Unveiling the Relationship Factor in Business
"If there's one thing that I've learned as a marketing consultant and owner of my own consultancy, it's that relationships are the most important driver for growth," these are my words, rooted in years of experience and the reality of navigating the professional landscape.
Overlooking the Value of Existing Relationships: A Common Mistake
Often, I notice a crucial error amongst new partners or peers — they focus more on creating new relationships rather than nurturing the existing ones. As someone who has thrived in the crucible of entrepreneurship, I can tell you that the longevity and depth of relationships can significantly influence your success trajectory.
My COVID-19 Story: Strong Relationships as the Lifesaver
Take, for example, the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like countless businesses worldwide, we faced the harsh reality of budget freezes and the potential downfall of our operations. However, it was our strong network of relationships, years in the making, that kept us afloat. We stood together, discussing common challenges, proposing solutions, and unveiling growth opportunities previously unimagined.
Adopting a Systematic Approach to Relationship Management
Of course, managing numerous relationships can be challenging. I realized early on that it required a systematic approach, almost like maintaining a personal CRM for key relationships. "For partners I hadn't worked with in months or even years, I made it a habit to reach out and stay in touch," I explain. A simple check-in, a call without a specific agenda, can convey your investment in the relationship and enhance its value.
Fostering Relationships: A Learnable Trade
Like any trade, fostering relationships can be learned, even if it doesn't come naturally to everyone. "I'm great at focusing on projects and managing short-term relationships," I confess. However, I strive to counterbalance this by maintaining regular contact with past collaborators.
The Power of 15: Managing a Limited Number of Relationships
An interesting insight I once came across in a scientific paper stated that we could only manage approximately 15 relationships at one time. While the exact number may vary from person to person, it underscored the importance of conscious relationship management for me.
A Piece of Advice: Remember Your Past Connections
To anyone wishing to forge a successful path in business, I offer this advice: "Don't forget those you've worked with in the past." Set reminders to reach out to people who've made a positive impact on your work and career. If you're just starting your career, don't hesitate to reconnect with school or university peers. You never know what opportunities these old relationships could reintroduce into your life.
Conclusion: Relationships for a Lifetime
And as you traverse the unpredictable, exciting journey of your career, remember — relationships aren't just for now; they're for a lifetime.