Building Business Relationships is Building a Company.

Every Business depends on relationships it builds at every stage of its development and growth, starting with the relationship between the owners and the product or service that they produce or render. Do they have the time, commitment and passion required for success, particularly when the Business environment experiences challenges? Do the owners leverage on their individual and collective strengths to keep the Business going in tough economic times. Do the owners have self-awareness of areas of challenges in terms of needed skills? This level of understanding is crucial for any Business Owner in determining and quantifying skills sets required for the Business..

Building, nurturing and maintaining relationships with employees possessed of requisite skills is critical for sustained Business Development and Growth. This starts with the Business Owner making sure that each person who is brought on board has the necessary skills, competence and knowledge required for them to employ their labour as required. The Business Owner has to make sure that the person meets the requirements of the job. This requires the Business Owner to resist the urge to employ the first person they come across in order to ‘plug the proverbial hole’, with financially and emotionally costly results. It takes time to put pen and paper together to determine what each job does but it saves the Business time, money and other resources to do this, right from the onset. Many an entrepreneur would say our Business is too small to worry about this.  The next thing they know, the Business has grown such that it becomes difficult to do this retrospectively. Well-defined roles serve as the basis of great relationships between Business Owners and Staff. This provides for fair and transparent policies on wages and benefits, which result in healthy and sound relationships between employers and staff.

Relationship with employees also requires Business Owners to be legally compliant by meeting or exceeding minimum conditions of employment.  Does everyone have a written contract of employment or letter of employment, which clearly spells out all applicable conditions of employment? These may include the name and address of the employer, rate and frequency of pay, leave, hours of work, etc. How these seemingly tedious administrative requirements are handled by Business Owners determine to a large extent whether the relationship is built on trust or mistrust.  Needless to say that levels of trust are higher where these things are transparent and above board.

Happy and productive employees are key to long-term customer relationships.  As an entrepreneur the responsibility sits squarely on your shoulders.  However the moment you have employees, it then becomes a shared responsibility, even more so with the ‘connected generation’. Therefore employees have to understand your product or service to the extent that they can enthusiastically share information about this with ease, irrespective of what they do for you.

Building Business Relationships with Customers and other Stakeholders starts with building sound employment relationships, which in turn builds a sustainable Business and Company.