Relationships are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you’ll have no customers and no business. It’s crucial therefore, that you continue building relationships throughout the year – even during the summer period.

Here’s a brief overview of how you can successfully continue building relationships – now and during the summer period!

Ensure you’re consistently marketing your business

Don’t stop marketing just because it’s summertime and the kids are home. Contrary to what you may believe, the whole of Europe doesn’t close for the summer! Many entrepreneurs do take holidays over the summer, but that doesn’t mean they’re not open for business during that time.

What it does mean, is you need to have a plan in place to carry you through the summer. Ideally, that plan will mean getting the bulk of your marketing content automated and scheduled in, before the summer holiday period kicks in – so you can enjoy the summer as much as your kids. Yes, you will still need a balance of automated and ad-hoc posts going out to market your business, but having the automated side covered upfront, frees you up to concentrate on just sharing the ad-hoc, fun and personal things as they happen.

Get clear on what networking opportunities are available to you

Networking gives you a great opportunity to build relationships, forge new friendships and establish new contacts – not to mention, getting you out from behind your desk! Finding a networking group in your area doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Look to carry out an online search for events in your area. You can search via a search engine, or search the groups and event platforms you may already use – such as Facebook events, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Eventbrite.

Remember to ask your existing contacts too. Find out which networking groups they recommend and regularly attend, and look to even go as their plus one.

Think laterally and literally

Learn to think both laterally and literally, when it comes to developing your business and building relationships. Yes, you need to promote your business, but that doesn’t have to result in you constantly pushing your products and services in front of your intended audience. People need to know who they’re interacting with, if you want to build a relationship. Yes, you need to get to know as much as you can about your ideal client, but they also need to get to know you too. So, share insights about who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in and who you are as a person.

Marketing and building relationships isn’t all about making the money and getting in clients. Share insights into your life and your family, and don’t always be thinking about making a sale. It’s about being honest and authentic about who you are and what your business is about, beneath the products and services you offer. What makes you, you? What connects you with those around you and your potential clients?

Building relationships takes time – and it doesn’t stop, once the summer holidays are here. By following the advice above, you’ll ensure you’re successfully building relationships throughout the year.

Marketing and building relationships in business are things we all need to do, if we want our businesses to succeed. So why not share your relationship and marketing tips below, and let’s help make summer a successful period for our fellow VAs!

Image courtesy of konradbak/