I often read suggestions on how to make a success of a business. It is very encouraging to see sound advice given to entrepreneurs but very few touch on the human element of a business. There is a lot of information on what attributes an entrepreneur should have but what about business relationships?

Business is much more than a vision and mission statement. A business plan is crucial to the survival of a business but what about the human element – and I don’t just mean human resources? The collective energy of a business will determine whether it will be successful or not. This energy is derived from all the individuals involved in the business.

In my previous blog I mentioned that you have to chose your business relationships carefully and certain suggestions were made to assist in this process. You have to be able to like your active business partners. You will probably be spending more time with your business partners than with your life partner, so how can you spend time with people you don’t like? It’s impossible, eventually something will give.

I often hear from clients that their business partners are efficient, but they don’t get on. That kind of business relationship will not last. I am not for one moment suggesting that you have to be friends with your business partners but I do believe that you have to like them. You have to be able to trust and understand them. “Unity is strength” is such a strong saying and it is highly applicable in business.

If everyone is on the same page and pulling in the same direction you create strong energy that makes things happen. People want to deal with businesses that have a strong team and are unified. How often have you walked into business premises and felt a certain level of “heaviness”? You just want to get out of there. But a strong positive environment not only attracts customers but also the right staff.

When choosing staff for your business, not only do you have to consider their respective qualifications, but also whether the individual will fit into the business culture that has been created.  Will the individual add to the energy or be disruptive to the culture. These are critical questions that could have dramatic impact on the business.

How are your current staff members being treated? Are they just numbers or are they being treated as individuals? Do you bombard them with strict corporate governance rules and regulations that install fear in them or do they have freedom to come up with ideas that benefit the business and are rewarded for their initiative? Do you encourage entrepreneurial thinking within your business? More importantly, are they happy? Do you know when their birthdays, when their anniversary is and how many kids they have? Do you take a genuine interest your people?

Any person that is appreciated and feels that their ideas are taken seriously will be more productive as opposed to a person that needs permission to go to the bathroom. Are good ideas rewarded and acknowledged? If you analyse the most successful companies in the world you will see how they treat their employees. There is a strong correlation between the two. One should treat staff properly not because it makes good business sense but because you want to.

Therefore when you put your budgets and yearly strategies in place, the most important document you prepare should be a “business relationships strategic plan”. This document can break or make your company and should be evaluated quarterly together with your budget and business plan review. If you need some guidance on this contact me, I’ll gladly help.

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