By Ryan Velez
A recent Black Enterprise article suggest that while there may be some truth to this on the personal level, what you may be surprised by is the fact that a lack of personal relationships can be a detriment to your business as well. How is this so? Author Priscilla Q. Williams puts it in the simplest of terms: “Ask yourself these questions, has your bottom line increased because of the likes? Did the Instagram followers write you a million-dollar check?” This isn’t to say that social media isn’t a valuable tool, but it must be leveraged to create those healthy relationships to translate to business success.
One of the major reasons that relationships are so important in business, even in the social media age, is because of the trust factor. This is as simple as having a bit of recognition of who the person is and how they operate. Williams mentions the personal example of people saying they know her after a brief two-minute chat or appearance at an industry event. However, to really know someone takes longer than that. Trust is an essential thing in business. When looking for a service or something similar, potential clients do not want to add any more worry on their plate. Knowing a little bit about your motivations as an added level of comfort can make all the difference.
There are also more practical reasons to try and build relationships in business. For one, partnerships are often the lifeblood of a successful operation, especially as it grows. You may need a certain supplier or service that you don’t have the time to work with yourself. Keeping an eye out for like-minded brands and taking the time to forge these connections can pay dividends in terms of making your operation smoother. By comparison, imagine having to restart a search over and over again every time you need a certain service.
Of course, at the end of the day, a strong bottom line is what is needed to keep your business afloat. While relationships can help your business function better, is there a direct correlation between these and your profits? The answer is a resounding yes. After all, do you expect a client to give you money without knowing you? This all factors back into that theme of trust. This isn’t to say you have to go overboard. Just take a little extra time to let potential clients know about who you are as a business and tell a little bit of your story. That added touch is almost certain to pay off down the road.