Starting and running a small business involves so many different tasks that people often get lost in the shuffle. But without the people involved in your business, such as employees, customers and vendors, you probably wouldn’t have a business to run. As you focus on business growth, be sure to relegate some of your attention to relationship-building. To maximize your relationship-building potential and the way it can help your business, follow these five rules.
- Focus on Quality.Quality is indeed more important than quantity. Obviously, you want to have a large number of customers, and it’s not possible to develop a relationship with each one personally. But you can take the time to engage customers in discussion on your blog or other social media venues, as well as in your store front. Likewise, take a few minutes to talk to your vendors and employees to make sure everything is running smoothly on their end. Because, when it’s not, it will eventually trickle down to you.
- Meet New People Every Day.Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t build a large amount of business relationships overnight, either. But you can make an effort to meet and get to know one new person each day. This could be a new employee, vendor, customer or other small business owner.
- Network in the Community.Don’t forget about the other small-business owners in your community. They can become very beneficial connections for you and vice versa. Many towns hold networking meetings where small-business owners can come together monthly to discuss local business, troubleshoot problems and get to know other business owners. Spending time with other business owners can help you learn as you establish a footing in the business world.
- Keep Communication Going.Meeting someone and introducing yourself is not the basis for a relationship. To turn an acquaintance into a business relationship, you have to continue your efforts with communication. Become the business owner who initiates conversations with customers, employees, vendors and community members. People will notice when you take a genuine interest in them and make the effort to stay in touch.
- Be Friendly, Professional and Personable On- and Offline. Keep a bad day to yourself and make a conscious effort to be professional and personable with everyone you come into contact with. This can be especially important on the internet where many people believe it’s acceptable to forget manners, friendliness and courteous behavior. Have an internet marketing agency help you with your business website to make sure it’s inviting and encourages visitors to follow your blog, contact you with questions or comments, or click through to make a purchase.
Excellent marketing strategies and a hard work ethic will only get you so far if you aren’t building relationships in and around your business. Whether your business is a brick and mortar or an internet business, it’s important to make an effort to establish and build relationships in your community and beyond. As these relationships are created, continue to nurture them, knowing that the time and effort you invest will provide a return of business growth and success.
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Mary Ylisela works for Touchpoint Digital, a UK-based internet marketing company & digital advertising agency. Visit us to find out more about our services or take a read of our blog for more on increasing your online sales.