It is extremely easy for any business owner to become so laser focused on their products and services that they forget about the most important aspect of their business – the relationships.
Yes, you need to build relationships with your customers, but you also need to build relationship with other people too.
The following are 5 essential business relationships every successful small business needs:
1. Potential Customers
Most business owners can tell you that they are working on building relationships with their current customers, but what about potential customers?
The very first rung in your customer ladder is the potential customer. They are the ones who will help your business grow. People buy from and work with people they know, like and trust. You need to build a relationship with them so that they convert and become a current customer. Without the potential customers, your business will not grow.
Once you have connected with a potential customer, you want to keep that relationship growing. You do that by keeping communication open. Share valuable information through e-mail marketing, blog posts, social media content, and videos. Let them know you understand their problems and that you can help them.
Be yourself and let your personality – or your business’ personality – shine.
Once you have converted your potential customers into paying customers, you cannot stop the relationship building. It is important that you have a strategy for continuing your communication. Keep giving them the value and answers they need to solve their problems.
Trust me… the more you care and give, the more you will be rewarded with loyal customers.
You can also begin rewarding your loyal customers to let them know you still value their time and understand their needs. It can be something simple such as a coupon or discounted ticket to an event or product. Not only will they continue buying from you, but they will become your promoting army.
One of the best ways to promote your business or products is through word of mouth. When you develop a relationship with your customers, they will organically promote your business. They will talk about you to their family, friends, and coworkers.
Plus, if you stay connected with them and continue to provide value, they will remain loyal and continue to buy.
3. Staff/Team Members
It is important that you build quality relationships with your staff, contractors and/or team members and allow them to do the same with each other. Your business and its team will see great benefits when good relationships are fostered.
Teamwork, morale, dedication, productivity, and communication will all improve as this business relationship improves.
Having a plan in place that includes creating a clear, concise mission statement and values, team building activities, a plan for communication, measurable goals, and rewards will help create a team that meets deadlines and works well together.
4. Joint Venture Partners
Joint Venture partners (commonly called JV partners) are a great way to combine resources and expertise from two unrelated – or similar – businesses. Having JV partners is a great way to help your business grow faster, improve productivity, and increase your profits.
A JV partner can offer you new markets or distribution networks and provide expertise that can help your clients.
Unfortunately, it’s a business relationship that’s often overlooked.
When deciding on a Joint Venture partner, it is important to determine what type of services they can offer your clients that can continue helping them achieve their goals. You also want to make sure they are professional, honest, responsive, and share similar beliefs and values about business.
This can be tricky, but once you find the right JV partnership you can continue to grow your business in leaps and bounds.
5. Your Support Team
It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 customers or 5,000 customers… you need a support team. Your support team is there to help you when you need it.
You may need to bounce ideas off them, or just vent. This is why your support team needs to be people you trust and know will be honest with you. (It may not be your best friend who always tells you what you want to hear.)
You can build a support team of family, friends, and other business owners. A small group of business owners who get together once a week or a friend you can call on the spur of the moment are all quality support team members.
The relationships you create are going to determine the success or failure of your business. You will have a successful business by building the right relationships. Each type of relationship needs a plan. It is important to know why you are building the relationship and how it is going to help you.
Knowing the how and why will help you determine the right demographic to include. You can see your business grow and become more productive yourself with the right relationships.