As an entrepreneur, it is commonly believed that your product or service is the difference between success and failure.

 

Although this is true to an extent, the real difference between success and failure in business is the relationships you build around you.

 

At James Hopkins Coaching, we find that one problem new entrepreneurs make is that they don’t value networks and the relationships around them.

 

Business relationships are at the heart of every successful business.

 

You must establish professional relationships with your employees, business friends and even your customers.

 

The connections you establish early on can help you quickly build up your reputation, which will help take your company to the next level.

 

So how can you begin building business relationships if you have no prior connections?

 

Begin by making time to connect.

 

We at James Hopkins Coaching understand that running a business can be extremely time consuming.

 

When you’re not working directly in the business, you’re behind the scenes improving your systems and managing your finances.

 

However, it is crucial that you make the time to network with others.

 

This will help you to build a network of engaged contacts you can call on when you need them most.

 

Now, we’re not saying you should build a list of people that you want to sell to.

 

Instead, see the group you create as individuals who can help inspire business ideas and provide you with advice that you may have otherwise overlooked.

 

Each week, take at least one evening (or more if you can) to network.

 

This can be done in several ways and can be as simple as spending a few hours online teaching out to group leaders in your niche.

 

Take a look at the Facebook Groups you’re in, Twitter and private forums for like-minded individuals. You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field.

 

Identify who is making changes in your niche and seek out their advice whenever possible.

 

After all, at James Hopkins Coaching we believe that to become successful, you must first surround yourself with success.

 

Every month your local community will also hold networking events which will be sponsored by a local group.

 

Try to attend these events every few months and connect with other businesses within your area- you never know when you might find someone you want to work with.

 

In order to build long-lasting relationships, it’s important that you always show a genuine interest in the people you’re networking with.

 

At James Hopkins Coaching, we teach our clients to create strong bonds with clients by completing a simple yet effective task for them.

 

To find the right individuals to connect with, think of someone who you would see as a mentor or business partner.

 

If an individual you’re talking to has the same characteristics then it’s likely you’ll want to network with them again.

 

While this may appear intimidating at first, you’ll get used to talking to hundreds of people each month and eventually you’ll be able to quickly identify who you want to network with.