The growth of any business is a combination of various factors.
You can guess the popular ones, but one other factor that plays such a critical role in the growth and success of the business is the relationships.
It is not enough to have a product people want, if you do not have the network or connection to reach those customers, to execute your plans, raise funds, etc. your business will not succeed.
At every stage of your business, you need to leverage relationships you’ve built over time to solve different challenges you may face in your journey to grow the business.
Like many business owners have found out, there are so many things you need to grow a business, that a business owner can not rely on him or herself to do them all.
So how do you leverage your relationships to grow your business?
Where do you start if you don’t have a network to leverage?
I will provide answers to these two questions in this article.
How Do You Build Business Relationships?
There are different ways to build business relationships.
Below I share six of those ways you can use to expand your network.
1. Start With Your Friends & Relatives.
2. Attend Business Events.
3. Join A Business Mastermind Group.
4. Host Business Meetings/Lunches.
5. Sponsor/Take part In Social Events.
6. Be Active Online.
1. Start With Friends and Relatives
The truth is that no matter how small, we all have a network we can leverage at the start of our business.
But if we are not deliberate about expanding this network, it would prove insufficient to meet the needs of the business as it grows.
2. Attend Business Events
Outside your immediate network, you have to attend business events like a trade fair, seminars, etc.
Most business owners when they attend such events, they only seek to market their products or services.
But these events are excellent opportunities to not only get new customers but also build your business network, form partnerships with other businesses that offer complementary value, etc.
Attending events is an age-long approach to build relationships. But, many businesses are still not leveraging them.
Joining a business mastermind is an excellent opportunity to meet peers across different sectors of business.
Especially when the mastermind group is not organized around the contacts you already have.
With a business mastermind, you can form more intimate relationships with other business owners, and they can begin to contribute to the growth of your business within a short time.
You can join The SME Mastermind group today and begin to leverage your relationship with other business owners to unlock growth for your business.
4. Host Business Meetings/Lunches
You can be more strategic about the relationships you want to build, and you should.
You don’t always want to wait until you attend business events to build your business relationships.
One way is to take the people you want to form a relationship with on a business lunch.
It usually involves research and outreach to make it happen, but they provide a more personal space to start the relationship.
You can take a business leader you admire or a mentor or even peer in your industry on such lunches.
5. Sponsor/Take Part In Social Events
Another way to build relationships that you can use to grow your business is by participating in or sponsoring social events.
These events often attract people across all walks of life like business owners, government officials and customers who are passionate about an issue in the community.
Relationships built from social gatherings are important because of the diversity of people they attract and also because they share a common societal interest outside their personal or business goals – which can help foster long term beneficial relationships.
6. Be Active Online
Business relationships are not just built through face-to-face meetings.
They can also be formed through online interactions.
With the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses were still able to form new relationships by leveraging Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
By leveraging social media, the relationships you build for the growth of your business is no longer restricted by geography.
You can leverage the relationship formed with strangers in different countries to grow your business.
And you should too.
The power of the relationships you build with your customers, suppliers, other businesses, investors, etc. today rarely manifest today or tomorrow.
They are long-term investments but with a value of return that keeps compounding.
Before you run off, there are a few tips you should note before you start building business relationships.
Tips For Building Healthy Business Relationships
1. Spend Time to Nurture Relationships – You cannot call on a contact you formed at a networking event a year ago and expect them to be readily willing to do you a favour. You have to nurture your relationships; new and existing. It takes time and effort, but it has to be done.
2. Give As much As You Expect – To whom much is given much is expected, you have to invest in the people in your network, provide help and support, send them referrals, care about their challenges before you expect them to do the same for you.
3. Understand Their Goals – This will help you bring more value to the relationships you form. Whether it’s with your customers, key partners, customers or employees, know what their goals are and try as much as you can to help them achieve their goals.