You might go into business because you have a good idea and think you can make a profit on it. Indeed, many entrepreneurs focus entirely on the product they have conceived of and barely give a moment’s thought to anything else. But this would be a huge mistake.
Business, like any interaction between people, relies on building strong relationships. Imagine owning a funeral home for a moment. It would be a quiet job, surely? Well, the parlor might be quiet but when you need to liaise with a wide range of religious leaders, embalmers, and distraught family members – all of this will take considerable professionalism, not to mention empathy and understanding!
Being able to talk to people is more than being able to explain your ideas to your staff. Business requires that you listen to what other people think and adjust accordingly but it also requires you to build relationships that last a long time.
You Need Happy Customers
Every business needs customers to survive – that much is basic. But keeping hold of customers can be challenging. To make sure that your customers are happy, you must be prepared to build good relationships so that you understand what your customers are looking for.
There are a few ways to find out whether your customers are happy or not but the best way is also the simplest: ask them. When you ask for their opinions, it makes your customers feel valued and gives them an opportunity to tell you how to make more profit from them. Happy customers spend more, they tell their friends about your business and they return time after time. And all that from a simple conversation!
You Need Contented Staff
Your customers bring the money but your staff put in all the effort. Unhappy staff will lack motivation and won’t bother trying to make the business work. However, keeping your staff happy and content is probably a lot easier than you might think.
One of the biggest issues for staff is feeling that they are stuck. Giving them a little more autonomy is an obvious solution here and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Simply offer your staff a chance to do courses and learn new skills or take the lead on a project to gain experience. When your staff feels like they are an integral and valued part of the business, they will invest more of their effort into its success.
You Need to Build a Network
Businesses cannot run in a vacuum and you need to build a network in order to survive. The more people you know within your industry and across a wide range of other industries, the more potential customers and advisors you will have. Don’t take this lightly either, your network can have a huge impact on how you run your business and could be the difference between rapid success and sudden failure.
Building relationships is all about give and take. When you understand what others want from you, you will be in a much better position to deliver. So stop reading this and get out there!