In the captivating realm of business valuation, one rule reigns supreme: Revenue Ruling 59-60.  In every business valuation, following the guidelines set by Revenue Ruling 59-60 is essential. This ruling emphasizes the importance of considering the economic outlook and the specific industry conditions. To gain a deeper understanding of industry dynamics, renowned expert Dr. Michael Porter has introduced the concept of analyzing five forces, one of which is the Bargaining Power of Suppliers.

Supplier bargaining power, refers to the ability of suppliers to influence purchase terms and conditions in their favor. It is a crucial aspect of Porter’s Five Forces framework, which examines industry competitiveness. Evaluating supplier bargaining power involves several factors that significantly impact the market dynamics.

Have you ever wondered why some companies have more control over the prices and quality of their products? It’s because of the bargaining power of suppliers! In this guide, we’ll explore how suppliers can influence businesses and what it means for you as a young consumer.

What is the Bargaining Power of Suppliers? Suppliers are the companies or individuals that provide the resources, materials, or ingredients needed for businesses to create their products or services. The bargaining power of suppliers refers to the suppliers’ ability to affect the prices, availability, or quality of those resources.

Factors that Influence Suppliers’ Power: Several things can influence how much power suppliers have:

How many suppliers there are: If there are only a few suppliers in a particular market, they have more power because businesses have limited options to choose from.

Special or unique products: Suppliers who offer rare or special resources that are hard to find elsewhere have more power because businesses can’t easily switch to another supplier.

How hard it is to switch suppliers: If it’s difficult or expensive for a business to switch to a different supplier, the current supplier has more power in negotiations.

Suppliers becoming competitors: Sometimes, suppliers can also be businesses’ competitors. If suppliers can offer the same products or services, they have more bargaining power.

Availability of alternatives: If there aren’t many alternatives or substitutes for the resources suppliers provide, they have more power to set their prices and conditions.

Importance of the resources: If the resources a supplier provides are essential for a business to operate or create high-quality products, the supplier has more bargaining power.

Why Does Suppliers’ Power Matter? The power suppliers have can impact businesses and consumers like you in a few ways:

Prices can go up: When suppliers have a lot of power, they might raise their prices. This can make the products or services more expensive for businesses, which can sometimes lead to higher prices for you as a consumer.

Quality might be affected: If suppliers have too much power, they could lower the quality of the resources they provide without businesses being able to do much about it. This might result in lower-quality products or services for you.

Limited choices: If suppliers have a strong grip on the market, they can limit the options available to businesses. This might mean fewer choices for you as a consumer.

What Can Businesses Do? Businesses have strategies to deal with suppliers’ power:

Building relationships: Businesses can build good relationships with their suppliers to create mutual trust. This can help them negotiate better deals and maintain a stable supply of resources.

Finding alternatives: Businesses can look for multiple suppliers to avoid relying too much on just one. This gives them more choices and can help them negotiate better terms.

Controlling their own resources: Some businesses choose to own or control their suppliers by acquiring them. This way, they have more control over the resources they need.

Innovating and differentiating: By creating unique products or services, businesses can reduce their reliance on specific suppliers and have more power in negotiations.


Understanding the power of suppliers is important for both businesses and consumers. As a young consumer, it’s good to be aware that suppliers can impact the prices and quality of the products you buy. By learning about these dynamics, you can make informed choices and understand why certain products or services might be more expensive or have different qualities.

If business valuation experts fail to inquire about these factors with management, their understanding of the business and the industry it operates in will be insufficient. This information is crucial for assessing the future operations of the company being valued.

Understanding the specific company’s position within the industry is vital, as industry analysis alone does not provide a comprehensive view. By considering the impact of buyer bargaining power on the company’s future, attorneys can use these topics to form deposition questions that assess the credibility of a business valuation report.