Over the next few years, your relationships with suppliers and vendors will get pretty tough.
(Actually, I've learned that they should actually be called partners, because they make our success possible.) This terrible economy will cause many companies to adopt a what-can-you-do-about-price attitude with anyone asking for money, including long time partners.
If you are business to business, you are already hearing this from some of your best customers. When scarcity thinking sets in, we go from partner to survivor. This is demoralizing for everyone and strains the best of relations. Years from now, you'll wish you had more 'bad-times' credit with them. Back in 2002 and 2003 I saw this first hand. To this day, many relationships are still weak from that strain.
Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity (excuse) for you to better you relations with partners. Before you go home today, identify on two parters who makes you life/business better. Maybe they provide a smooth and essential service that you have come to rely on. Maybe they look out after your best interests, especially when they have an inside track.
Now call each partner, talk to you lead contact, and tell them that they are one of the things you are most thankful for this year. When you hang up, draft a short letter, sign it and mail it to him or her.
What will this accomplish? You'll make someone's day. You'll help them understand that they are your long term partner and not some parasite supplier/provider during a recession. Over time, you'll find this investment to be a reference point during a time of natural friction.
Here's a eBook excerpt from Saving The World At Work: Download Costo Excerpt
Buy a copy for your favorite partner!