Did you know there are seven different types of business relationships? Either did I until just recently.

Even though I’ve been in business for over 23 years, it’s not something I really paid much attention to. However, when I looked at the list, I realised that I’ve created and experienced every single one.

In this article, I’ll help you discover the 7 main types of business relationships.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Key Takeaways: The 7 Types of Business Relationships

  1. Employee Relationships: Emphasized as the most crucial, highlighting the importance of having a great and happy staff. The idea is that well-treated employees will, in turn, take good care of your customers, significantly impacting business success.
  2. Customer Relationships: Stressed as the next most critical relationship, underlining the importance of building strong connections with customers for business survival and growth, as customers are the primary source of income.
  3. Mentors in Leaders and Peers: Points to the value of having mentors among bosses and colleagues, which can broaden skill sets and foster mutual knowledge sharing, enhancing personal and organizational growth.
  4. Competitor Relationships: Suggests a non-traditional approach of building positive relationships with competitors, which can lead to beneficial partnerships and joint ventures, thereby enhancing market presence and success.
  5. Legal Relationships: Highlights the importance of trustworthy relationships with legal representatives, crucial for navigating legal challenges and ensuring business protection.
  6. Relationships with Financial People: Covers the significance of strong connections with accountants, financial advisors, and banking officials, vital for financial guidance, business viability assessment, and growth.
  7. Partnerships with Other Corporations: Encourages collaborations with corporations that complement the business, which can lead to synergies and added value to offerings, broadening the business’s capabilities and market reach.

What is a Business Relationship?

A business relationship is a professional interaction or connection between two or more parties, such as companies, organizations, or individuals, typically formed to pursue mutual commercial or economic benefits.

How Do Business Relationships Work

Business relationships work through a network of interactions and exchanges between companies, organizations, or professionals, aimed at achieving mutual benefits.

These relationships are built and maintained through communication, trust, and the fulfillment of agreed-upon objectives, such as sharing resources, collaborating on projects, or engaging in commercial transactions.

Successful business relationships often lead to increased opportunities, improved efficiency, and enhanced growth for the involved parties.

Now, let’s explore the most important types of business relationships:

1. Employee Relationships

Even though these are probably not the first business relationships you’ll form, in my opinion, they are the most crucial.

Thus the reason why I’ve put it first.

See, one thing I’ve learned over the 13 businesses I’ve built is that your staff are the lifeblood of your business. Without great staff, and more importantly, happy staff, your business will not reach the heights it potentially could.

A very famous business entrepreneur totally got this concept. Sir Richard Branson has often been quoted saying, “If you look after your staff, your staff will look after your customers.” This is such a true statement.

So what are the types of business relationships that are the next most important?

2. Customer Relationships

We mentioned them in the section above, and it’s true.

Having excellent customer relationships is the next most crucial business relationship of all. Without your customers, there is no income. This, of course, means you really have no business, right?

One mistake I see business owners making every day is not taking enough time to build relationships with their clients and customers.

Instead, they jump down the prospect’s throat before they even have a chance to breathe. What’s even worse is when a prospect who was not ready to be accosted bucks this advance, I’ve seen business owners laugh at them.

So not cool!

3. Mentors in Your Leaders and Peers

Coming in third place when we’re asking what are the types of business relationship, the key answer is Leadership and Peer Mentors.

Now, as the name suggests, these can come from bosses and leaders in the company. They can come from your peers, as well.

How so, I hear you say?

Well, we are all good at certain things. By building relationships not only with your bosses but your colleagues as well, you’ll widen your skill resources.

Building these relationships will see them sharing their knowledge with you and vice versa.

4. Competitor Relationships

Competitor Relationships may not be something you’ve considered before. It’s my opinion that these can be just as important as every other business relationship you build. Why is that you ask?

Well, imagine this scenario.

You’ve got one of those competitors that keeps you on your toes. They are innovative, creative, active, and quite a pain in your rear. You never seem to be able to keep up with them, and they always seem to be flying ahead of the game.

Have you ever wondered what they think of you? Perhaps there are certain things you do that they admire.

What if, instead of feeling threatened by their skills, you befriended them and worked out a deal where you could work together? This concept might even see the two of you conquering even more of the market? What if you were to combine your skills and both benefit? Suddenly they’d become a business asset, rather than competition, right?

Especially in the tough times we are currently facing, this could turn out to be a stellar move on your part.

So, coming in at number 5 when we talk about what are the types of business relationships is:

These are the relationships you build with lawyers and other legal representatives.

These relationships are built on a high level of trust. Your lawyers must gain your trust, especially when you are dealing with sensitive legal issues. You need to know you can trust these people with your life!

So, have you come across any surprises yet?

So far, we’ve shown you five of the seven answers to the question, what are the types of business relationships. This means we only have two more. Any guesses on what these may be?

We won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

6. Relationships with your Financial People

Including Accountants, Financial Advisors, and Banking Officials, these relationships are crucial for your business growth.

Without having strong bonds in these areas, you may not be able to leverage it as much. These people also get to see the inner workings of what’s really going on.

They can tell by looking at what you do, whether you have a viable business or not. This can make or break you.

So out of all the types of business relationships, these are some of the most important. Without good people in your corner, you may find that the advice given is not the best.

This, in turn, could see you making some decisions that do not serve you well.

So, make sure that whoever you give this level of trust is worthy of it. Last but not least, in our list of what are the types of business relationships is…

7. Partnerships with Other Corporations

We mentioned something similar above when we gave you some fantastic ideas for handling your competitors.

There is another kind of business relationship that can serve you exceptionally well. That’s working with other corporations that can complement what you do.

Imagine the extra power you could have with some strong collaborations.

These services would add value to any offer you made, and you’d build some extra strong relationships that could serve you for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Above I’ve given you the 7 types business relationships and thoroughly answered the question, what are the types of business relationships. Build on each one of these every day, and watch how your business grows and flourishes.