In order to start, build, and grow a business, entrepreneurs need to leverage person and business relationships. Sometimes it is a matter of survival for a company. Finding the right and effective relationships is the key.
Below are seven ways that entrepreneurs can leverage relationships to ensure more success:
1. Mentors - Finding mentors is a key relationship that most people, including entrepreneurs, need to have by their side. Learning from someone else who has the depth and breadth of experience is critical. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that their mentors were critical to their success.
2. Advisors - In addition to mentors, it is important that entrepreneurs find advisors to guide them in their business. Advisors should be diverse and provide expertise in areas that the entrepreneur is lacking skillset.
3. Investors - Finding capital from investors is very relationship driven. So entrepreneurs need to leverage relationships to find the right investors. Trust and credibility is important for referrals to investors.
4. Employees - Some of the best employees come from referrals. So, the same should apply for entrepreneurs looking to staff up their businesses. Early on, it can be expensive to hire a search firm so finding employees through established personal and business networks is important.
5. Partners - Similar to finding employees, finding partners is also very relationship driven. Once entrepreneurs know the types of partners that they are seeking, they should leverage their network to get introductions. Partners can be an integral component of growing and scaling a business.
6. Sales - Early on in the startup life cycle, entrepreneurs need to generate sales to provide that the market demands their firm's product or service. Many of these first customers come from existing relationships, which can turn into referrals. So, having a strong and diverse network is important.
7. Personal Branding- In order to generate sales and to start to build a brand, entrepreneurs need to build up their personal brand. The more credible the entrepreneur is, the easier it can be to generate revenue earl on. Entrepreneurs should spend time with other professionals to build trust so referrals and opportunities will come their way.
What other ways can you think of?