One thing I’ve learned over the past few years, is that relationships are very important to business growth and success. It’s been through relationships that I’ve discovered new ideas on how to improve my business model, stumbled upon opportunities, and connected with other like-minded entrepreneurs who share similar entrepreneurial experiences. Here are five more ways that relationships have helped me and could add value to your business.
Referrals. Because of the common traits associated with relationships (trust, honesty, and experience), I’ve found that people are more likely to refer someone they know over a complete stranger. It feels safer and people feel more confident in that referral because of the trust with the person (relationship) and their brand.
Growth. You can’t grow and run a business all by yourself because you are not a pro at every aspect of business. It’s been through my relationships with the people who are much smarter than me in these areas that have helped me to become a better business manager. I rely on these same relationships for access to their network of people who may need my services.
Give and take. For the relationships to work and to be healthy, it has to be two-way. There needs to be an an exchange of ideas, resources, and networks so that both people feel and see the good in the relationship. One thing I always do when networking and meeting up with my entrepreneur friends, is ask them how can I help you? This ask has helped me to develop strong relationships.
Branding. Branding is what other people say about your brand and to have people who know and speak about you and your brand helps create good branding. This has worked for me not just because of the relationship but because, I also deliver on my brand promise.
Top of mind. We operate in a competitive marketplace and sometimes a relationship will be the only thing that will make you stand out from your competitors. Good relationships keep you top of mind which means you could be one of the first business people think about when asked for a referral. This has worked well for me especially with those who I have personal relationships with and are aware of my services.
Challenge yourself this month to seek out new business relationships. Don’t just think about what the person can do for your business, but consider how you can help them and their business. Also, create time and evaluate the health of your current business relationships. Is there trust? Do you need to communicate and keep in touch more? Having new and improved relationships will help you personally and your business.