10 Foolproof Ways To Build Better Business Relationships

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many people think about business simply in terms of profit, but there’s a huge people and relationship component that impacts your profits and growth. The following contributed post is entitled, 10 Foolproof Ways To Build Better Business Relationships.

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Strong business relationships are essential if your business is going to not only survive, but thrive. Building relationships with your teams, suppliers, and anybody else who comes into contact with your business is key. This way, you’ll build a solid reputation, as well as retain your customers and gain new customers. Below, we’ll take a look at 10 foolproof ways to build better business relationships. Take a look!

1. Encourage Honest Feedback
Start encouraging honest feedback from various people you come into contact with, your team members, suppliers, customers, etc. Give them the opportunity to provide it anonymously if possible, as this may make it more attractive. Honest feedback is an opportunity for your business to learn and improve, so make sure you put plans into place to action it. Don’t just ask for feedback – make sure you’re doing something with it. You might think that you’re doing everything amazingly, but somebody in a different department or on a different job could disagree. Make sure you want to help by listening and making things better.

2. Listen More Than You Talk
Start listening more than you talk. Great listeners always build better relationships, because they can read between the lines, ask questions, and really get to the heart of the matter. If you’re always just jumping in and waiting for your turn to speak, you’ll never truly listen properly or build strong connections. Practice your listening skills and don’t immediately try to jump in with what you have to offer. Make sure any staff who are in the sales department are trained properly and know how to do this, too.

3. Give More
How can you give more? Can you provide freebies, discount codes, or incentives to come back in other ways? Providing free things of value can make a huge difference and shows that you are a generous company that wants to help – and also that you actually value people. You can provide more to your own team by giving them things like gym memberships and bonuses as incentives, as well as more time off. Don’t just give them the bare minimum.

4. Admit Your Mistakes
Companies make mistakes all the time. The only time it is truly a problem is if they don’t acknowledge them, pass the blame, or lie. Admitting your mistakes is hard but it’ll make you a better business and ensure you are as authentic as possible in your communications. Everybody will respect you more if you commit to admitting your mistakes and learning from them.

5. Make It More Personal
Make your communications with people more personal where appropriate. Remember names, ask them how they are, and try to mention something you discussed last time so they know you remember them and that you’re interested in continuing to build a relationship with them.

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6. Stick With The Same Suppliers
You can’t flit from supplier to supplier in the hopes of building relationships and getting better deals if you’re not giving them a chance in the first place. Places like Humphrey-Products.com can provide manufacturing equipment, and if you stick with them then you will be able to build a more meaningful relationship. Make sure you stick with your suppliers for a while before you decide whether they are working for you or not.

7. Identify Shared Goals and Values
Make sure that whether you’re hiring somebody new or looking for a new supplier to work with, you’re seeking out people with the same shared goals and values. Make sure your goals are in alignment. For instance, if you’re a company that wants to have a positive impact on the environment, you should look to work with people who also want the same thing and are taking steps to do it. Make sure you consider other things, such as how honest they are, how helpful, and moral character of the people you’re working with. Is there mutual respect? You don’t necessarily need the same POV, but having shared values is important.

8. Share Valuable Content For Free
Sharing valuable content for free can be scary. Why would you just give away everything you know like that? This not only helps you to establish your business as an authority, but it adds value to the lives of your audience. They might just read your content and decide to work with you, or make a mental note to come back to you. They could share your content with people they know who they think will find it useful. There are all kinds of reasons you should look into creating valuable content and sharing it for free. Look into blog posts, videos, infographics, and other shareable content. You can even work with companies to help you create and edit this content, so do that if you’re short on time. Content is king and can help with your marketing in a number of ways, as well as other aspects of business.

9. Make Sure Everybody Is On The Same Page
Ensure that everybody within your company is on the same page. They should know how to treat and speak to people, whether they are customers of your business or not. Customer service training is essential, but everybody is representing your company and should therefore know how to interact with people. You can easily develop a reputation if one of your team members appears to have a bad attitude.

10. Send Corporate Gifts
Sending out corporate gifts can be a great way to congratulate another business or partner, or celebrate a special occasion. These gifts can be useful, such as mugs, bags, and other things, or they can be branded merchandise. Whatever you choose to send out, ensure that it’s something they can really use that will help them to think positively of your brand and think of you should they need your services.

Building better relationships isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. Take your time, be authentic and honest, and you should get to where you want to be eventually. Thanks for reading!

How To Find Corporate Relationships That Will Last

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. A major part of business is the relationships. Forming relationships with partners is critical in forming lasting business partnerships. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Find Corporate Relationships That Will Last.

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A business relationship is the same as a personal one – you want it to last a lifetime. However, living in consumerist bliss isn’t guaranteed. Similar to dating, you may find that they have small traits that mean you aren’t compatible. And, you may also pass these relationships off as experiences that you couldn’t control.

Before you move onto your next conquest, though, it’s essential to understand that your initial interactions impact how long your relationship will last. If you don’t spot the signs fast enough, it could be a whirlwind romance with the potential to be lucrative and drama-filled.

Here’s how to ensure you find the partners and clients you can trust for the long-term.

Match Personalities

A partnership is probably the most common example of a business relationship. Two people come together to use their different skills and characteristics to push the company forward. So, it’s tempting to assume that opposites attract, yet this isn’t the case. Sure, the way you operate should complement each other nicely. Still, you’ve got to like the person and be able to compromise. With that in mind, it’s vital to match your personalities to avoid small and regular conflicts from killing productivity levels.

Set Out Commitment Expectations

You and your partner, or an outsourcer who is taking care of a task, expect to share profits/be paid a lot of money. Of course, cash divides people, especially when one party isn’t putting in the same amount of effort. Therefore, it’s crucial to set out what you expect from each other before signing on the dotted line. It may be as basic as hours spent in the office, or it may include speaking to customers and boosting employee morale. Regardless, it’s worth considering as you don’t want feelings of bitterness to break up a happy couple.

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Find Out What Makes Them Tick

Understanding the reasons why partners, clients, or anybody does what they do is essential. What makes them tick is going to affect everything from their commitment to how much money they are willing to pump into the organization. In a world where consumers are driven by morality, it’s particularly important to touch base with suppliers. Part of the supply chain, such as natural stone sustainability, will especially impact construction companies if buyers realize that the goods aren’t sourced properly. The same goes for any enterprise whose shoppers take the environment seriously.

Have An Exit Plan

Sadly, relationships aren’t meant to last, even if you love the person and want to stay with them forever. In this scenario, an exit strategy is imperative as it provides a level of flexibility. After all, the scope for growth may suddenly come to an end, in which case you must switch up suppliers. Otherwise, the business will suffer and potentially tank. As a result, you should consider running a trial period and only signing a short or medium-term agreement. Then, you aren’t tied down if the relationship goes south.

Do your business relationships last? What’s your secret?

How to Cultivate Successful Employer-Employee Relationships

Two key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Professional Development/Skills. In any workplace, employer-employee relations are absolutely critical and are the lifeblood to achieving the mission. The following contributed post is entitled, How to Cultivate Successful Employer-Employee Relationships.

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In any business, human relationships are key. Whether you are working in a small start-up environment, or in a multinational conglomerate, personal relationships will always have an effect on the mood of the office, staff morale, and productivity. When thinking about business, it is often too tempting to boil it down to numbers and cold hard facts – and forget the humans who will be processing and creating all that data. This is a mistake, and it is only by considering a business holistically that you can start to truly understand and perfect how it operates.

The most important, and perhaps most tricky, relationship to manage is that of the boss or line-manager, and their employee. There is a thin line to tread between resentment, mutual respect, and an over-friendliness that can damage objectivity. However, there are standards and cultures you can implement in any setting that will help create successful and productive relationships.

Honesty

Honesty is key. Without it, relationships can fester and stagnate – as true in a business setting as it may be in a romantic context. If any problems do arise between managers and their staff, it is important that both feel able to immediately express this in a calm and productive manner. You can help this along by implementing clear structures for performance management, including consistent feedback and reviews.

Team-Building

It may seem frivolous to some, but team-building exercises can be fundamental in building a feeling of camaraderie around an office, and levelling the ground between supervisors and workers. Consider taking a group of employees who may need to work closely together to a team building day out. If this is unfeasible, put together a smaller package of activities you can introduce for an hour in the office. This will increase morale, help your staff feel motivated and appreciated, and encourage honesty and team-work across other areas of the workplace.

Lines of Responsibility

Whilst keeping everyone feeling like a team working on the same level is helpful, it is also important to have clearly delineated lines of responsibility. Often, feelings of resentment can spring from people suspecting others are ‘treading on their toes’, micromanaging or interfering unnecessarily in their work, creating an atmosphere of distrust. This can be solved by ensuring everyone knows clearly what their roles and responsibilities are, drawing clear lines that can be adhered to, and avoiding the muddy waters that can cause tension.

Respect

Perhaps the most important aspect of the supervisor-supervisee relationship to cultivate is that of mutual respect. It is also the hardest to create and quantify. Mutual respect will allow employees to disagree, debate and even discipline each other, whilst remaining in a productive headspace free from resentment or anger. Through team-building and clearly drawn lines of responsibility and feedback, a culture of respect can be created in your workplace.

Reward

If discipline is to be effective, there must be a carrot as well as a stick. Workplace rewards are a great way for employers and their managers to signal appreciation for each others’ hard work in a way that is professional and within company policy. By introducing systems of peer-to-peer recognition, and appreciation that can move up the hierarchy as well as down, you are helping to create an environment where everyone will want to work for each other as well as for themselves.

How to Manage Your Relationship With Stuff

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. A key aspect to our lives is our living space. Sometimes our living space becomes unhealthy to our attachment to items and things. There’s a healthy balance to managing your belongings and your living space. The following contributed post is entitled, How to Manage Your Relationship With Stuff.

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‘Stuff’ was a big topic in 2019 and it’s no surprise that 2020 is set to continue the conversation. As we watch the planet change due to our activities, it is natural to question the wisdom that has gone before. Challenging how we live and what we accumulate along the way is a sensible start but it isn’t as simple as throwing everything away and starting again. In fact, that would be a disaster!

Learning to manage your relationship with stuff is about more than being tidy. You need to learn the difference between needs and wants, better understand terms like quality and value for money and only then begin to live with a little less.

How Much Stuff Do I Already Have?

There are some incredible statistics out there that really show how we relate to stuff. For example, the average American home has doubled in size over the last 50 years and now contains around 300,000 items. Just trying to imagine that is quite difficult but if you consider the number of pens, pots, pans and pairs of pants you own, you can see how quickly the numbers add up – and we’ve not even considered the rest of the alphabet yet!

Another interesting statistic claims that 10% of Americans also rent off-site storage. This is madness when you consider that you could get a simple residential shed from twin city sheds for your garden but even crazier when you ask how often these people actually use those belongings (almost never). So why do people continue to pay to store things they don’t need? Because they don’t have a healthy relationship with stuff or really know what they need.

Having stuff makes us feel successful and safe. Knowing that you have a thing – even if you never use it – is reassuring because it might come in useful in the future. But that way lies hoarding and an unhealthy obsession with gathering and holding onto stuff. The classic item is a pair of trousers you are going to slim into at some point in the future. You keep hold of them because they cement the idea that a “better you” is possible and you need to be prepared for that eventuality. But, of course, the future never comes.

How Much Stuff Do I Actually Need?

The amount of stuff you personally need depends entirely on who you are and what you want to achieve. If you are an artist, for example, you might have a lot of stuff so that you can pursue your work. If you are a parent, you will probably have more toys than you think you need but your kids will insist otherwise! If you are a determined and radical minimalist, you might have just a few important things and little else.

There are a few ways to realize that you have more stuff than you need but perhaps the most obvious is that there is stuff everywhere. When you literally can’t put things away because there is no storage left, you need to reconsider what you need and what can go.

Imagine for a second that your home is completely empty – what do you need? When you start writing your list, you will quickly find that the number of items racks up. But, when you then go around your house, you will see how many items didn’t make the list but are still there. These are the items that you should now think about more ruthlessly. You don’t need them, so do you really want them?

Learning to Live With Less

Buying less is a great way to save money, space and sanity. When you stop bringing more and more unnecessary stuff into your house, the space you have will feel a lot bigger and calmer. But how do you curb the tide of stuff?

One good idea is to start focusing on experiences instead of things. This is really popular with younger people who value experience far more than things. There are a few interesting suggestions as to why but perhaps the most interesting is that millennials were watching in 2008 when the markets crashed and suddenly people didn’t own their stuff anymore. It seems like a natural response to choose experiences, where the memory will last a lifetime, when you can’t rely on keeping your stuff forever. This generation has also grown up with a sharing economy, endless pressure to update social media showing off an incredible lifestyle and genuinely can’t afford to accumulate stuff anyway!

By focusing on experience, you can also add value to your life. Investing in travel or education or a particular passion will bring you far more joy than buying more and more stuff to fill up your house. Of course, as your interests change, you might find yourself purchasing items to explore a particular passion or hobby. But what is important is that you recognize when your interest is spent and it’s time to get rid and move on.

Selecting the Right Stuff

When you are comfortable living with less, it’s important that you then learn to select the right stuff. Instead of buying a variety of things in the interim, making do with what you have and then investing on the things you really want is far smarter. A little of something perfect is often preferable to a lot of something imperfect.

Quality and value for money are the key phrases here. Buying something of a high quality is often more expensive but if it lasts longer than comparable products, it is a good investment. This is one of the reasons smart spending is so important. Saving up and spending more can actually save you money in the long term.

When you are less dependent on stuff for your happiness, you own less clutter and value experience more, you are likely to be happier, healthier and calmer. But don’t try to change your lifestyle completely overnight. Like any relationship, your relationship with stuff takes time to build and will always include a bit of negotiation!

The Advantages of Building a Good Relationship With Other Businesses

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Business is a team sport. You’re far more likely to run a profitable business if you’re establishing relationships with other businesses versus doing it on your own. The following contributed post is entitled, The Advantages of Building a Good Relationship With Other Businesses.

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A good working relationship is always a huge positive when it comes to growing your company. Having friends in different industries and companies, especially if they can work together with you, will help your business grow faster and scale to greater heights. Unfortunately, building these relationships is difficult and it takes a lot of networking in order to get your foot into the door.

Building good relationships with other businesses means that you should be attending as many networking events and trade shows as possible. Handing out business cards, following-up on interactions and generally just being a helpful and approachable manager will go a long way. But what exactly are you aiming to do and what are the advantages of building a good relationship with other businesses?

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You’ll get professional assistance with things you aren’t familiar with

Whether it’s cybersecurity, networking or even construction, building a good relationship with other businesses will ensure that you get professional assistance with things you don’t completely understand. There are many advantages of having IT companies on your side and having legal professionals on your side is pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to building a successful company. Industry professionals are always capable of helping you grow your business with their advice and connections, hence the importance of developing good relationships with other businesses.

Superior service, better prices and exclusive discounts

Plenty of companies offer better pricing and exclusive discounts when you’ve built a good relationship with them. However, some companies like Ridge Concrete offer 24/7 delivery regardless of the size and time of the order, meaning that you don’t need to develop a strong relationship before you can start seeing benefits. Even so, building a good relationship with companies that are known for their customer service will just mean that they’re willing to go the extra mile when you need help.

This can mean 24/7 consultancy, advice and even recommendations for businesses that you wish to work with in the future. They may even offer bespoke services as long as you’re willing to describe the issue carefully and also offer a contract that is beneficial to them. In other words, the closer your relationship with another business, the more personalised the services will become.

Building a good relationship with other businesses

Now that we’ve explained some of the big advantages of building a good relationship with another business, here are a couple of suggestions on how you can do so.

• Reach out to different businesses and don’t be afraid to break the ice
• Always pay on time so that you don’t make things difficult for the other company
• Give other companies plenty of lead time to ensure that they can provide you with the services and products you need with minimal rush
• Don’t be afraid to talk more to other businesses, such as sharing industry information, visiting their offices in person or even inviting them to events hosted by your company