Business owners are easily caught up in their own operations and issues. But many lasting business relationships begin with a favor, a tip or a simple compliment.
While many would keep their business secrets to themselves, you caught us in a giving mood. Here are five ways to help others that could lead you and your business to success – a kind-of how-to on self-serving charity:
1. Share your knowledge. – Educate yourself and others in your area of expertise. Share specific information and tips to help others gain insight into what you do and highlight the value of your work. (But don’t give away all your secrets.)
2. Volunteer your time. – Time is the most valuable thing to any business owner. So when you offer to use it to help a friend or client, they recognize that as a kind deed. Simply offering to spend your lunch break with someone can help take a business relationship to the next level.
3. Recognize others’ successes. – Give people credit where credit is due. Compliments go a long way in both your personal and work life. Nominate someone for an award; acknowledge a recent article or project; tweet about their latest accomplishment or send a personal email letting them know that you’re impressed by their work.
4. Give a gift. – No one wants to feel bought, but gift giving can usually put you on someone’s good side. The trick is to be timely and relevant with your gifts. Send a care package if a disaster strikes a client’s area or send an engagement or baby gift as congratulations. People recall others who have lent a helping hand in times of need.
5. Provide feedback. – Some people don’t take constructive criticism very well, so dishing out feedback can be difficult. But how people take your feedback can also be telling of who actually wanted it in the first place. The key is to provide good examples of improvement. They will appreciate your take, and may be able to give you helpful feedback in the future.
In business, you learn that it takes money to make money; the same is true with relationships—you need to give to receive. By using your time, money and resources to help others, your business can stand to gain much more.
Note: “Fresh Ideas” are published each week by Countybank and its family of financial service companies. With financial centers in Greenville and Greenwood, Countybank has a team of highly engaged professionals ready to bring a full scope of financial solutions designed to help families and business owners reach their goals.