As your small business grows, it is necessary to pay attention to the direction it’s moving in and to assess whether it is even moving at all. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day goings-on and forget to monitor the less obvious (but also important) facets of your company, such as keeping in touch with company associates and acquaintances.
All of the people that you interact with during your workday have the potential to be helpful to the future of your small business. Relationships with suppliers, consultants, and customers can be directly beneficial or may lead to other connections that prove to be of benefit down the road. Keeping in contact with these people, even in times that you don’t need anything from one another, means that you remain at the forefront of their minds. It’s hard to ask a favor, gain a sale, or just reconnect with business associates or acquaintances if they have not seen or heard from you in months.
A phone call or email is an acceptable form of touching base with your business connections, but it can be quickly forgotten amid the dozens of other business calls and emails that we all receive throughout our day.
An easy and inexpensive way to remain in contact with your professional connections is to keep a current list and send a small gift basket or sample selection of products to those that are essential to your business life. It needn’t be done often, a quarterly acknowledgment for those that you interact with more frequently and something once or twice a year for others is certainly appropriate. The inclusion of a short handwritten note is nice, but not necessary.
Staying in touch with others is a part of life, and it’s a part of business, too.