Whether you’re working on a startup from your apartment home or you’re managing a team of 50, business partnerships are the key to a thriving work environment and a successful bottom line. It takes time, energy, dedication, and mutual benefit to foster business relationships.
So how do you find a balance between direction and guidance, give and take, to support a growing relationship? Here are a few ways to navigate today’s working landscape.
Communication is key
You want your business partner to feel like the most valuable client that you have, even if they’re just one fish in a corporate pond. Don’t let the conversation center only one making a sale or talking about potential profits. Schedule monthly calls to check in on them and see if there is anything you can do on your end to enhance your relationships. Share relevant industry news and create value to your communication rather than just empty words or sales tactics.
Once the business relationship starts to transcend into a more informal and personal relationship, communication will be easier and your connections will be more natural. To get to this point, share experiences, ideas, and stories. Be there for your clients and make sure that they know you’ve got their back. This bond is what makes partnerships last when another business offers your partner their services.
If one day your partner gets great service from you, and another day you’re grumpy, or can’t answer their questions, or just plain don’t seem to prioritize their interaction, they’ll soon start to question your relationship. If you are always honest (even if your answer isn’t exactly what they want to hear), responsive, and punctual, your business partner will know that you’re the go-to that they can always rely on.
Know why you’re a good business partner
There is a reason that your clients were drawn to you, whether it’s your customer service and pricing, or your ability to get the job done time and time again. Foster this dynamic by always meeting your clients’ expectations and working to your strengths. A truly great product or service doesn’t need a sales pitch, so focus on what you excel at and your relationships will flourish.
Focus on local businesses
Building bonds in your community can be a great way to build and maintain relationships. Knowing that your work together is making a real difference in your neighborhood reinforces your business relationship as a part of something greater.