Business, much like our social lives, is fundamentally reliant on relationships—you really cannot conduct business alone. Whether it’s the relationships you build with your employees, other businesses or your customers and social media followers, these relationships are key in taking your company to the next level. There are certain powers and benefits in each of these relationships, and learning to leverage these can make all the difference in successfully growing. Here, then are some of the most important business relationships and tips for how you can make the most of them.
Your Triumphant Team
Any business needs a supportive team of employees to help it run successfully, but when your company is just starting out, it’s hard to acquire a trained and dedicated fleet of employees right off the bat. More than likely when developing your team, you’ll bring in those who best fit your needs—self-sufficient go-getters who believe in your business and know what they can bring to the table.
To make the most of the relationships you build with your employees, one thing is key to keep in mind: Happy employees equal committed supporters to your cause. When they’re taken care of, they’re going to help your business thrive by excelling in their jobs, bringing in new customers and strengthening the relationships they have with those customers. You want your employees to feel valued, appreciated and know they’re an invaluable part of the team—so make sure you say so! Maybe you’ll do this through recognition and verbal praise; or maybe through an employee excellence recognition program that credits them publicly; or even through rewarding team outings as incentive for a job well done. However you should choose to make your employees feel important, the key is to provide them a place where they want to work hard. Not only will they thank you, but your business will, too.
Your Biggest Fans
It goes without saying that a business can’t grow (or even remain afloat) without the support of customers, so this is one of the most critical relationships to not only manage, but also to nurture. It’s been said many times that people do business with people, so the key here is maintaining real and open communication with your customers and appreciating the people who support your vision. Showing gratitude to customers can be as simple as dropping a handwritten thank-you note with an online order, or by showing a personal interest and building a real relationship when you do get face time with them. Utilize the resources and strengths that you have to make them feel valued, and your customers will surely keep coming back for more.
Your Fleet of Followers
Are social media followers also considered your customers? Business is changing and seeing opportunities through digital outreach that weren’t always available—and yes, customers can take the shape of your followers. Your social media presence can do wonders for growing your company, especially when it comes to gaining more visibility and increasing engagement with followers and potential clients. Maintain fresh, interesting content that appeals to your followers, and set your company apart from the rest through your personal relationship with your supporters. Interact, respond to relevant comments and feedback and even consider a social media contest to garner interest and promote your products or services. It’s a win-win! Also, don’t forget to listen to what people are saying—either through comments, reviews or tagged posts, you’re essentially receiving free feedback and an open line of communication that allows you to hear what your fans want more of.
Your Most Trusted Source
Last but certainly not least, leveraging the power of the relationships you have with other businesses, namely other women entrepreneurs, is a surefire way to open the doors to networking, support and resources like you’ve never imagined. Other women entrepreneurs have similar interests, challenges, questions and answers like you do—and they’re equipped with the mindset of wanting to share their experiences to help other women-owned businesses thrive. Be sure to tap into these relationships through your NAWBO membership and through local and national NAWBO events throughout the year.
To see what other women entrepreneurs have to say about the benefits of a NAWBO membership after attending last year’s National Women’s Business Conference, read this article.
To get information and register for the next National Women’s Business Conference, October 15-17, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, follow this link.