One of the most important aspects of life in general is building and cultivating relationships with the people around you. Outside of business, healthy relationships can truly make or break the way you are perceived by others, your general attitude, and the trajectory of your days.
When it comes to running a successful business, building strong relationships can set you apart from the others and propel you into a whole new realm of success. Here’s why.
When it comes to building relationships with your community….
It’s important to put yourself and your business’ brand out there for the community to see and get to know. When it comes to building relationships with your local community, we suggest getting involved in your local chamber of commerce, volunteering your time and resources to local business fairs or showcases, and simply getting involved in the community your business is serving.
We also think it’s a wonderful idea to somehow incorporate your business into the community by giving them a taste of what you have to offer. For example, if you own a gym or fitness studio and are planning on attending a local farmer’s/open air market and have the ability to bring some of your employees to demonstrate the type of exercises you offer in classes, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce your brand to the community! Not only do you have the ability to shake hands with potential customers, but you can show them firsthand what you have to offer! A few other wonderful examples are volunteering to run a free class for a local group or running a promotion in partnership with other local businesses!
However you choose to get involved in your local community, we encourage you to do so with a smile on your face and the goal to build strong and respectful relationships.
When it comes to building relationships with your customers…
SImply put, client and customer satisfaction should always be your first priority. In order to get a full and accurate picture of how satisfied your customers are with your business, you have to get to know them and truly understand their needs. This means going a step further than saying goodbye to them as they leave your studio. Building a relationship with your customers means taking the time to learn their names, genuinely asking them (and caring about) how their experience is, fixing or addressing their concerns in a professional and prompt manner, and going out of your way to make them feel as though they are your number-one priority.
It can be challenging when you have a robust business full of dozens of clients coming through your doors day after day, but we truly believe that if you take the time to get to know your clients on a personal level, they will feel more comfortable and welcome at your place of business, and in turn, are more likely to suggest your business to others.
Going the extra mile to build a foundation of trust and understanding with your clients will be the difference between your business being an occasional visit for them and a part of their daily routine! Wouldn’t you go the distance if it meant a better chance of client satisfaction and retention?
When it comes to building relationships with your employees…
Trust us when we say that clients can tell the difference between a happy employee and one that is counting down the minutes until their shift is over. You don’t necessarily have to become best friends with your employees, but we firmly believe that if you have a strong rapport with them, they will enjoy being at work more so than if they didn’t necessarily know their manager.
We encourage you to get to know your employees’ communication styles, the way they prefer to be managed, and their goals (whether personal or professional). Taking the time to simply sit down and get to know your employees and their aspirations in life will give you the ability to coach them and manage them productively, positively, and with a purpose. Team building activities can help you get to know your staff and give them a chance to express to you their raw personality. Trust us when we say that you can learn a lot from getting to know your employees on a personal level, such as how they prefer to be acknowledged for their hard work and how they best respond to criticism. It will save you plenty of awkward conversations in the long run if you understand them from the get-go!
Not only will your staff feel as though you care for them as employees, but they will feel as though they matter as individuals to you as well. You want your team to feel like they are more than ‘a means to an end’ for you and your business. Do you feel like a family at work? Could you work on getting a little bit closer while maintaining a professional relationship with your staff?
We leave you with one final question…
If you put a ton of effort into building healthy, positive, and thriving relationships in your personal life, why wouldn’t you do the same for your business?
This could be a life changing opportunity.