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Success in business has as much to do with who you know as what you know.  It’s not enough to have a beautiful product or service, it requires people to be invested in what you have to offer.  

Depending on where you live, your local business community can be a tight knit group, almost like a family.  This is less prevalent in bigger cities where there are so many competing businesses in the same area.  

It’s a small world, and so many people are intertwined.  Having a positive rapport with the right people can help elevate your business in the local eye, and increase your revenue.  This is especially true for a brick and mortar business, where you rely mostly on foot traffic to generate revenue, but is also true of an online business as well.

As a business owner, relationships are key, and they matter.  So how do you create positive relationships with your local business community?

Set Out to Serve

When you run a business, it’s easy to focus on the numbers and forget everything else.  After all, it’s the profits that keep you open.  But it’s good to remember that your purpose is to serve others.  Whether it’s enriching their lives with beautiful art, or constructing a strategy for social media, the way you approach your business matters.

Are you in it just for the money, or does your face light up at the thought of helping someone else?  No one will tell you money doesn’t matter, because it does.  But what matters more is the positive impact your business has on someone else.  Your product or service is bettering someone’s life in some way, and you play an integral role in providing your product or service. 

So when you approach each task with the intention of serving others, you’ll find that there is more joy in your work.  Not only that, but communication is more open and fulfilling.  People will be able to pick up on this, and appreciate how positive your interactions with them are. 

Profits are wonderful, and you deserve to care about and make them.  By prioritizing the people whom you are serving, your customers, you’ll automatically be building positive relationships.  And this will help attract more business.

Collaborate With Local Businesses and Events

Collaborations are a great way to build positive relationships in any capacity, but especially in business.  Are there any local businesses you can exchange services with?  Maybe they offer website design, and you can rewrite the content on their blog. Maybe there is a real estate agent who needs your landscaping services for a home they are getting ready to sell.   

Are there any local events you can volunteer your talents to?  Helping a local charity or fundraiser, for example, is a great way to show the community your values and your heart for others.  It’s also a good opportunity to meet like minded people and create positive relationships with them.

Join Groups That Bring Businesses Together for Success

Are there any groups in your community for business owners?  Perhaps local networking groups, or groups to give each other advice?  Do some research, and go to any group meetings in your area to see what they are all about.  Networking groups can be a vital asset in growing your business community, and  the right group is a valuable way  to build positive relationships.  

Utilize Coworking Spaces

Depending on the type of job you do, you may want to invest in a coworking space. Coworking spaces are great places to settle down and focus on your work if you don’t have a personal office, and don’t always feel productive at home.

One of the perks of a coworking space is the ability to work alongside other business owners in a variety of industries.  It’s a great place to network and find quality people to connect with and build your business community.  Because of this, you can make local connections and build your network while also getting your work and to do list  accomplished.

Be Authentic and Vulnerable

It’s important to remember that the people you build relationships with are just that: people.  Remaining professional is a good business practice, and sometimes things come up.  Life happens, and you can feel like it’s a lot to deal with.  This is the time to build genuine trust with those in your community by being vulnerable with them.

This doesn’t mean you need to share your whole life with them, but opening up when things are hard can build a bond of empathy, and help you and others feel less alone. 

Are you involved in a networking group?  Share your concerns with them.  Grabbing coffee with a fellow business owner in your industry?  Explain where you’re at, not just in business but in your life as well.

Too often we can forget the humanity that lies behind the mask of a logo. When we present ourselves as our brand alone, we can forget that it’s ok sometimes to let our guard down. 

After all, relationships aren’t just about receiving, they’re about giving as well.  In the dark times of life, allow others to share wisdom and value with you, and you with them.  This will create a bond that will drive any relationship in a positive direction.  When we face challenges in our business it is the business community around us that can help us find solutions, and creative ways to rise above the challenges. 

Give Referrals

When building business relationships, and a business community one of the most important components is to give  referrals.  Doesn’t it feel good when you know someone has referred your services to a friend or colleague?  It makes you feel empowered, like your business is valuable.  Because let’s face it, it IS.

But it’s not enough to be getting referrals.  In order to build and maintain positive relationships, you have to be willing to give them as well.  When those around you know you value them enough to recommend their services to others, it makes them feel good about the relationship you have built.  This is essential in not only creating positive relationships, but keeping them.

Sometimes entrepreneurship can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.  You don’t have to go through this alone.  Reach out, and start to build those relationships today.

Biz to Biz has a variety of in -person and virtual networking groups that are designed to help you find a business community to help you increase your confidence, expand your circle of influence and to give and receive referrals. You can learn more about our groups here, and learn more about why our chapter members participate in our groups. 

If you are interested in joining a group contact us here or call us at 1-877-224-9224