But, for the most part, small businesses report, suppliers aren’t putting the squeeze on their customers — everyone needs the business they can get. Usually, the vendors are putting the squeeze on the suppliers to come in at a lower price point.
Be that as it may, here’s how to manage a bullying vendor who’s pressuring you to pay now:
* Repair the relationship. Don’t let the vendor be the one to notice you haven’t paid your bills. Communicate early and often to keep your business in good standing.
* Reevaluate your business. Sure, there’s a credit crunch and a draining customer demand in general, but have you done enough to refocus your business in the recession? Not meeting vendor payments could be a sign that you’re still too big.
* Consider additional credit options. If you’re not already doing so, talk to your bank about additional lines of credit, eased under Obama’s small business plan.
* Squeeze your own customers. Least recommended, but when you’re in a corner…
* Consider bankruptcy. At the end of the day, you might just be too buried under vendor obligations. At that point, meet with a bankruptcy lawyer to explore options.