When you are successful, your supplier is successful ...
if you are not honest and up front with your supplier then
they have no reason to want to do business with you
Always keep your supplier posted if you are going to be late
on a payment and/or if your general contractor is late on
his payment to you.
Try to be loyal to one major supplier as this will most often
benefit you and your pricing. That age old adage 'the more
you buy the more you save' does apply to some (if not all)
suppliers. The higher your volume of purchases the better
your discount is.
If you spread your orders to several different suppliers
of the same product then you most probably will spend more
money on your materials than if you give all of your business
to one supplier.
Remember that the discount you receive on your material purchases
helps you to be more competitive in your bidding.
A consideration when choosing your supplier is how many locations
do they have? If you plan on doing work in just your local
area, you can get away with a "one-location" supplier
but, if you plan on venturing outside of your supplier's normal
delivery area you might pay quite a premium on delivery if
they don't have a 'store' near your jobsite.
If you are a new contracting company, chances are you do
not have a lot of money to buy materials to supply and install
on a project. I know that my materials on a project can run
anywhere from $500 on up to $50,000 and more.
Often times my material needs are greater than my bank account,
so I am fortunate that my supplier utilizes joint
check agreements. Talk to your supplier about joint check
agreements to find out if they use them or if they would consider
Warehousing your materials
Frankly, I warehouse as little material as possible. When
I have a project ready to start, I send a purchase order to
my supplier and have the material delivered to the jobsite.
I don't have to keep track of inventory (which can make taxes
a lot easier to deal with) and because I don't warehouse the
material, I seldom have to carry the material on my truck.
I do occasionally pay a delivery/set-off fee but, in comparison
to the headaches of running an inventory and the time and
costs involved with picking the material up at your warehouse
and hauling it yourself (or having an employee pick it up
and haul it), that delivery/set-off fee is pretty reasonable.
Something to be aware of: If your employee is carrying
your material in his vehicle, your insurance will have to
pay if he has an accident. If your supplier is hauling your
material and something happens, your supplier's insurance
picks up the tab.
Because the city of Victorville will not allow me to run
a contracting business from my home, I rented a commercial
location in a neighboring city. Because I do not stock material
I was able to rent a small unit (with it's own address and
mail box) for a monthly rental fee. I use my warehouse to
store left over minimal amounts of material, from my completed
projects, that I know I will need in the near future (hint:
your warehouse is also handy for hiding Christmas presents
for your little ones!), and I use the warehouse address for
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