Surprising Value In This Big Investment
As you begin to plan for the new year, you will no doubt identify areas in your business that warrant additional investment. Whether it is stepping up a marketing campaign, hiring a new employee, or even entering a new market, there are numerous opportunities by which you can grow your business. However, lost in the shuffle can often be a simple but invaluable investment opportunity: relationships. Whether it is with employees, customers, or prospects, the strength of the relationships you create can often be the difference between the success or failure of your business.
Let’s start with employees. You may not see much value in investing into strong relationships with your employees—but trust me, there is. Strong relationships breed loyalty, and as a small business, few assets are more valuable than loyal employees. Of course, building relationships with your employees requires more than simply asking them about their life outside of work. Invest resources into their development—for instance, offer to pay for continuing education or career building opportunities.
There are no more important relationships, arguably, than those with your current clients. Do you view them as cash cows that exist so that you can squeeze every drop of profit? Or do you place their long-term interests ahead of your short-term desires? Whether you realize it or not, your clients know the difference. Invest into creating mutually beneficial, long term relationships—don’t be shortsighted!
Believe it or not, the nature of the relationships you build with prospects are important as well. Most businesses look at their leads as simply a number on their spreadsheet—it’s an opportunity to make a sale, or not. They employ sales tactics designed to maximize the likelihood of closing the deal. However, if prospects aren’t ready to commit, these tactics often have the effect of angering or offending. As a result, not only is the sale not closed, but the chance of working together in the future is lost. Approach prospects with the intention of establishing a long and prosperous relationship—not simply closing the deal.
As you approach the New Year, put front and center the value of relationships!