Business Relationships

Obviously, volumes have been written about business relationships by scholars, business journalists, and management consultants. The focus of this brief article is to highlight some tips about the importance of securing and maintaining solid business relationships.

Businesses, large and small, often focus so intently on their customer base, employee relations issues, acquisition/mergers, financial reports and a plethora of other management concerns that they lose sight of business-to-business relationships. It is certainly easy to overlook this very important constituency. Virtually every business has suppliers, vendors and other businesses that they routinely do business with. At the local level the list is almost endless: your banker, CPA, realtor, security company, pest management business, ad agency or graphic designer, auto dealer, insurance agents, and so on.


Michael Denisoff, Founder/CEO of DenisoffConsulting Company, Redondo Beach, CA, observed, “Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success as a business owner.” Here are some reasons to explore, secure, maintain and value your business relationships.

1.Customer- Since you are their customer and there is a connection here already, reach out to recruit them as your customer. You might even examine the potential for establishing a barter relationship with them.

2.Referrals- Each business you have a relationship with can be a fertile ground for referrals. Here again, let’s state the obvious. You refer them to your customers and they can refer their clientele to your business. A recent air conditioning client of mine said that they provide between $10,000 to $50,000 in referrals monthly to an electric contractor.

3.Information Source- This also has great potential for your business. Sharing new business opportunities advances in technology, equipment acquisitions, financial news, etc. Use your business colleague as a valued peer and sounding board to elicit their opinion on a pressing issue you are facing.

4.Social- Take your business relationship to another level, social interaction. Invite business friends to charity events, golf outings, special events at your business, chamber of commerce functions, community festivals/celebrations, etc. Get to know your business friends on a more personal level.

On a final note. Don’t just rely on emails, your tweets, or Facebook page, pick up the phone and have a brief person-to-person conversation. Make it a priority this week to re-connect with at least one business associate. The results might be surprising! Good luck.