I have increasingly seen more small business owners disregard loyalty within business relationships in exchange for opportunities that are immediately self-gratifying. It appears that we are caught up in taking advantage of any opportunity that comes our way that will take us to what appears to be the next level without assessing the situation.
Assessing the situation to see if it is a good fit for our brand, values, and our personal skillset. Assessing to see if it is an opportunity that will provide long-term growth. And most importantly assessing how this new opportunity will impact existing business, relationships, and future opportunities.
Business is about relationships. When you make the commitment whether verbally or in writing you are entering into a relationship where not only are you protecting your business, but also the other business. Your partnerships are a reflection of your brand. When you try to do all or be all then you send a confusing message to your audience and consumers. It is not about taking sides, it is about making the best decision for your brand, audience, and long-term success.
For example: You would not post photos or talk about both Coca-Cola and Pepsi on your Instagram or blog. It would be confusing to your audience. They would not know which one you prefer or which one is best for them. The reason they are following you is because they trust you, your voice, your experience, and your decisions to guide them. If you are wavering and try to appeal to all, you appeal to no one. In addition, if you were a paid affiliate for Pepsi and posted images of Coca-Cola, it most likely would be a conflict of interest depending upon the agreed upon terms and your affiliation would be terminated. Thus having a negative impact not only on your brand and business, but also on your income. You can replace these two brands for any other two competing brands in an industry and the same practice applies whether the relationship is paid or unpaid.
Your long-term success is built on making decisions today that will have a positive impact in the future. Sustainability in business is about the long game. It is a chess game where you have to be patient and make the right moves to win. Long-term success comes with patience, hard work, and strong relationships. Working through challenges together so you can create something great together.
*Espresso Series – Short daily opinions and thoughts about business from our founder.