If you’re anything like us, you’ve learnt some key life lessons this year. We’ve all been reminded of the importance of friends, family and good health. We’ve learnt not to take everyday freedoms for granted. And we’ve learnt to always keep a healthy stock of loo roll in the house…

Here at OCTOPUS, we’ve also learnt some key business lessons. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight our biggest takeaways from 2020 – and how these can help you build a better business in 2021.

It’s all about relationships
You know the old saying that people are a business’s most important asset? Well, we’d argue that applies to people outside the business, too. We already knew relationships were crucial to business success, but this year has really hammered that message home.

So how can you improve your business relationships in 2021? Simple, treat all your contacts as if they were your most precious client. Make an effort to keep in touch (how many times have you thought, ‘I must message so-and-so,’ then you forget?) Go out of your way to help people. Pass on your experience and wisdom so that they can build a better business or solve their biggest problems. Be friendly. Be someone people want to reach out to.

In return, you’ll gain reciprocal help, long-term partnerships, greater loyalty to you and your business, more referrals, and a stronger sales pipeline (thanks to word-of-mouth buzz).

Be active in your local business community
If you aren’t already integrated with your local business community, make that your new year’s resolution. Because we’ve found that playing an active role in our business community is incredibly rewarding. In fact, networking (virtually, obviously) has been a godsend for OCTOPUS during the pandemic, allowing us to keep lines of communication open and deepen those all-important relationships.

Our advice to you? Put yourself out there. Be visible and active in your local networks. Build relationships with other business owners (you’ll probably find that your business relationships turn into friendships). And, importantly, be sure to introduce your contacts to others in your network who could help them. They’ll be only too happy to do the same for you in time.

What have you learnt about yourself and your business this year? And what are you looking forward to next year? Tell us about your plans for 2021, and let’s see if we can work together to achieve them.