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Building Lasting Bonds: Tips for Small Businesses on Relationship Networking

| Flourish Monthly

Networking can be intimidating. Many people avoid it because they find it transactional. The key is to shift your point of view! The world of small business is not just about transactions; it’s about forging connections that can make or break your success. Giving or receiving business while building a relationship is a bonus. The point is to build the relationship in the first place! Today, we’re exploring the art of building relationships and giving you essential tips for you to cultivate lasting connections. It’s about more than just handshakes and business cards, so grab your virtual coffee (or your real coffee) and let’s dive in!


Value and Authenticity in Relationships

Imagine business as a colorful tapestry woven with threads of human connections. It’s more than just transactions; it’s about forging genuine bonds. In a world that seems overly polished, authenticity is your unique selling point. Embrace your business’s true personality, quirks and all. Whether you’re a trendy startup or a cozy mom-and-pop shop, being authentic forms the foundation of real, enduring relationships.

 

Effective Communication

Effective communication is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s not just about talking but listening intently. Practice empathy, understand your audience, and adapt your communication style accordingly. This might mean having a few different versions of your elevator pitch ready so you can tailor your presentation to your fellow networkers!

 

Networking Strategies

Networking isn’t just reserved for corporate bigwigs. Attend industry events, leverage online platforms (like Facebook groups), and connect with peers and mentors. These interactions can provide valuable insights, opportunities, and perhaps even lifelong friends who share your entrepreneurial journey.

 

Maintaining and Nurturing Relationships

Ever had a friend who faded away because you lost touch? In business, the same principle applies. Keep the conversation going. Solve their problems, share insightful knowledge, or simply bring a smile to their face.Consistent effort maintains and strengthens connections!

Here’s the bottom line: relationships are your secret weapon in the small business world. Go out there, connect genuinely with others, and watch your business soar to new heights. Remember, networking isn’t just about the destination; it’s about enjoying the journey and the wonderful people you meet along the way. 

 

If you’re looking for a place to use these tips, Flourish has you covered! Our networking groups are unique because we put an emphasis on relationship-building. We also have an education component every week so members can continue building their skills week after week. Here are what some of our current members have to say about our groups:

  • “It has been such an amazing experience, from the community support, to the encouragement, to everyone just being there and helping me get where I am today. Not only is the community there for me, but they vouch for me everywhere… I owe so so much to Flourish Networking!” - Dann Charlat
  • “I have learned so much from people in my group. People have just totally championed my business and helped promote me. I’ve gotten to a spot now where my restaurant job is my side gig and my floral business is my main gig… having this group of people who helped me with questions I didn’t know the answers to and took me under their wing because they care about me has been wonderful. I am so thankful for Flourish Networking!” - Heidi Westerhuis
  • “One great thing that Flourish brings to my business is I started out my business so small and a lot of people didn’t know my name. Joining this group has broadened my brand and now it’s being recognized throughout the community. And on top of that, we get to learn how to market! Definitely check us out. Definitely see what’s up.” - Trevor Tyree
  • “The reason why I am part of Flourish Networking is because it’s a great place to meet new people, to learn more things about other businesses and develop a friendship and networking circle with people in my community. It’s been a great asset and I appreciate everything that Flourish does for us.”  - Wendy Polk

We have many different groups in and around the Portland area, so check out our website to find one near you!


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