You may not have realised this before but business is a lot like dating.

For those that know me – yes, I realise the irony in writing an article about dating (hint: I’m far better at business ) but there are some clear parallels that I think we can all keep in mind to help us do better in our day-to-day work life.

Here are 3 ways in which business is like dating and how they can help you improve the way you do business:

 

Don’t get married too quickly 

So often I see businesses started by people who barely know each other after discovering a shared passion for solving the same challenge, for example. This can lead to jumping into a relationship too quickly without ‘dating’ first.

Understanding the person you’re about to share perhaps 50% of your business with and spend potentially even more time with than your actual partner, is vital. You wouldn’t get married on the first date would you?

My last business was the result of a merger with another company. We knew we would work well together but hadn’t known each other any longer than a couple of months. So instead of merging right away, we kept the companies (and shareholdings) separate and decided to spend 12 months under one brand, with two entities, while we decided if it was right thing to do before getting the papers drawn up.

Maybe this seems too slow for some people, which is fair, but it meant we became good friends and formed a successful partnership – with no butting heads when it came to paperwork time.

 

Avoid double-texting (never triple-text)

Don’t be that person. Seriously, it’s annoying. Not attractive. And I mean that in every business sense possible.

If your job in your company is business development (or even being on the receiving end of it) then you’ll know what I’m on about. That dredded double-email from someone trying to get your business. A third might even warrant a ‘please don’t email me anymore’ reply.

Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen, eh? A bit of absence makes the heart grow fonder. Create some want for the potential client to come back to you. Desperation isn’t attractive. I’d much prefer someone built up a rapport first, before making the move. Then judging the signals correctly to decide if a chase is required or not. Business development, much like dating, is a dance, and it takes two to tango. Just make sure your 50% of that pair is using common sense and creating allure.

 

Success is attractive

Tired of getting no’s from potential leads & partners? Get your head down and focus on you.

Improving your business and creating a better product, with happier customers, etc is just the same as improving yourself – it all makes you more interesting to potential suitors.

Go ahead, give it a go. If you’re ok for cash then maybe focus on inbound for a while, do some humble-braggy PR, treat your staff like gods, your customers even more so. Then, when everyone loves you, those who didn’t before will come back and either swallow their pride and ask how they can work with you, or be jealous when you’re dating (working with) their hottest competitor.

 

Of course, the content above is in jest, but I genuinely believe that all business is about people. Of course it is. Even the most technical companies are run by people and sold to people.

Mastering the art of building and managing relationships can be the key to a successful business.

Who knows, maybe your expert business development skills along with this article, might even help you improve your dating life too?! (Any #yenaweddings that happen off the back of this, I 100% want an invite to, thanks).

 

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– Ash x

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