This week I met with a very experienced global business man and he made a very strong point about the fact that businesses in Australia are not as focused on relationships and the benefits thereof to business as are business people in Europe.
I have been giving this some consideration and have been thinking about how valuable relationships are in business.
Having worked with a Japanese business for 16 years, trust in the relationships there took a long time but once made were very strong.
In my business life I have found increasingly my contacts, and more significantly relationships, very important.
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It is so much easier to do business with someone you know and trust — in fact the whole start up of griffin+row was based on contacts and referrals to people and businesses we knew and trusted.
As we outsource almost every part of the griffin+row operations, we had to know, for example that our logistics company would not let us down. A friend of mine directed us to a company that has only once missed a delivery in 18 months and was deeply apologetic for doing so. I know from other suppliers that unreliable logistics can and have killed a business.
We also relied on friends and contacts for reliable marketing and PR support. A start up company can waste a lot of funds on the wrong PR and marketing. We were able to ask our contacts because we know that there is real leverage for business if you can add value by referring more business to your own suppliers.
I am always keen to recommend any company that I have worked with and found to be reliable. This has meant in turn that I have been able to ask others for their referrals.
In fact, as my thoughts have turned to the value of relationships in business I realise that across the whole spectrum of my business life I recommend and rely on relationships; the thought of needing to scour through Yellow Pages looking for business support without any prior knowledge of a business would concern me.
Perhaps this is the great benefit of age and a long business life. The contacts and relationships that we build over time.
I realise as I look back that I have a great base of contacts and friends in business who have saved me time and effort and in turn I have assisted other business people accordingly.
Yes relationships are really important to business success.
Marcia Griffin’s latest book, High Heeled Success (pictured left), is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4,700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. Contact Marcia to purchase. Marcia’s latest venture is skin care company griffin+row.