Much of the success within business is down to the nurturing of relationships. Nurturing strong connections in all areas of your business is incredibly important, from customers to employees to suppliers, and maintaining these links will ensure every success for your company.
For those of you beginning to establish your network or looking to expand your client list, what are the best practices in building strong relationships? This blog will explore this question, touching on a handful of top tips for widening your network and ensuring that your business plan becomes a success in reality.
How networking is essential to finding new business relationships
Whether you run a well-established company, or you are only just beginning to seriously lay out your business idea, reaching out to contacts throughout the industry is a crucial element of its continuing success. Your own business network is key to this growth and should be tended to over time. Ensuring you keep up to date with current contacts is just as important as your ongoing hunt for new ones. Here are a few examples of how you could approach expanding your network:
- Become a member of a professional networking group: there are a wealth of industry specific groups which exist on both a local and a national level. Whichever you think is the best choice for you, these groups will provide exclusive access to potential contacts and even resources and conferences.
- Hold a networking event: if you hope to attract more local business, why not host your own networking event. Inviting individuals to have a chat over a tea or coffee will offer a fantastic chance to create stronger links with local brands.
- Take a long shot for the big clients: it is more than likely that you have a dream client in mind, whom at present may seem an unrealistic goal to connect to. There is no harm in going for a cold open, sending them an email or leaving a message about why opening a dialogue would be beneficial to both parties.
All three options are examples of how your approach to networking influences how other people in your industry or the local business community see your company. Taking an honest and realistic approach to establishing your connections, in addition to avoiding any flakiness, will lay firm foundations for expanding your network tenfold.
Top tips for maintaining strong business relations with clients
The most important consideration one must take into account in trying to strengthen their business relationships, is that business people are still just people. Although much of your approach to establishing your network and new connections will be based on a business foundation, it is important not to disregard the importance of keeping your connections human. Taking an active interest in their company’s work and finding any commonalities you may have, for example supporting the same football club, are ways in which you can show how important they are to you. This in turn, reflects well on your own business when the time comes to offer your services.
Closely followed by this is the importance of communication. There is no benefit in creating a connection for the sole purpose of hard sell and then just cutting all lines of communication whilst the project is completed. A consistent level of communication is therefore crucial. It allows you to share important knowledge, manage the realistic expectations of your deal and, most importantly, generates trust. This will also become essential if something goes wrong; a direct and human approach to communicating your company’s position will aid in maintaining your relationship.
Seeing each connection as more than a billable commodity is the best way to both strengthen and broaden your professional network and maintain the bonds you have already built.
If you would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.