Business relationship building is something you need to work on early and often as a business leader because your company’s success will largely depend on who you know and the strength of your relationships with these people. You might think that the people I’m talking about are your customers. While that much is true, they’re hardly the only people in this equation.
So keep reading to learn more about what you can do at various stages of your company’s lifecycle and how carrying these actions out can affect your company’s development for the better.
Building Healthy Relationships Early and Maintaining Them Throughout
In many ways, I would argue that building up your network as a business leader starts even as your business plan is still being crafted and you’re coming up with a clear vision for what you want your business to be. Think about it in the same way you would approach something like investing: the earlier you start, the more potential there is for the rewards to grow over time.
So, where does it all start and, more importantly, where can it all lead?
Networking as a Small Business
When you start as a small business, the whole point is to establish yourself and grow larger. When you want to build relationships and show people that your business is ready and able to help them, nothing works better than networking events. Small or large, these events are a good way to go about marketing a new business and showing people what you are about.
This method allows you to reach out to customers and begin doing what it takes to build the kind of client base you need to expand. Find groups that serve your industry and have a short explanation (an elevator pitch) ready. If you do it right and provoke curiosity, you can start serving customers and building a reputation through word of mouth.
Building Your Momentum as a Growing Business
Hard work in your early days can pay off in the form of increased business and a growing brand in the days when your business has become established, but you don’t want to rest on your laurels. At this point, business relationship building might involve working with vendors and other businesses, and using your growing reputation with customers to position yourself among your colleagues.
As you do so, effective management will be as crucial as building the right kinds of business relationships. You will want to focus on developing the kinds of leadership skills that will allow you to put your business in a place where you can form mutually beneficial partnerships. Since growth requires capital, this part of the business will also see you strengthening your ties with banks and other lenders so that you have options when it comes to raising capital quickly.
Holding Your Place as an Established Business
Your company continues to thrive, people know who you are, and you have steady business. Once you’ve reached this stage, business relationship building needs to assume the form of taking what has worked in the past and building upon it. This might mean doubling down on maintaining ties with your established customers as well as building a strong network of companies that you’ve worked with in the past.
Since this stage involves expansion, you also want to think about hiring employees who hold the same business-related values that you do and will be able to act as representatives who can continue those same business relationship building techniques that you have used up until this point.
It’s important to remember, especially at this point in the business’s lifecycle, that the right kind of connections and perception go a long way toward keeping your company stable and allowing it to go further. As you expand, you will need to rely on others like investors and potential business partners to help you claim your market share and possibly move into new markets.
This phase should involve updating your business plan to show these potential partners the ways in which working with you will benefit them. The connections that you have already made might get their attention, but it is up to you to sell them on your vision and ensure that you are able to continue moving forward as a business.
Business Relationship Building for the Future
From networking with like minds to customer relationship management, it all has a place in your business relationships. With industries across the spectrum being as competitive as they are, you want to do everything you can to get ahead, stay ahead, and eventually reach the forefront of your field. By following the steps I’ve outlined above, you can do just that and ensure your business has a bright future ahead of it.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.
Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that helps his clients successfully navigate the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses enhance their results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, organizational development, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.