If I asked you what the most important business asset you have is, what would you say? Think about it now before you read on…
I recently asked this very question in my Work From Home Network Viral Network Marketing Group and the answers were very interesting indeed. Some people said it was their Facebook page, others said it was their products and others said it was them. When I asked other people some said it was their car or their machinery. All of these things are indeed great assets, however no-one mentioned the most important business asset you have, hence this blog post 😉
So What is The Most Important Business Asset You Have?
Well I don’t know any business that would survive without good relationships. Every business, big or small, needs to have a good relationship with its customers, with potential customers, with any workers it has, and with other businesses it may use.
Now that doesn’t mean to say there are never any problems in those relationships, of course there can be issues at anytime. The number one factor however that influences the outcome of any problems arising, is quite simply the relationship that is built between the two parties.
If you are running a small business, and working from home the relationships you have with others become all the more important. You are not a big faceless company who can hide behind policies and procedures etc. The relationships you build with others is the single most important business asset you have. As a small business person you need to value and nurture the relationships you have above everything else or you will fail. It is that simple.
The Pre-Business Relationship
The pre-business relationship is the one that starts from the moment the two parties become aware of each other. It is all about first impressions.
Every business has a pre-business relationship with others. There was a time when you first discovered each other. As a small business owner, or someone who wants to work from home this is the first thing you need to think about.
What impression do you want to give to others? and How can you give others that impression?
Sometimes it can be easier to visualize yourself at a party. You are just about to walk in to a room full of people you don’t know, so how are you going to act?
For many people starting a business or trying to develop one, especially by using social media, their first impression is not good. The number of people who just post adverts everywhere is quite shocking to be honest, as is the number of people who send a PM with a link, or just add people to groups without asking. These tactics are pretty rude and aggressive and those same people wouldn’t dream of acting this way normally. Posting adverts everywhere is the equivalent of practically trying to slap everyone at a party in the face with a flyer.
Then, after doing this small business owners on social media wonder why no-one comes to visit their place of business…
I am sure you can relate to this experience somehow if you use social media at all. I get PM’s and added to groups constantly without any initial contact. It would be so much better if they just said hello instead, right?
Building the Relationship
Ok so you have managed to become aware of each other somehow. Hopefully not by slapping someone in the face with a flyer 😉 Now imagine yourself as having just found out that a new business exists – a new shop in your local town for example. You know nothing about them at all. What do you do?
You might do nothing at all except register the name in your head. Another thing you might do is ask others if they have heard of it or been there yet. The chances are if you know nothing about this new business you might be curious to know more about them. Who are they? What do they sell? Who is the owner?
All of these things are involved in building the relationship with that business. You may not even think about them again until you hear the name a few times, or you are walking past. If you are doing that and they started waving a flyer in your face what would you do? If they invited you in for a look around and were pleasant and chatted to you instead, then what would you do?
Building the relationship you have with others in a pleasant way, and taking the time to get to know them is a slow process. It is however what will make the difference between them even remembering you or not though. As a small business owner it is vital you take this time to build up trust with those you have connected with in the pre-business relationship stage.
Converting the Relationship
In business terms the process of moving someone from the building relationship phase into them becoming a buyer or team member is called a conversion. Not everyone you have built a relationship with will ‘convert’. It depends of course if what you are offering fits with their needs.
Knowing the needs of those you have build a relationship with is actually the best way to ‘convert’ them into a buyer or team member. When you know what someones needs are, the way you present the item or opportunity becomes a helpful action, and they are much more likely to try it. In fact they may even thank you for your help!
Maintaining the Relationship
This is another area where small business owners can fall down, and it is a very important stage. Those who have made a purchase or signed up to your team need to be remembered in your whole business approach. Yet I see it happen all too frequently where small business owners are much more focused on finding new customers or team members and forget about those who made a purchase or joined the team already.
Large businesses understand that it is easier to maintain a relationship than start a new one. Without marketing knowledge and experience this point can be lost for many small business owners, and it contributes to the struggle to build a business. Always remember you should be adding to your customer base or team rather than replacing them! When working on replacement all the time your business will just not grow.
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