Back in the day, an old boss once said to me ‘It’s not about relationships Marianne, it’s about results’. I disagreed with her at the time, and over the years I have become even more convinced that business is ALL about relationships. It is in fact the relationships that drive results and deliver business growth.
I’m not just talking about the relationships with the people in your business here…we’ll come to those in a minute…I’m talking about the equally important relationships, like the one you have with your business…how passionate you are about what you do, how in touch you are with the Why of what you do?
Since everything in your business starts with you, this is a really important relationship to keep on top of. Noticing when your passion is fading, and doing something about it, could be the difference between stagnation or growth.
And what about your relationship with money…like me, you must know people who have a really bad relationship with money…who either feel they don’t deserve to have it, or who spend it as soon as they make it….or maybe they spend money they don’t have and get themselves into unmanageable debt. An unhealthy relationship with money, has been the ruin of many a business owner.
The other important relationships are of course, the human variety, and like all of the relationships in our business they need to be worked on to keep them strong and healthy.
I’m actually not one of those people who believes that ‘business is business and friendship is friendship’…that ‘fine line’ that people talk about just doesn’t exist in my book. You can’t have one set of values and behaviours with your customers, another with your suppliers or employees, and another for your friends and family. You are who you are – values, warts and all.
Consistency is king when it comes to any relationship. And the key to consistency in your business, is process.
Simple and effective systems and processes in your business, will not only help you to build strong relationships, but also to maintain them. Systems that make you easy to do business; systems that give your customers a consistent experience; systems that support your people, that develop them, reward them, help you hire the right people in the first place…that’s what will build the strong, trusted relationships essential to business success and growth.
It really is all about relationships.