In a tough economic climate, keeping your business afloat can sometimes mean making difficult decisions. Operating within tight financial constraints bought on by a barely recovering economy, one of the first items typically slashed from the corporate budget is the entertainment expense account. And yet, you want to show your clients that you appreciate their business so they will not take it anywhere else – probably to your closest competitor.
The Importance of Entertaining
Building a business is about building relationships – with your employees, your suppliers and your customers. Relationships, even business ones, are intricate human interactions that thrive best when pursued on many levels. A bond (between employee and employee or between a business and its customers) is always stronger when built over time and on different levels. Keeping your clients or trying to win new ones by entertaining them is part of doing business. You want to relate to them on a different level in order to create and strengthen the business ties that bind you to one another. When your customers see you and can refer to you not just as a business associate but as a flesh and blood person, they are more likely to do business and stay with your company.
You Do not Have to Break the Bank
Everyone is in a conservative spending mood in this economy – including your clients. Show them you're a pragmatic, creative business person who knows the importance of having fun while keeping to the bottom line.
Pass on the expensive dinner in the most popular restaurant in town. Extravagance is out in this business climate, and value is in. The next time you want to show your appreciation to an important client, consider taking them out to a ballgame, but do it in style. Hire a professional limousine service to chauffeur you and your client to the ballgame. Arrive refreshed and ready to root for the home team.
This tells your client you appreciate his business and that you know how to have fun while still saving money. You come across as both a shrewd and fun business person. Who would not want to do business with someone like that?
The bottom line for every business is always profitability. Without it, you do not have a business. But while a company needs to make money in order to survive, it also needs strong personal and business relationships in order to succeed. The best part is that you can build these relationships one inning at a time.