Even if you’re the only employee of your craft business you’ll still inevitably have to work with others. This includes store owners, supply vendors, craft show organizers, accountants, and more. Fostering good relationships with these people will help you be more successful and productive in your handmade company.
Here are a few ways to develop these connections:
Keeping in regular contact with those you work with is a must. This includes responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner, as well as checking in if it’s been a while. The people you work with will appreciate it, and you might jog their memory if they accidentally forgot to get back to you. On the other hand, always respect the time and boundaries of your business associates. If someone’s sending you clear signals that they don’t want to collaborate anymore or that they need more time for a project, respect them and give them space.
In the craft world everyone knows each other, so be mindful of how you treat people. Even if you have a bad experience with someone (which is bound to happen eventually), don’t go around bad-mouthing them to your crafter friends. It could easily turn people off from working with you in the future. Instead, just avoid doing business with them and move on.
If you’ve had a great experience working with someone it’s nice to recommend them to others. I’ve found so many amazing shops to sell my jewelry at from referrals, and then later on referred artists who would be a good fit. Recommending those who you enjoy working with will not only increase their business and revenue, but will also show them that they are appreciated and valued.
Say Thank You
Lastly, remember to say thank you. This can be verbal, or even a token of appreciation like a small gift or baked goods. But don’t say thanks just to further your own interests, and always respect rules against material presents if they aren’t allowed.
What other tips do you have for creating and maintaining strong business connections?
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- How to Develop Successful Relationships to Grow Your Handmade Business - February 13, 2017