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All-Weather Friends – How To Really Build Relationships with Other Businesses

– Contributed content –

Network graphic

(Qimono, Pixabay)

6 February 2018. While the relationship between your business and the customer is obviously the most important, there is the other, unwritten relationship rule that you need to follow, and that is making sure that you get along well with your contemporaries. Arguably, there are conflicting theories about whether you should “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” or maybe you should take the “why can’t we all just get along?” approach to doing business. Whatever your personal opinion, your company’s reputation needs to be sealed. You can only do this by building effective relationships with other businesses, and what are the best ways to do this?

Be digital buddies

Reaching out to your contemporaries online isn’t the just digital equivalent of popping your head over the garden fence to introduce yourself, it helps to build solid relationships. The opportunities that present themselves online are infinite, and in fact, it could give you the inspiration to improve something that you weren’t so hot on in the first place. Something like blogging is an acquired skill, and by offering your services to write guest posts for these businesses, they can return the favor, and your relationship can blossom. There’s a nice post on Guest Post Tracker showing you how to write the perfect guest post. By sticking your neck out and offering up your services online, it’s a great way to build bridges, but it’s something that doesn’t require a huge amount of effort, especially not in terms of setting up meetings, networking, and so forth.

Go out in the field

Some businesses completely forgo the physical aspect of networking, but it’s this personal approach to doing business that sets you apart from many others out there. Networking events are still in rude health, and it would be foolish for you not to follow up an online relationship with another company, by speaking to them in person. After all, you can say a lot more in person than you can with an email! For those businesses that are still struggling to find their feet, networking events and trade shows are a perfect opportunity for you to showcase what you are capable of. Some people shudder at the thought of networking, but if you go with the intention of offering your services, but also the knowledge of who is out there, it’s not just going to benefit you, but you could put somebody else in contact with another business that specializes in a certain area.

Keep at it

Lots of people view networking as something to be done on occasion, purely for the purposes of growing your contacts. If you go about it with this attitude, people will begin to catch on to your ulterior motives. Instead, you should consider networking and the building of relationships with other businesses as an ongoing effort. It could take a while for it to become automatic, but once you understand that networking and nurturing relationships aren’t just about the business, but it’s about being there for others, and them being there for you, it benefits everyone.

It can be very difficult to grow your network, but it’s such an essential component of expanding your business capabilities that it needs to be done. If you view building relationships with other companies as something more than a box-ticking exercise, and you will get much more out of it.

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