How to Integrate Yourself in Someone Elses Business

When do you need to get more involved with the day to day activities of your business partner?

The best business relationship you can have is one where the client does not know whether you are a contractor or whether you are an employee. Working alongside the client, you are the one that offers solutions to problems. These relationships take time to develop, but if your expertise helps make them a profit, then they will be more open to having you "on staff". In order to place yourself in this type of position, you need to possess an expertise that the client does not have. You also have to make sure that you have a working knowledge of their processes and procedures. You are not there to make policy decisions but to push them in the right direction when your technical expertise is required. I know a company in the aeronautics industry that works so closely with one of its clients that they help them design their airplanes and give them advice on where they can save money and improve on their processes.

This company is so ingrained in the other organization that upper management takes them for granted. The main problem they are facing is getting in front of the decision makers so that they can do more business. This is not a bad problem to have, but you still have to maintain your identity. Companies that work this well together have gone past the dating game and are now well matched and have a solid long term relationship. This does not mean that you want to work for one company; it simply means that you need to get close enough to your client that you know how you can be of value and let them know where they can make improvements.

Getting involved with other businesses is the best way to cement a relationship and to ensure longevity with the projects. It will also eliminate the threat of competition as they are an unknown and you know the trade secrets on an intimate basis. You need to bond the relationship to make sure you stay in the client's mind.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com

In The News:

Small business is backbone of the community  Bryan-College Station Eagle
Local small business awarded $10k grant  Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

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