Today has been an Isley Brothers day for me. Afterall, I’ve just set Summer Breeze as my profile song on the new MySpace. So when I decided that I’d discuss picking clients, opportunities, partnerships and employees to use a title related to being selective, Choosy Lover came to mind.
Who wants to settle down with the guy who will flirt, date or sleep with anybody? Most girls wouldn’t pick him as the ideal choice and for good reason. She has to be discriminating and find someone who lives up to her standard in order for her to be happy.
Why would you as a business owner be any less discriminating when choosing who you want to do business with. Business might not be equivalent to courtship but it’s solidly based on relationships. The relationships you have with clients, for example can be a great one or one that gives you both horrendous headaches.
The same holds true for business partnerships. I have turned down several opportunities when it became clear that they were one-sided or one that didn’t positively affect my brand. Should you do the same or should you treat everything that comes to you as the golden opportunity? Remember the girl and the sleazy guy she shouldn’t marry.
What about employees? In all the books I’ve read, each expert says hire slow, fire quickly. The only way to assess whether a employee is right for your company is by taking the time to learn their skill set, their personality and doing due diligence. Rushing through your hiring process is like hastily getting married, and can be costly to your bottom line if the person doesn’t work out. If you see somebody isn’t working out, terminate them. Don’t waste anymore of your time or theirs.
Relationships take time. Of course there are moments when your gut feeling tells you to jump on an opportunity or to run away scared. Just like in romantic relationships where you learn as you go along, you’ll learn how to figure out more easily which things work for you and which things don’t only through experience.
Make the process easier by finding out whether there are mutual benefits and defining terms of the business relationship early on and also in writing. Be good at assessing the value of a relationship so that you are constantly aligning yourself with people who would support the growth of your organization. Be sure to also support their growth.
Be a choosy lover and after you are clear on what you need from a business relationship, set out to get just that.