Katrina German, Co-Founder, OneStory, Saskatoon, SK
No man (or woman) is an island, and no business can stand alone without strong relationships. At OneStory, a platform to assist in crowdsourcing video interviews to help tell the story of your organization, cause, or community, we have learned a few lessons about enhancing relationships with employees, business partners, clients, mentors and investors.
1. Expectations: A few awkward conversations at the beginning of a relationship can save a lot of issues in the long-run. A solid partnership agreement and contracts can make sure that everyone is clear about expectations.
2. Keep people in-the-loop: This may seem shocking, but very few of us bat 100% at predicting the future. If you make the best decision based on the information that you have (and share the process with others) people still feel confident in your vision, even if the results are different than predicted.
3. Keep it fun: When you are an entrepreneur, you are spending a great deal of your time in business relationships. It’s important to have the serious conversations, but inviting people for a light coffee or sending them a quick note of appreciation goes a long way. People really enjoyed it when OneStory made beer labels decorated with the faces of people who had helped us with starting our business.
4. Share the success: We often share the success of our clients through our social media and share the contributions of our funders through traditional media like magazine articles.
Business relationships are just as important to nurture as regular relationships. Respecting the people involved in your business and forming mutually beneficial deals will help keep your current and future business an enjoyable endeavor.