Here’s a thing. In business we’re maniacally focused on our customers. We even call them clients, or patients even in the caring professions. Everything we do revolves around them. We work hard to win them, and in the private sector we thank them, take them to lunch and send them corporate gifts. This is something I write about in my first ever blog post here.

I have customers in my business too, and I try to look after them so that there’s a fair exchange of value between us.

What I also really focus on as well is my suppliers. Often we treat our suppliers with a fraction of the care we provide to our customers. Whereas our customers are on the highest pedestal, our suppliers are often the afterthought in the basement.

Good suppliers are absolutely critical to your success, especially if you’re in an industry where you take what your supplier gives you and build on it or resell it for your own wellbeing. I don’t send Christmas cards to friends or family. They have plenty of them already. I send Christmas cards, each with a personal note, to all my suppliers thanking them for their service, help or support during the year.

Are you in the habit of thanking your suppliers? Do you award the best ones with a ‘supplier of the year’ accolade? If you do, you’re in a pretty small minority. You’re bucking the trend. When the world zigs, you zag.