How to build lasting relationships with your fellow business owners
Successful networking means much more than connecting at an event.
There’s no doubt that making a strong first impression is important, but the relationship will fizzle if you don’t put the work in.
In this blog, we’ll look at how you can build long-term bonds with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners to create a mutually beneficial (and enjoyable) relationship for years to come.
Nurture genuine connections
Long-lasting relationships are built on trust – and being yourself. Show genuine interest in others, actively listen, and think of ways to support them.
Remember important details about their business, their wins and personal lives. By trying to build a genuine connection, you lay a strong foundation for working together in the future.
Over time, you may realise that certain people aren’t the right fit for you. That’s fine.
If their values, approaches and personality don’t gel with you, the perfect person could be around the corner. So, don’t try and force relationships; the right people are out there if you look hard enough.
Keep up regular contact
Stay in touch with your contacts through various channels such as email, phone calls, and social media platforms.
If they post on socials such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Threads or Instagram, try to add supportive and encouraging comments. Commenting on socials can be a bind when you’re a busy business owner, but set aside 15 minutes daily, or even every few days, to comment.
You could share exciting news and industry insights or invite them to events. Be proactive, and if they do contact you, don’t let their emails languish at the bottom of your inbox. Regularly reaching out means keeping the connection alive and showing you value them.
It’s all about collaboration and support
Look for opportunities to collaborate with your network. Joint projects, partnerships, or event hosting strengthens your bond and opens doors to new possibilities you hadn’t considered.
Offer your support when they need it, whether it’s giving advice, introducing potential clients, or promoting their business.
Don’t sour the relationship by trying to sell your services to them. Talk about what you do but don’t launch into a sales pitch, as your connection could feel used and put off.
Instead, ask them directly if they know anyone who needs your services. Since you’ve tried to build trust, they will likely try their best to listen out for you and recommend you to their contacts.
Meet face to face
While ‘virtual coffees’ are convenient, face-to-face interactions are best for building stronger connections. Try and schedule meet-ups, lunches, or informal gatherings to catch up with your contacts.
In-person interactions allow for deeper chats and a chance to solidify your relationship. Attend industry events, seminars, or networking if your contacts will be there. These face-to-face meet-ups can enhance your established bond and create memorable experiences.
Celebrate their wins and show appreciation
Acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of your fellow business owners is a great way to show you care.
Recognise their successes publicly, whether through social media shout-outs, testimonials on Linked or Google reviews. Send personal well-done messages to show that you’re supporting them.
Want to try one of our speed networking events and meet lots of other lovely business owners?