Whether your business is large or small the relationship you have with your clients is vital to success and understanding the difference in being a partner and a vendor is crucial. To determine where you stand with your clients you could ask yourself a few questions and read this blog post from MediaPost.com.

Do I simply take orders from my client? Do I always do what I’m told without offering a professional opinion? Do I always say yes to my client in order to avoid conflict? Do I always do what the client asks even if I know it’s not the best idea for the business?

If you answer “yes” to these questions then your clients probably view your relationship with them as a vendor.

Do I add more value to a contract than what is actually written? Do I offer a professional opinion when needed? Do I fight for ideas that I know are beneficial to my client? Do I offer additional advice and give direction without always expecting a check in the mail?

If you answer “yes” to these questions then you and your clients are partners and you both value that relationship.

Believe it or not, many companies do not take the time to nurture and add value to their relationships with clients. It takes time and sometimes money to truly build a strong relationship with your clients. Being a partner and not a vendor will lead to better results for your clients and recommendations for future work. So ask yourself, do my clients view my company as a partner or a vendor?