All we have in business are our client relationships

A view for a valued client

Most of my clients are with me a long time. We get to know each other quite well, at least as far as professional relationships are concerned. That is why I have been very sad that three of my older clients have died this year. Two had been in poor health, and the other seemed hale and hearty when he visited me only a short time before he died rather suddenly.

It is always a shock to lose people we know, even if they are not close friends or relations. The deaths of my clients, all of whom I liked very much and got on with very well, have been a stark reminder that in business as in life, it is people that matter far more than money or material things. Of course good clients help us to have what we need to live a decent life, but business would be miserable without the friendship that it brings.

So I will miss my older lady client, and the two older gentlemen, for that is what they were; and one with such an adventurous life I never knew about until hearing a eulogy at his funeral. And I will remember them.

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Business partnerships and collaborations – Part 1

Bliss

It can be lonely being in business on our own. We might want to work with someone else. Maybe we have met someone and dreamed up a great idea for a business, or perhaps a great product. We have that excitement that comes with the beginning of a relationship. We want to go into partnership. It all sounds like a budding romance, doesn’t it?

I am talking about a business partnership in the usual context, and also about working together through a company. Whatever the strict legal status, the working environment is the same.

A business partnership, especially a small business partnership, is just like any relationship. If we commit to it, it is just like a marriage. So in many ways, the rules of the relationship are the same. We have to live with our partner and be happy that when the initial thrill of meeting someone exciting is over, we still are happy together. After all, there is money involved on both sides otherwise why would we be in business at all?

  • Is the great idea behind our relationship likely to be sustainable?
  • Have we known our partner long enough to know we can work (and be) with them long term?
  • Can we live with their work habits?
  • Are we sure they are reliable and will be where they say they will be and do what they said they will do?
  • Do we know enough about their past?
  • How good are they with money?

You might think that all sounds rather mercenary especially when I compare a business relationship to a marriage. Although all marriages whether business or personal are exciting, they are also about willing compromise and working round each other in a happy way. If we can do that, it’s bliss, isn’t it?

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