How to Maintain Positive Business Relationships
This post was contributed.
It’s impossible to build a successful business, blogging or otherwise, without connecting with others.
While some people have an image of solo entrepreneurs creating their company from scratch and taking it to great heights all on their own, this doesn’t happen. It never does. Businesses grow because people work together.
In any case, you won’t have all the necessary tools and resources to grow everything all on your own. You’ll need to have business relationships.
But while finding companies you want to work with might not be difficult, maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship might.
Below, we take a look at some useful tips that’ll ensure you’ll always be on the same page.
Staying at the Forefront Everyone the Same
It’s just a fact that some of the companies you deal with will have a bigger impact on your success than others. But that doesn’t mean you should treat any company different from the others. While one of your business relationships might be small potatoes for you, you might be important to them.
Everything will run much smoother if you adopt the same approach for everyone that you’re dealing with. If you begin to take one company for granted, then everything will quickly move south. It’s all about bringing positivity to your dealings, and you can’t do that if you’re not valuing them as much as you should.
More Than Email
You’re not going to be existing side by side with the people with whom you have a professional relationship, but that doesn’t mean that you should rely solely on email for communications, especially in the early days.
There’s a lot of value in meeting face to face. It’ll allow you to get to know your potential partner better, and develop a deeper understanding of who they are.
Once you know each other, most of your communication will be via telephone and email, but it’ll still be worthwhile getting together every now and again.
Give As Much As You Take
The businesses that you work with aren’t there just to serve you. And you’re not there to serve them. Like in any other relationship, you should be giving as much as you take.
They have their own interests and goals, and you should be helping them to achieve those ends just as much as the other way around. Everything that is expected from each party will already be well-defined by the terms of your agreement (more on that later), so you can’t turn around and ask for more later on unless everyone agrees.
Review and Update the Deal
And about that contract: it shouldn’t be something that stays static. In the early days, it was developed with specific circumstances in mind. Over time, those circumstances will change, and you’ll need to change the expectations that each party has.
To make it easy to review, audit, and update your contracts with other parties, make sure you have a contract management system in place. The aim is to get your relationship to the point where it’s recommended that you update the contract; it’ll show that you’ve developed enough growth for it to be merited.
The Best Policy: Honesty
Nothing in life runs smoothly all the time, so why would it run smoothly all the time in business? If you have enough relationships with other companies, then you’ll run into a problem sooner or later. Sometimes, this problem will be because of an error on your behalf, sometimes it’ll be because of something the other company did. No matter who or what is to blame, your approach should always be the same: you’ve got to be honest. No company can read the minds of others, and maintaining an open dialogue will ensure that there is no confusion and prevent wires from getting crossed.
More Than Business
Finally, keep in mind that while business will be your ultimate goal, and your top priority, it doesn’t need to be the only thing you concern yourself with. There’s more to life than business!
Studies have shown that employees who become friends with one another are better able to work together, and there’s no reason to think this wouldn’t also apply to companies who are in business with one another.
While you don’t need to become best pals, you should be on friendly terms. Even if it doesn’t necessarily improve productivity, it will make the whole process more enjoyable.
If you manage them properly, your business relationships can help you to take your business to the next level, and last for many years.
Readers, please share so people engaged in business learn how to build strong business relationships.
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