables. Period. “You want five generators? They’ll be there on the 16th. Two million dollars.”
Partners get paid based on the the success of the project. If the project fails, the partners all suffer. If the project meets expectations, partners all profit. If the project goes parabolic, partners rake in windfalls.
Partnership is risky. Partners do work that might end up being free. They provoke their partners. They bet their reputation and their future revenue on their expertise. Partners take a stand.
Vendors take orders.
There’s nothing wrong with being a vendor, and there’s nothing wrong with being a partner. But it’s wrong to call yourself a partner and preach partnership if you’re not willing share the risk.
By the same token it’s wrong to demand vendors take on risks of partnership if you’re not willing to share the profits as you would in a partnership.
Call yourself what you are, and be proud.
Image credits: NY Post