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The Importance of Healthy Business Relationships

The Importance of Healthy Business Relationships

Make your network your most valuable resource.

  • Although startups may not have a lot of cash, a strong network can be their greatest asset.
  • Business relationship types include business-to-business and business-to-consumer.
  • Cold calling, giving away things for free, and using social media to settle disputes quickly are all ways to build and sustain business relationships.
  • This article was written for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to build and sustain strong business relationships.– Business startups are often short of cash and supplies. But, their most valuable resource isn’t the balance: quality business relations.

A strong network can include clients, suppliers and buyers depending on the business. Outsourced service providers, government agencies, media, and even competitors are all possible. Although the context of each business is different, trust and amicability are essential to any network.

We talked to experts, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners about growing, nurturing, and even dissolving business partnerships.

Different types of business relationships

We’ll be focusing on business to-business (B2B),, and business–to-consumer(B2C),.

Business-to-business (B2B)

These relationships are usually those that are either up or down the supply chains. These relationships will be crucial for the company’s operations. A cosmetics company wouldn’t be able to do business without its upstream suppliers and downstream retailers, for instance.

However, not all businesses have such vertical supply chains. Partnership opportunities are also available through horizontal networks. Horizontal relationships are connections between your company and other businesses at the same level in the supply chain. Horizontal relationships could include a competitor or business with similar clients, such as a photographer for weddings and a baker.

Business-to-consumer (B2C)

B2C refers to commerce transactions in which businesses sell products and services to consumers. Building trust with customers is crucial as they are the main driver of these relationships.

“Building trust in business relationships is crucial,” stated Emily Brackstone (shareholder at Baker Donelson, and vice chair of Baker Donelson’s emerging company team. People prefer to do business only with people they trust to act in their best interests. It can be hard to save a relationship if trust is broken.

Managing customer relationships, and ensuring customer satisfaction are also important components of a successful B2C relationship. Brackstone stated that you need to ensure your clients are satisfied with the service or product you offer.

Customers and clients should also be able to contact you easily. People will distrust your reliability and feel less comfortable doing business with you if you are difficult to reach.

Customers are the foundation of business relationships. If you place customer needs above your sales, you can build these relationships and nurture sales that you never expected.

Building business relationships

These are effective ways to maintain business relationships.

  • Cold calling
  • Free samples
  • Social media:
  • Keep in touch
  • Building trust
  • Settling disputes

Cold calling

Building quality business relationships is not a secret formula. The methods are obvious but they don’t make it easy.

Simon Paine, Pop-Up Business School CEO, said, “If I were starting a business tomorrow, my first port-of-call would be to contact every person I know.” He suggests creating three lists, labeled “must-call”, “should-call” and “be kind to call”, and then dialing from them.

Paine stated that while some people may consider phone calls outdated, this is where your company can make leaps forward. Things happen when people talk to you. It is easy to overlook social media and email.

Free samples

Roger Wood, GSM Finance’s business development director, stated that a free sample of your work is a great way to make connections from nowhere. These can be local people, industry-related individuals if you are in the B2B sector, or influential people in your industry.

This strategy uses social media as a communication channel and contact source. Wood suggested joining a Facebook group in your industry. There are likely to be at least one already in your region. Wood warned that these should not be considered free promotional platforms.

He said, “The secret to making the most of these [industry group] is to help others more than you promote yourself.” Negative people will be criticized for promoting themselves or sucking value from the group without contributing to it.

Social media:

The advice not to blatantly promote yourself also applies when you’re using social media for customer service and other relationship-building efforts.

Paine stated that there are several common errors made by businesses of all sizes. Paine stated that businesses of all sizes make common mistakes when they try to sell on social media. They don’t target the right audience or niche enough, and they also don’t do it consistently. [Related to How To Find Your Business Niche ]

Instead of treating social media as a passive tool that allows ads to be blasted and communication is one-sided; instead, see it as an opportunity for interaction with your target audience.

Customers expect businesses to be responsive. Customers often “@” businesses on Twitter to express appreciation, or more often, criticize them for poor customer service.

Social media allows you to connect with customers directly, rather than waiting for them through traditional channels.

Keep in touch

It becomes more difficult to maintain contact with everyone in your Rolodex the more business relationships you build. It is important to stay in touch with all of your business contacts. It doesn’t mean you have to contact them every day, every week, or every month. Social media is a natural way to keep in touch.

If a business acquaintance shares a LinkedIn post, please take a moment to like it. Reach out to them by email to thank them for a promotion or job.

It’s quick and easy to keep in touch with people via social media. If you are interested and willing to help, it could lead to new business.

Building trust

You might not trust your new business contacts the first time you meet them. It’s okay to not trust each other the first time you work together. To be trustworthy and competent, it’s important to earn trust over time.

Your connections and you will have a greater chance of bringing you new opportunities if you build trust. They will also be more likely stay in touch.

Settling disputes

It’s quite common for business deals to result in disputes, because the interests of different parties may sometimes conflict. Keep things professional when this happens and avoid expressing emotion. Brackstone recommends that you maintain calm and direct communication, at least in person.

She said that “Getting people together in a room can often help to clear the air.” People often behave badly via email or phone but become more receptive when they sit across from each other. It is important to be strategic in choosing who you include in the meeting.

Building healthy business relationships is a great way to reap the benefits

Building healthy business relationships has many benefits, including the ability to gain referrals and leverage horizontal business networks. You can also reap the benefits of a long-lasting partnership.

Referrals and client discovery

Alistair Dodds is co-founder and marketing director at EIC Marketing. They are key to referral and discovery business.

Referrals can occur organically if you have invested time and energy in your business relationships.

Brackstone stated that individuals will naturally want to grow their business with people they like working with. In many cases, they may also create new business opportunities with those they love working with. Referrals from satisfied customers are the best source of business.

It may surprise you to discover the benefits of building relationships with your competitors – if for intel purposes then at least for quid proquo referrals.

Dodds maintains relationships with digital marketing agencies around the world and said, “I would suggest it’s better that you build [referral relations] whereby your geographic or key services don’t overlap.” “We give leads, intros, and new business in their skill sets which we know they specialize in. They are happy to do the same for us.”

Maximize the use of horizontal business network

Horizontal networks offer many opportunities. You have more opportunities for referrals, partnerships, and support if you establish relationships with horizontal networks.

Wood refers horizontal network businesses to as “adjacent”. These are businesses that are not directly competitors to yours, but have a similar customer profile. A florist and funeral director are two examples that might be considered outlandish.

There is no limit to the number of uses

Strong business relationships, unlike cash, are not a declining resource. A well-maintained network can only grow. You can rely on each other for reasonable favors as long as the relationship is maintained.

Is it time for a business relationship to be ended?

However, not all business relationships are worth keeping.

Brackstone stated that it is possible to end a business relationship if it becomes clear that the relationship is not working. They should confront the problem head-on and explain the reasons for dissolution.

Do not rush to end a bad client relationship. Instead, find a solution. These issues can make the difference between a satisfied customer and a nightmare PR situation.

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