This is a common line in my facilitations as ‘The Party’ is my metaphor for ‘The Market Place’.
When I facilitate, I get business owners and teams to imagine their business is a person, and they are standing at the door of The Party looking in, making a mental note of who is there.
Everyone and anyone who could positively or negatively influence your business and brand is at this party and they have all organised themselves into groups talking to one another.
Who’s there? Who are the groups of people?
The key here, as a Conscious Business, is to recognise that all of these relationships are important to your business and brand and need to be acknowledged. But it is also important to discern which relationships are going to be your focus.
So instead of being bedazzled by the excitement, colour, fun and noisiness of your Party (and our marketplace can be pretty distracting), and spending all of your time talking to friends and customers, think about who else is there to talk to, get to know, and exchange value with.
For the success of your business – strategically, who would you speak to first, second, third, fourth and fifth? And why?
In traditional business we have been taught to focus on our customers.
But a Conscious Business understands that successful business relies on an array of successful relationships.
So, the idea is to become conscious of the key relationships for your business, those that are existing and also those who will be integral to your Vision (and who may need an invitation).
So, your key relationships are not just your customers, and there could be different customer groups at your party, but also could include your suppliers, partners, regulatory bodies, influencers, potential sponsors, collaborators, media and your local community for example*.
A Conscious Business understands that relationships can be linear – say for example, the direct relationship between your business and your customer. But they can also be the result of a network of interactions and connections from all of your relationships at the party.
A Conscious Business understands that their value exchanges with everyone at the party, are likely to have an alchemical effect, that offers unimagined opportunities.
How your business interacts with the community, may encourage a local business to collaborate with you or an investor to invest with you.
How your business interacts with your suppliers – may have your suppliers supporting you through unprecedented times when you may need a little credit or support, partnering with you or recommending an amazing team member.
How your business values your customers may have influencers aligning themselves with your products.
Your Party (your marketplace) is a space of opportunity and potential, with everyone there being potential advocates, your extended sales team, advertisers, supporters and collaborators.
When you are conscious of who you are, and conscious of which relationships are key for your business success, you can make the most strategic use of your party time.
Spending this time at the door of the party, understanding your key relationships, what you mean to these relationships and your value exchange with each relationship – can see you moving around the party more strategically. This is basically your business plan.
Remember – successful business relies on successful relationships.
And there are three –
- Your relationship with WHO you are. Understanding who you are and being authentic and true to you, whenever you show up whether physically or digitally to your party. You are the first ‘value’ of any relationship.
- Your relationships with those at your party and your value exchanges with these relationships.
- And your relationships’ – relationships with each other.
When you have a greater understanding of all of these relationships you can offer more value and strategically develop strong supportive interconnected relationships for the life of your business and brand.
Integrate your truth
Cath Sutherland is the Director of Conscious Business – helping businesses to understand who they are, so they can do business better. Cath facilitates teams and leaders through her unique Creating Brand Energy process to develop, through collective consensus, their unique Conscious Business Blueprint – a clear, multi-level guide to manage, direct and develop relationships, operations, and product delivery. Cath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
*(Visit Conscious Business, Join the Party for free and access the free Energyholder’s Cheatsheet download).