Simple. By being close to your customers/suppliers.
How can I have a close relationship with my customers/suppliers? Why is this important?
It`s like in life, how do you describe a friendship? Friends that can help each other anytime they need it, friends that are there in bad and in good times. Well, it`s the same in business.
You need good friends to be able to survive and to have a healthy life.
Ok, but how can I do that in business? Do more than people expect from you. Why? Because that`s how they see that you really care about them, and it`s not only for profit. It`s because you care, because you want something more than just business, you want a relationship.
It is important to satisfy your customers, always supply them with what they need and they will become loyal, if you do something extra you may win their loyalty for life. They will not search for another supplier because they already have the best one.
It is important to find the best suppliers and keep them as close as you can. Why? Because they can always find another company to supply, they will always have a second option. That`s the job of a supplier, to find different alternatives.
There is another thing, you may be the supplier or the middle man. You may provide the raw materials or you may produce the bread. Or you can do both. Most of the time there is the middle person, you buy from a supplier and sell it to the customer, in exchange for a certain profit. The main idea is to buy cheaper and to sell with a higher price, this way you will be able to make some extra money which is called profit.
Again, why is it important?
Because this way you will be able to survive, maybe even grow and become a big company. Anyway, only in times of need you`ll be able to see who is it really loyal to your company and who isn`t. But it`s better to be safe and secured than sorry.
My advice? If you have a business or if you`ll have one, try to build relationship and make your clients loyal, you need to be the first name who will pop-up in their mind when they need something, not the other shop in town, but yours. You need to care about your suppliers, when they give you their products or services they have to feel the fact that this is a secure customer, because you, at this stage, you are the customer for your supplier. There is a whole chain going on in business, you just have to understand it. Below you`ll find a scheme that I think can be useful for you to understand the process.