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  • Writer's picturePaul Naude

The Trust Relationship

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Business is a high wire balancing act, where trust is the wire that you need to balance on. To move forward in business, trust relationships are paramount. Trust is important in relationships that are most likely to assist in growing your business.

The risk is where customers, other stakeholders or business partners fail you in this relationship. You may be at the top of your game in your field; technology or professional services and it is your trust partners that can cause you to fail, even when you have a perfect product or service.

How do we make sure that the wire is tight and secure?

The process is as follows:

  1. Select your customers and business partners wisely. This includes understanding their prior history and motivation for going in to business with you.

  2. Ensure that you cover yourself and your company based on good sense principals that are legally enforceable with reduced litigation wherever possible. Simple, to the point contracts that are clear on expectations, rights and obligations should assist.

3. Build the trust relationship. This can include regular meetings and interfacing with your customers and business partners to ensure that there is a common understanding in ultimate goals and objectives that will assist both parties to grow.

4. Regularly monitor your customers or partners contribution towards the trust dynamic. Where there are instances of failure or let-down against your business objectives such as failure to deliver on agreed terms or conditions, you should reassess quickly in terms of contingency approaches to ensure that any further breakdowns or failure on delivery per agreement are well mitigated. Importantly, where the transgression is marked you should not hesitate to act in terms of enforcing contract conditions or terminating the relationship. Additionally, it is paramount that you engage with the customer or business partner in a semi-formal to formalized manner to ensure that there is no room for ambiguity in terms of your requirements. A timely approach in taking action should diminish the likelihood of significant failure of business success criteria such as cash-flow or ability to service other customers.

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