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Last Update: Tuesday June 18, 2019

Key Idea: Build Strong Vendor Relationships

Stocking the shelves with 17,000 SKUs is complicated and a friendly vendor can make your life easier.

Key Question:


Make sure your suppliers are devoted to your success.  Most small business owners turn their suppliers into friends and this is key to consistency and quality.  There may be times when you need products and you don' t have the cash to pay so a friendly supplier will ship without advance payment or provide a bigger line of credit for a specific time frame.

Think about it

Do you have vendors who are difficult to work with?  Can you fire them?  Can you ask for a different vendor rep to call on you?  Do vendors become your friends and business advisors?

Clip from: The Art Store

New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, San Diego: In this show you meet George Granoff, a corporate executive turned entrepreneur and small business owner. He bought and turned around a failing group of art supply stores. Ever since graduating from college, he's worked in huge retail companies. He learned a lot. Then he took those years of experience to apply to a bankrupt chain of retail shops, The Art Store.
George's extraordinary business experience taught him much about scale, critical mass, and volume. Having run huge retail chains, George just couldn't imagine a business that is so small you can't enjoy the benefits of size.

To start a business from scratch would be too slow for George, so he bought an existing business in distress. The Art Store was a bargain. Like George, you don't have to start a business from scratch. Buy a business!

The Art Store

George Granoff, Owner

1844 India Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Office: 6196870050

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Build Strong Vendor Relationships

GEORGE: I think secondly you have to focus on your customer base, and know them as well. I spend a lot of time in these stores because it's very important for me to feel and have an understanding of what my customer is looking for. The third thing that I would say, and place where I don't think people really spend enough time, is developing partnerships with the trade. The trade is really a very critical element of our success.

HATTIE: You mean your vendors?

GEORGE: My vendors are a very critical element of our success. And if it weren't for them being interested in helping us press the envelope regarding what has been an art material store in the past vs. what one could be in the future, I would have had a much tougher time getting this done.

HATTIE: So what you're saying is that you can't do it alone.

GEORGE: That's right.

HATTIE: That there are entities that you have to pull together, like banking or your vendors or...

GEORGE: I mean, the trade has to be challenged to help you grow your business. They have the ability to give you terms and cash flow derives from the terms you get from the trade regarding when they want payment for their merchandise. There are a lot of areas where the trade can and should be helpful in order to help you start, grow or mature a business.

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