Counsellors and psychologist agree that strong relationships with others are vital components of a healthy and happy life.

Those who are able to build strong and healthy relationship with their spouses, children and friends get the most out of life.

Similarly ability to build strong relationship with employees and customers is the single most determiner of success in business.

Businesses that fail to build and maintain relationships with their customers are likely to suffer especially during turbulent and depressed times or when other options emerge.

The formula for creating and maintaining health relationship with your customers is the same as building relationship with important people in your life.

In both cases effective communication and trust is the solid foundation. Much of your success in in business is going to come from your ability to communicate well with your employees and your customers to build trust and mutual understanding.

It is not surprising therefore to note that one common denominator of most struggling businesses is poor communication between the business owner and the employees.

In some cases employees see their employer as a merchant who is only interested in making money at all cost including underpaying and oppressing them.

On the other hand employers see employees as a batch of opportunist who are only interested in their paycheck regardless of whether business is making profit or not.

In such a case, the burden of initiating communication lies on the business owner. Napoleon Bonaparte said that if you want to rule you must put your ‘iron hand in a velvet glove.’

You must seek cooperation of your employees for both your benefit and that of your customers. This cannot be achieved by iron first or insistence of tough rules and procedures.

As a business owner, your employees are your agents who play a critical role in executing your vision and bring money to the bank.

You must communicate your vision and their place in the big picture to them so that they can internalize and feel part of your success story.

On the other hand your customers are your reason for being in business. With help of your employees, you must articulate your offering, understand your customers concerns, fears and needs accurately so as to address them in a manner that is mutually beneficial.

This article was first published in the Business Daily on July 17, 2017.

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