As a business owner, ever sat back and thought are my business relationships as good as I think they are?

Relationships are important in life. They make us feel safe and help us deal with stress. Relationships aren’t only important in your personal life, though. As a business owner, professional relationships are the lifeblood of your business. New customers, retaining current customers and managing your reputation are just some of the benefits of relationship building.

In this article, we look at the importance of building good relationships as an entrepreneur or small business owner, and not falling into the trap of thinking the service or product that you have to sell is solely what will lead to your success.

Time Spent Connecting Is Time Well Spent

Whether you’re a new small business owner or a seasoned pro, you can never put enough time towards building and sustaining a network of engaged contacts that you can call on. 

A simple “sho skhokho, ugrand?” goes a long way and time spent networking will be valuable to your business. There are numerous platforms for this such as Linkedin, Facebook Groups and private forums to mention a few.   

Customer Relationship Management

This seems logical but first and foremost, you should be building relationships with customers. 

Customers enjoy having a seemingly personal relationship with a business. They will probably also be more likely to talk to you if they have a problem, rather than telling everyone they know (or turning to HelloPeter with a one-star review) if they have an experience they perceive as negative.

On average, most of a company’s business comes from existing customers and repeat customers are extremely profitable. How can you keep those customers? Build a relationship with them! The quickest way to lose customers is through the failure to cultivate and nurture relationships with customers. 

The most effective way to build a relationship with a customer: talk to them and ask for feedback.

 Employees Also Need Love

They say “to win in the marketplace, you’ve got to first win in the workplace” 

There is no single formula to achieve this (you can find systems that work for you) but basic steps include:

Welcome employee input – listen to their ideas let them know you value their feedback. 

Protect them – A trait of successful leadership is that you protect your team. If you do this, they’ll feel comfortable coming to you with problems rather than leaving issues unresolved (or leaving the business altogether).

Open communication – a free-flowing and non-judgemental line of communication encourages employees to raise issues.

Benefits:

Employee retention & engagement – employees who feel engaged at work are less likely to look for new employment. Lower turnover in staff saves you money and creates a productive work environment.

Relationships are a vital piece to your business and they will open countless doors along with new opportunities if you manage them the right way. However, It’s not all about the benefits – sometimes your business relationships won’t turn a profit or bring in foot traffic. The trick is in finding the value in the different relationships and taking the time to genuinely invest in them. 

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