As a business owner, sometimes it is hard to distinguish the line of a personal and professional relationship. As a solopreneur, the line becomes blurred as you are the face of your brand. With your personal and professional tone closely linked, it is essential that you treat your relationships with care.
Keep in mind that your actions and words can be used against you and your business. How do I know this? I've seen business owners make this mistake too many times. One conflict puts a stain on their personal and professional reputation and their business suffers because of a misunderstanding and lack of apology.
If you are having a conflict with someone who happens to be a customer and a friend, it can be messy and uncomfortable. There are also dire consequences if it gets too out of hand.
You can lose a customer and possibly a friend
People like to do business with who they know, like, and trust. If there's a conflict, they don't like you too much and you have lost their trust. They are more than likely not going to do business with you if the conflict continues to get worse.
You might have to do damage control to your reputation
Too bad customers who have had a bad experience tell more people about their experience than customers who have had a good experience. If a bad transaction is the culprit, you might have to do damage control to protect your reputation and your company.
It hurts cross promotion and joint ventures
If there was a joint venture project, it hurts all participants involved in the project. In the end, it's more than your business that suffers. It is the customers that the promotion is trying to reach. They will not get the chance to experience your product or service, a possible solution to their problem.
Treat Your Relationships With Care
Maintain your relationships with your fellow business owners, especially the ones in your network. If you have a conflict, work it out. You'd be surprised at what can be solved when two business owners work out their issues in a professional manner.
Do you think personal relationships can affect your branding? Share your opinion in the comments section below.