One of the most important things you can do when starting up a business is build connections. It can be easy to adopt a ‘you versus the world’ mentality and try to accomplish everything you want for your business by yourself, but realistically that isn’t going to work. Good businesses thrive off strong connections – otherwise, how are you going to reach out to your audience? Nothing in the business world truly exists in isolation.
Luckily, Do More has got your back. We understand that making those first connections as a start-up – be it with your target audience or other businesses – can be tough, whether you see yourself as an introvert or an extrovert. But at the same time, in the age of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to reach out to others. So make yourself a coffee, settle in and read on to find out how to take those first few steps to making your business more connected.
Aim For Regular Customers
What’s more important than customers? Regular customers. For your business to truly thrive – whether it’s a social media app or a bicycle repair shop – you need to make connections that are likely to last, with people that are likely to come back. Any sort of interaction with your audience is good of course, but if someone uses your services and doesn’t come back, it can be seen as a bit worrisome… If you want your business to thrive in the long term, you need customers that’ll engage with you in the long term.
Broadly put, the best way to do this is to show your audience that you care about them. Demonstrate that you’re committed to giving them the best service possible. Make them feel like they’re important to you. If you can do that, they’ll be more likely to care in return and rely on you in the future. So, to put it simply: if you put in the effort with your audience, they’ll be more likely to put in the effort with you.
Be Open To Different Methods
Making those first connections with your audience can be difficult, and so we recommend you try as many different strategies as you can manage. Most methods will cost you time and money despite offering very little in return in the short term… But in the long term, they’re likely to help you build a rapport with your customers that’ll prove incredibly useful.
As we said before, the good thing about the age of the Internet is that there are now more ways than ever to make connections. You can set up ads, send out newsletters, share offers… The possibilities are endless. But we think the best way to make connections is a steady flow of content. Updating your social media feeds regularly – make sure your business at least has a Facebook page! – and sharing things you think might interest your audience will help build trust between you and them. Regular blog posts can be great as well. Methods such as these show that you care about your customers and see them as a lot more than simply a source of income.
Word Of Mouth
The main benefit of making these connections with your audience? Word of mouth. Like we said, if you show your customers that you care about them, then they’re more likely to care in return. They’ll recommend you to others, marketing your business in an incredibly organic way. It’s well-known that there’s no quicker way for something to spread than through word of mouth – just consider any video that’s gone viral – so it can be an incredibly useful way to get your name out there. And, as you’ve probably guessed, it’ll lead to even more connections.
As you’d expect, it’s something that takes time. You need to put in the hours when it comes to your audience to get to a stage where they’re likely to talk about you to others. But trust when we say that it’s worth it.
Connect With Other Businesses
No business can exist in isolation. Having an awareness of that is likely to make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to getting your name out there. While we’re not suggesting that you collaborate with businesses that you’re in direct competition with, connecting with ones that you can help – and that can help you – can be important.
The world of start-up businesses can be rough, and helping each other out even in small ways is worth doing. If your start-up has potential audience crossover with another small business, why not get in touch with them? When we say collaborate, that doesn’t have to mean doing anything more than sharing each other’s posts on Facebook from time to time or perhaps providing guest posts on each other’s blogs. Reaching out to other small businesses can even be helpful to just feel connected with people in a similar situation who you can trade advice with. Trust us when we say it can make a world of difference.
Surround Yourself With Passionate People
Our last chunk of advice when it comes to making connections – surround yourself with passionate people. We’re assuming that you care deeply about the area your business is based in, and so we believe it’s important to prioritise connecting with people who are similarly passionate. Whether it’s start-up owners who care about their business like you care about yours or other people that care about the field your business is in, having them around can be a great way to keep your own enthusiasm up.
Surrounding yourself with unenthusiastic people – people that aren’t excited about what you’re doing – is only a quick way to deplete your own morale. So keep your business’s flame burning by keeping people around that care about it.
Do you have any advice or thoughts when it comes to making connections as a start-up? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let us know… We’d love to hear from you. And remember that you can always Do More!