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Businesses are known for acting in a relatively selfish manner. We all know that while a business might exercise goodwill and be ran by profoundly decent people, the structure of a business must be geared towards survival if it hopes to continue. Even non-profit organizations in pursuit of a great cause will need funding to pay salaries, office rental, and a range of logistical costs to ensure their work can be achieved. This means, just like people, our businesses can be friendly up until a point, as long as their basic needs are met.
However, just like human relationships, sometimes a firm can help itself survive by allying itself with those around it. Businesses can thrive on goodwill just as human partnerships can, and not only survive, but thrive. It can be essential to know where to begin if you hope to establish yourself as more of a reliable force in the market.
Consider our advice:
Goodwill Between Firms
Goodwill often comes in the form of little actions. For example, you may decide to forgo a current small debt thanks to a large upcoming order, or perhaps deliver the goods for free despite the relative cost incurred to you. You may send free sample or full products to their office. For example, if you supply a firm with computer parts, you may send a batch of branded mouse-mats for free to help them set up. View this guide to nurturing your supply chain relationships for even more advice regarding upstream and downstream business connections.
Goodwill can also mean referring them to another firm who could better settle inquiries you can’t quite manage, putting in a good word for them. It might be that you offer free training, or something simple. A restaurant might offer discounted delivery lunches for staff of an office responsible for handling their marketing. This kind of goodwill connects firms, people, and helps out in small ways. It is akin to having a friend. In such a competitive industry, this can feel like a breath of fresh air.
Take Care Of The Customer
The customer isn’t always right, but they are always valuable. This means that taking steps to take care of your customers will often help them take care of you in kind. Remaining honest about how products are made, honoring long-term customers with loyalty rewards, celebrating customers with an outreach program or generally doing everything you can to keep quality high will result in a carefully considered relationship that helps honesty travel in both directions.
Remaining transparent is the easiest method of gaining trust. Let’s say one of your business partners commits a PR nightmare, such as posting a tweet that has vaguely abhorrent political undertones. This sounds like an unlikely scenario, but it happens. Your connection to a firm like this can be a PR nightmare for yourself also, so disconnecting from them but doing nothing to hide your previous relationship can show you are committed to living by your values. Or, it might be that you believe the firms intention was mischaracterized, and sometimes sticking by them can show rationality and dedication that both customers and other businesses may appreciate.
With these tips, we hope your business relationships remain worthwhile.