When depicted on TV shows and in movies, the business world is always shown to be cutthroat. To see this in action, you need look no further than the long-running reality show The Apprentice. One candidate after another steps forward to declare business isn’t about being nice, making friends, or being liked— it’s about winning and making money.
The Apprentice is just one, overt example of this attitude. To succeed in business, so the thought seems to go, you have to strip your personality away. Be ruthless; strive for success; do whatever it takes to reach the top. That’s what’s necessary to make your business successful… isn’t it?
If you’re a generally nice person, you’ll be relieved to discover that no, you don’t need to turn into a monster to be an entrepreneur. In fact, let’s explore the three particular advantages you’ll experience if you go out of your way to be nice in business.
1. You’ll be more successful at networking
Business networking is vital to the success of your business; you can read more about why in the article 5 Reasons Business Networking Matters. However, as well as being vital, business networking can also be rather unpleasant to experience. Many business owners want to talk about their business at these events and have no interest in actually conversing, which can make discussions a little one-sided.
If, however, you present yourself as nice and genuinely interested in others, you’ll stand out in the crowd. You’ll be the person others want to talk to, which may in turn help bring you opportunities that you may otherwise have missed. You’ll also be more likely to be consistently invited to events if you garner a reputation as being pleasant to speak with.
2. You’ll be able to sustain strong supply chain relationships
No business can succeed alone, and your business will rely on its supply chain as an integral part of its success. Without a reliable supply chain, your business will stutter, and you may find yourself unable to fulfil orders or meet your obligations to customers.
It is therefore imperative that you create and sustain positive B2B relationships with key companies in your supply chain. To do this effectively, you’ll need to take the time to develop key relationships that are integral to the running of your business. The article How to Nurture Your Supply Chain Relationships dives deeper into this subject, and provides some great tips that will really help improve this vital area of your business, so it’s well worth a read.
3. You’ll become a trusted expert
Becoming a well-known expert in your field is one of the best ways of promoting your business. However, expertise alone is not enough to make you a go-to expert. Reading books and articles, e.g. 7 Steps to Becoming An Expert In Your Field, is a good place to begin, but you’re also going to need to present yourself as an out-and-out good person who wants to help people.
If you’re looking to become a trusted expert purely for the boost to your business, it will show— and people won’t trust you as a result. If, however, you want to boost your business and genuinely help people, then you authenticity and positivity will shine through, and customers and the media will be more likely to turn to you for guidance.
In conclusion. Yes, some people flourish in business by being unpleasant, dominant, and ruthless— but they are the exception to the rule. You will likely find that your business is far more likely to succeed if you’re kind, considerate, and courteous to everyone you encounter along your business journey. So be yourself, be kind, and watch your business grow from there.
*Photo by James Hammond