From staff management to building business relationships, business marketing and trying to exceed customer expectations, running a business is not as easy as eating cake.
Obviously, this is one of the reasons why some people believe that starting a new business is not as difficult as actually running it.
No doubt about it, it’s not easy, and apparently, that’s why so many businesses struggle to survive. But one thing that’s certain is that the art of running or managing a business is something one can learn.
In fact, so many of the great entrepreneurs never claimed to have been born with the skills to manage or run a successful business; they all learn from others in an attempt to improve on their abilities.
Business relationships your startup should be building
So what’s more important in running a business? What impacts do business relationships have on day-to-day running of the business? Can a business survive without building relationships?
Can you get the best out of your staff without making them feel appreciated? Below are top 5 essential business relationships your startup should be building right now:
#1]. Relationship with customers
The very best of business relationships is arguably the one between the business and the customers. The obvious reason for this is because customers are the mainstay of any successful business.
Business is all about buying and selling, and this is why no matter how great your products or services are, you still need people to patronise your business.
As a business owner, getting into your customer minds is highly essential as this is the only way to understand them and offer what they want, which in turn, will generate some revenues for your business.
But will you be able to get into your customer minds without building relationships with them? Building business customer relationships helps you to know what your customers want and how best you can make them happy for repeat business.
As a matter of fact, your number one priority as a business owner is to build a business to customers relationships. This will easily give you access to your customer minds.
If something goes wrong between your business and a customer, the good relationships you have been able to build will help you sort things out amicably and without the affected customers going somewhere else to do business.
The simple fact is that engaged and highly valued customers would be more than satisfied and more than loyal. They go out of their way to show their association with your business and this is especially good for word-of-mouth marketing.
However, you can build great customer relationships that will have positive effects on your business but bad customer service can effectively kill such relationships. This is why some people believe that building customer relationships is not as important as actually maintaining the relationships.
#2]. Relationship with your staff
No man is an island, especially when running a business because you need people around you to make your startup succeed. From marketing to sales as well as customer support services, only you can’t do everything!
As you are making your customers happy, your staff should not be left out because a happy workforce will effectively help the business to grow and translate to more success.
Just as they say that if you want to get the best out of your staff, always try to make them happy. Your business needs to build a work environment where every staff is deemed highly valued and appreciated.
When you have a team of staff that think their job is to ensure your business succeeded, then you have to also reciprocate that attitude too. You have to ensure that they felt appreciated in their efforts to make your business a number one favourite for your customers.
Whether you like it or not, your staff is the link between your business and the customer, and the way you treat them will apparently reflect on the ways they treat your customers. Obviously, a happy staff will smile at your customers and make them feel at home!
#3]. Relationship with suppliers
Your suppliers are your partners in some capacities because they are the ones that give your business the much-needed materials or goods your business is selling. Your suppliers ensure your business continues to exist by supplying you what you need.
The ways you think, feel, and act towards other people like your suppliers are determining factors towards your business success.
The way you see them is the way they will see you! This is why it’s important to build a business relationship that makes your suppliers feel like they are part of your business (and they are in the actual sense).
And if there is a need for you to show dissatisfaction towards your suppliers, always do it in a more civilised and polite manner.
There is no need to create scenes where there shouldn’t be any. Make your suppliers happy and they will reciprocate the gesture. Let them know whenever your business struggles with sales or fails to meet expectations. Don’t play the “smart guy” game on them as this may lead to dishonesty and lack of trust.
#4]. Relationship with banks/creditors
From paying staff and suppliers to financing marketing campaigns, money is an essential factor in running a business.
Even if your savings could be enough to fund your startup, you will still need some kind of financial support to make the business succeed. And where do you go for this “little” help other than your bank?
Your bank is the number one place to keep the money your business generated and it’s also one of the best and most reliable means of raising capital to finance a startup.
By doing business with a bank, you stand a better chance to seek financial assistance from the bank to support your business.
If you want to expand your business, open new centres or shops, acquire new materials or just want to introduce new products, you may decide to get your bank to financially support you.
But the problems with getting financial support from the bank is that they just don’t dole out money anyhow. This is why a relationship with your creditors or banks is one of the best business relationships you have to build right from the establishment of your business. Every relationship is based on trust and this one is not an exception.
#5]. Relationship with the locals
Your immediate customers are the ones in the vicinity of your business location. This is why it’s important for you to make sure that you are in good terms with the locals no matter the size of your business.
As a matter of fact, your business owes the locals some kind of corporate responsibility.
A responsible business is a business that values those contributing towards its success (staff, customers, suppliers and the locals).
So how do you make your business a responsible business? How do you build a relationship with the local community?
You can start by incorporating societal and environmental factors in your business strategy and operations. This will play a vital role in the long-term viability of your business.