Business hinges on relationships | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

A few times I have had reasons to look back and think about some of the businesses I was privileged to handle. I asked myself how I got those businesses and I tried to trace the referrals. Some of them were easily traced back to meeting someone somewhere and others were traced back to people I have always known.

If you also take the time out to think about your business then you will realise that your relationship with some other people around you is playing a crucial role in either your business success, stagnation or failure.

Over the years I have heard people say ‘you have to know people in this country before you can get anything.’ They will go on and complain about how it is difficult to get things done if you are not connected to some people who have influence or position.

The truth may be hard to accept but you need relationships to get things done. The problem is that many people are not building valuable relationships but they want to get jobs and big contracts or other deals from people as soon they meet them. Things don’t work like that.

Go around and meet people on daily basis. Build the relationship. Sometimes when you are meeting people and building relationships with them, you’ll never be able to tell where you need them. All you know is that they are in your network. Somewhere along the line, as a result of keeping in touch, you will see where you both need each other.

It is easier for people to give businesses to those they have known overtime than to give those businesses to some complete stranger. They have a level of trust for that known person and will feel they can go to sleep while the person gets to work.

Businesses, both big and small, are built on valuable relationships. That is why I can say that a great way to build a business is to business relationships. Why do you think that some of the most successful people in the business world are powerful networkers? The answer is pretty simple. They build relationships to build businesses.

When you have known people and you want to do business with them, all the documents you bring to the table will become mere formalities. You will be presenting documents just to ensure records are properly kept.

Please note that this does not mean relationships supercedes competence in business. Before the relationship can work for you it is very important that you are very competent. When your competence issue is out of the way then the rest of the business leaves very little to worry about.

If you are about to build a business or you have started one already, I want to strongly advise that you pay very important attention to your relationships. Interestingly, some of the people who will be able to help you will not look like those who will be able to help you. Those who cannot help you will also look like people who can help you. You have to be smart to not spend your entire resources, time and energy in chasing those who will not or cannot help you. Go after those who can and you must never forget that in business, you must add value in return.

If you have relationships and you are only seeking what to get from those relationships then there is a problem. Regardless of how well off the other person seems, look for a way to add value in return. If you don’t add value in return you will soon become a burden. And as you already know, the major thing we all do to burdens is to get rid of them. Once you cut across as a burden, people start cutting you off.

If you want to build business on theories and principles alone, you will be at it for a longer period. If you build it on relationships, you might be able to build it faster.

Never ever forget that business hinges on relationships.

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