How’s business? It is a question that many people ask when they know you’re an entrepreneur. Do you answer with the truth, or just say that you’re ‘keeping busy’?
We could all do with more business! Even if you’re working to capacity, you may not want more, but better business. Being paid more for your work will help you free up time and increase your income!
But your business could really grow satisfyingly if you develop more relationships than money! You see, I believe the true currency of business is not money, but relationships!
Franklin D Roosevelt once said, “This most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
I completely agree with this comment – but then I would as I’m a relationship freak! I have witnessed how businesses become more successful when their owners, directors and CEOs have an excellent relational ecosystem.
It has become clear to me that those who have succeeded in both public and business world have one thing in common: relationships!
Know, like, trust
People choose to do business with people they know, like and trust. Contracts worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been awarded where the character and history of the supplier was a major consideration. If you are looking for the ultimate competitive advantage and market differentiator, look no further than the way you relate to people.
Business is agreed via the relationships you build but you have to make sure you get to know people first. The word ‘networking’ chills me to the bone. I have nothing against meeting people, of course, but I have been to too many ‘networking’ events where the principal aim is for people to thrust business cards at you.
They don’t realise that because you don’t know them, you don’t know if you like them let alone trust them. Unless they slow down and spend time with you, your relationships will not be rooted properly so won’t grow.
Authentic business relationships take effort to build, but once you have they will help you grow your enterprise!
Collect, keep, grow
We all have a relational ecosystem! This includes those we regard as our closest friends and who we trust the most. These number, at most, five people. We then have associates we speak regularly who are on our speed dial right up to those we might only be in contact with once or twice a year.
But I am sure there are many people who you have met, and maybe done business with, who you’ve lost contact with. No longer keeping in touch means you fall off each other’s radar. What you require is a strategy to keep in contact with everyone within your ecosystem.
It may seem impossible, but by having a clear plan you can keep in touch with everyone! My strategy is to collect, keep and grow relationships - I go through life collecting relationships one at a time, then finding ways to keep in contact with them and looking for ways to grow the relationship by working together. If you like my strategy why not use and make it your own.
101 secrets to help grow your business
From my many years of collecting, keeping and growing relationships, I have picked up a few tips! I have managed to connect to the CEOs of big companies who have then gone on to offer me work because of the relationship we have built.
The lessons I have learned include the two I have written about above. But there really are 99 others! A few years ago, I wrote about them in my book Relationology: 101 Secrets to Grow Your Business Through The Power of Relationships.
I’m delighted to announce that a new edition of the book is now available globally through Amazon. Many business leaders have read the book and commented on how helpful it is, which is such an honour for me.
I wrote ‘Relationology 101’ so that you can pick it up and read what you need as and when you need it. But you can also sit back and read it from cover to cover if you wish.
You can buy digital and print versions of my book today by following this link.