From Arlene: The Art of Business Relationships

From Arlene: The Art of Business Relationships

Leadership | Posted by - July 18, 2016 at 12:30 am

Valuable relationships become a valuable business asset.

You simply can’t build a business alone. Believe me, I speak from experience. You need other people to make it work, all kinds of other people. So how can you make that happen? I believe it means getting out there and developing relationships with the people who can help you achieve your objectives. Just think about all of the people that your company touches: there are suppliers, customers, employees, investors, partners, and advisors, to name a few.

But how do we define value? It can be thought of as money, expertise, resources and services. It  can also come in the form of connections (or introductions to people who have connections). Finally, value can take the form of talent or skill – something you’ll obviously seek whenever you hire an employee, for example.Surrounding yourself with the right people in each of those roles should be your objective when it comes to developing business relationships. But who are the “right people”? To me, the right person to work with you is someone who brings value to your business.

So how do you go about attracting the right people? I think it all comes down to following your own principles when dealing with other people, along with just simply listening to your gut instincts. Consider:

  • Be open right from the start. Don’t hide your intentions.
  • Practice transparency rather than come across as guarded and secretive. Tell them what you want to achieve.
  • Help people get what they want from life.
  • Be honest with your communications. A person may not like what you are saying, but they will appreciate your honesty and knowing where you stand.
  • Be true to your own values and priorities.

By openly sharing what you believe, what you value and where your business is going, you’ll attract the kind of people who want to support your vision and are excited to be involved. And it’s this collective passion that you need to fuel your business and propel it forward.

Finding the right people will require networking. Attend networking events that promise an opportunity to meet the kind of person you want to meet – like a customer representing a certain industry you’ve been chasing, or a fabulous graphic designer who can build your next website. It’s a waste of time to attend events without knowing if they’ll help you connect with the right people, so do your homework before you register.

And tap into your personal and professional network to search for the right people. Create a dialogue with someone who fits your wish list for a customer, supplier, employee or advisor. And be smart about how you use social media. Tweet about what you are looking for in a team member and see who responds. Leverage your existing business connections by sharing a short profile of the type of person you want to meet.

When you find a potential candidate – one of the “right people” for your business – spend some time in online or offline conversation to see if they’re a good a fit. Be honest, transparent and direct, and look for the same treatment in return. In the final analysis, the art of business relationships is all about treating people exactly as you yourself would want to be treated. It’s that simple.

Tags: business relationships, blog, arlene dickinson, business advice, common goals, communication, networking, personalities, value

Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list.  She is also the CEO of, a company she founded in 2012 that is dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle. 

Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision and marketing expert on Recipe to Riches.  She is the author of two books, the number one bestselling book, Persuasion and her most recent best-selling release, All In. 

Joe Wasylyk
July 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm
Although senior 50+ entrepreneurs have skills, knowledge, maturity, resources and yes connections they in most cases are forced to work alone. Most government & private sources continue to focus on the under 40 potential entrepreneurs. Somehow older entrepreneurs will need to break the glass ceiling & ageism to get more business support groups and the opportunity to collaborate with the younger entrepreneurs bringing success to entrepreneurs of all ages.
August 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm
I find Arlene gives me inspiration. Especially since I receive social assistance and I am a full time single parent. It gives me the drive to know that success is possible and not impossible. To me, I feel she is more 'people oriented' and not 'money oriented' As a ' no quit entrepreneur ' with vision and talent I hope someday to be financially independent too. Social Services are great. However, the spirit within me wants to follow in footsteps of independence. Thank you Arlene for giving me such inspiration. The creator of Harry Potter's books that went to the big screen was also a social assistance recipient single parent. People like Arlene and J. K. Rowling give me drive. Too success! In response to Joe Wasylyk post. I would hire a senior citizen or partner a business with a senior in a heartbeat. Do not think of age. Market your wisdom. The elderly too me are valuable in work and business.
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