Running a business

8 Types of Business Relationships Companies Should Cultivate

Operating a business means interacting with all sorts of people. Whether discussing products and services with customers, negotiating with suppliers, training employees, or partnering with corporations, these relationships form the basis for any business. 

For that reason, it’s essential for businesses to continually build and nurture these connections, as they are mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Here are eight types of relationships that you should actively cultivate for your business. 

1. Customer Relationship

Your consumer is one of the most important business relationships to cultivate as it is how you can make money. Regular and loyal customers who continue to have good experiences at your store will come back repeatedly and might even bring their family or friends. 

Grow these relationships through proper employee training with a focus on excellent customer service. You want to aim to make every customer interaction a positive experience, no matter if it’s the person’s first or fifth time visiting your business. Active listening, empathizing with patrons, and keeping their needs at the forefront of your mind can help drive customer satisfaction, improve referrals, and garner positive social media reviews. 

2. Employee Relations

Employees can sometimes be one of the most underrated assets of a business. Good business owners know that to be successful, you need to nurture your employees. The staff are the company’s backbone, as they interact with customers, manage internal responsibilities, and help keep everything running smoothly. 

Cultivating a healthy and positive work environment is a must. Implementing an open-door policy can keep a clear path of communication open for the whole team. Showing appreciation to employees and offering perks like benefits or tuition reimbursement can help retain your top talent and keep your greatest assets working with you. 

Your workforce relations are one of the most important and long-term relationships you must cultivate to have a successful business. If you give your employees the tools to succeed in their roles, you and your business will also benefit.

3. Shareholder and Stakeholders

Cultivating relationships with shareholders and stakeholders is vital, as they are the ones who are financially backing your company. These individuals are affected by how well your business does, so they may want to have an intimate look at your processes or stay apprised of any major developments.  

By creating a successful relationship with these financial backers, you can ensure their support stays within the business. Having an annual shareholder meeting or monthly newsletter can help keep these connections informed and up to date on your operations so they feel secure in their investments and your business. 

That being said, some companies might not have to worry about this type of relationship building, as you will find fewer of these connections within a smaller business. However, that does not mean that investors won’t be a part of the business’s future, so it’s essential to understand and know the value of such connections. 

4. Financial Institutions

On top of these investors and stakeholders, there are other established financial relationships you need to focus on growing. If you have any business loans or lines of credit with banks and financial institutions, focus on strengthening these ties. 

Staying on top of your payback schedule and ensuring no overdue or late payments will keep amicable relationships going between you both. In addition, the more reliable you seem to the banks, the more you may be able to get out of a loan or credit line. Therefore, don’t overlook this type of business relationship as the funding of your establishment is paramount. 

5. Corporate Partnerships

A corporate partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship formed between entities. Typically, this is between a non-profit organization and a for-profit corporation. However, corporations and small business owners can partner together on a number of projects, from community volunteer programs to creative endeavors to market collaboration.

Working with large businesses can help you take advantage of their wider audience to increase your customer relationship base and social media following. Well-established corporations can also lend you their business clout, backing your expertise as a market leader in your sector. 

Consider reaching out to local corporate businesses that might offer a complementary product or service to your business, to see if they have any opportunities for partnerships or collaborations. Networking as a business owner plays a big part in these partnerships, so it’s vital to go where your desired companies are to establish a working relationship that could give you a leg up over your competitors. 

6. Legal Connections

Companies are continually exposed to various legal matters, whether dealing with employee contracts, buying and insuring assets, battles with competitors, filing taxes, or finalizing a partnership or merger. As a result, some businesses keep a lawyer, or other professionals, on retainer to ensure they have their knowledge at hand should they need it. 

Professional relationships like these with your attorney, or even accountant, business consultant, or marketing agency, are always good to foster. You never know when you will need their expertise. So keep in contact with your legal representatives and other professional relationships, so they have the most up-to-date knowledge of your business. You could even send them a company holiday card each year or have an annual lunch date. 

7. Industry Leaders

Leverage your business relationships with your industry leaders and authorities. Familiarizing yourself with the big players in your market sector and network can help you establish beneficial connections for your business. Even if they are not necessarily authorities in your industry but are experts in the skills you wish to have, such as leadership techniques or project management methods, this applies all the same. 

Attending workshops, conferences, or business events where these fellow leaders will be can help you begin making advantageous and long-term connections. Focus on networking with individuals who could complement your business’s products or services, or those who can help you develop specific skills and knowledge. Nurturing these give-and-take opportunities will benefit you far into the future.

8. Suppliers and Suppliers

Keeping a positive and professional relationship with your business’s suppliers and suppliers is a must. These are the parties that help keep your operations running, as they provide you with the necessary items to sell or use for your business. 

Always be respectful of your suppliers; pay the agreed-upon amount at the agreed-upon time. Keeping a cordial and friendly relationship with them can also benefit you. Suppliers may be more likely to offer a better deal or compromise on a future contract if they like working with you.  

Overall, there are numerous essential connections your business must make and keep to be successful. You can expertly manage your finances like you manage your business relationships when you use QuickBooks accounting software. With financial reporting, you can keep a detailed eye on your business’s accounts and cash flow to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

Try QuickBooks Online for free to connect all your finances in one place.

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