Most entrepreneurs feel that the key to their success is hard work, long hours at the office and of course total commitment to their business. But the fact is these are nothing more than naive assumptions. In reality, the effectiveness of a business is dependent on the relationships it has with its clients and colleagues. First, entrepreneurs have to understand that every relationship is important for the success of a business – both with peers and customers. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each relationship and most importantly develop the right relationship that will help a business grow.
Following is a list of a few relationships that are common in a business and perhaps better suit your business needs:
Business Acquaintance: Every relationship, especially between associates, begins with an introduction and formal recognition of roles. There are many instances where associates never go beyond mere acquaintance-ship. This may be because of poor communication, low co-operation or lack of trust. Businesses usually do not benefit from such relationships because they often do not result in improved productivity.
Mentor: This is a very productive relationship. Here a more knowledgeable peer or colleague takes an active role in fostering knowledge and skills to another colleague, who is comparatively less knowledgeable. Mentoring plays an active role in individual growth as well as the growth of a business.
Advocate: Unlike a mentor, who is your teacher, an advocate inspires you to your best performance. An advocate does not have any personal aspirations. Usually the business benefits from your increased productivity and enhanced skills.
Communicator: A communicator always keeps you updated about the latest news and happenings in the business. A communicator always shares information in a positive way that helps you to give your best at work.
Friendship: There are three primary conditions that help in transformation of a business relationship to a friendship: a common aspiration to move to the next level, increasing work-based relationship and sharing issues based on trust. A friendship can have a very positive effect on the productivity of a business.
Building a healthy relationship
A good communication system is the secret of creating healthy business relationships. It is important that you talk to your customers and colleagues to understand them and their needs. Entrepreneurs should be able to identify and address the pain points of its customers. Only then they (entrepreneurs) can expect to get new business. “A strong communication system helps you to stay competitive, attract new customers and increase productivity”, says Carol Wasserman, an Online Marketing Executive at iTeleCenter. Not only in external communication, but iTeleCenter can also play an important role in improving the internal communication system of a business.
Today is the age of internet and social networking sites. Entrepreneurs can network online and add new customers to their lists. But communication remains the key factor in all types of networking and marketing. It is also important to remember that people prefer to talk in person before they offer you their business. Customer service is another determining factor for the success of a business. You must also make provisions that will allow customers to talk to you, report a complaint or simply vent their views and ideas. In other words, communicating or maintaining a relationship with customers post sales is extremely important.
Therefore, it can safely be concluded that entrepreneurs need to be extra perceptive and sensitive to their business relationships. The quality of the relationship you share with clients, employees, partners and investors decides whether a business will have a sustainable advantage or a death knell. No matter how effective or new your business model is, it is sure to fail without an effective communication system.
Alex Christopher is an Online Marketer. For years he has been monitoring and advising the implementation of online marketing strategies for small businesses and start-ups. He is responsible for the success of quite a few online marketing companies.