The Art of Building Business Relationships
Business is all about the relationships that you build. Of course, you need to develop a strong connection with your existing clients, but you also need to develop a network of partner organisations that you can do deals with. The relationships that you form should be mutually beneficial and they are also better if they are long-lasting and a degree of trust has been built up between the two parties involved.
Identify Your Shared Values and Ambitions
The best business relationships are based on shared values, ambitions or both. Perhaps you launched your companies at a similar time and you are on a similar trajectory. Maybe you both have a passion for customer service or innovation. Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will overlap entirely and challenging each other from time to time is not necessarily a bad thing. But when you have things in common, you always have something to form the cornerstone of your business relationship.
Obviously, trust is one of the foundations of a strong business relationship, and the best way to build this is by being authentic in your approach. If you go in with a false persona, people are more likely to pick up on this and catch you out. However, authenticity is much more likely to shine through and be reciprocated. Be genuine from the start and will start off your business dealings on the best possible footing.
Build in Protection
Of course, having trust and shared values is fantastic, but you also need to build in forms of protection for your business. For example, when you are entering into an agreement, you should have a clear contract with the terms spelt out in black and white. A lot of business relationships break down simply because there was an oral arrangement that was not back up in writing. For added protection, you could look into surety bonds and other similar measures. You need to have a sense of realism when you are building business relationships as there will be times when not everything goes exactly as you expected it to.
Network on a Personal Level
Try to meet up with your business partners in alternative settings rather than always in the office to get to know each other on a more personal level. Simply learning more about each other’s story including family and career history can bring you closer together. This sense of closeness can then help to benefit your professional relationship.
Set Aside Brainstorming and Creative Time
When you come up with ideas together as a partnership, there is a sense of joint ownership of them. So, set aside some time when you can brainstorm and work out ways that your separate business endeavours can end up benefiting one another.
Building business relationships is an essential part of running a successful company, and these are just a few of the ways that you can do this in the most effective way possible.