Build Your Business With Friends, Not Enemies

In business, we often put a significant emphasis on the idea of the ‘competition.’ Most of the time, we have an ‘us and them’ mentality to other companies. We scorn their efforts and do whatever we can to undercut prices and take customers. All is fair in love and business, after all. That’s just the way things go. It’s often this threat of competition which pushes us to be our best business selves. You could go as far as to say that you’re doing your competitors a favor by pitting yourself against them like this.

build your business with friends
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Jirsak

The trouble is that the business world can fast become a lonely place if you make too many enemies too soon. You may also find that this attitude doesn’t get you as far as you might think. Of course, to some extent, you do need to think about outstripping other companies in your field. You would never get anywhere otherwise.

But it might also be worth thinking about making a few friends along the way. As much as enemies can push you into being your best self, so can the best business friendships. What’s more, forming relationships could have a load of benefits besides. Of course, it can be tricky to turn things around if you’ve been all about the competition until now. But, by reaching out on social media or booking a booth at a tradeshow on sites like, you should find that it’s never too late. But, why should you make the effort in the first place?

Business friends can back your brand

First thing’s first; getting on the right side of a big business could see them backing your brand all the way to the big time. One of the best things about networking is the fact that it allows you to rub shoulders with people much higher up the chain than yourself. As can be seen from sites like, this could lead to significant deals which work for both parties if you play things right. Often, deals like these are the only way for small companies to grow their efforts. What other chance do you have of appealing to such a large and established audience? This is also a fantastic way to get people trusting in your brand sooner than they might otherwise. When a company they already trust gives you their seal of approval, customers tend to follow. Before you know, those same customers may start to seek you out of their own accord. And, none of this would have been possible if you didn’t make that effort to reach out and make friends for once.

One connection can lead to another

It’s also worth noting that everyone tends to know everyone high up in business circles. If you get close to one person, the chances are that they can introduce you to someone else, and so on. Even better, that initial friend can give you a personal recommendation which ensures everyone pays more attention than if you were coming to them out of nowhere. This is the magic of networking, and it’s something you should never sniff at. Even if you aren’t able to rub shoulders with the most significant business influences off the bat, you’ll soon get there if you work your way up. And, the only chance you have of doing that is to be sure you’re making friends along the way. Sadly, this can also work the other way. If you don’t take time to make friends, or focus solely on creating enemies, then word will soon get out. And, when it does, you can bet every deal or effort at growth you make comes up against opposition. Make sure it doesn’t happen. Always play nice and be friendly!

You’ll get a better idea of what’s going on

We all need to keep an eye on the competition to stand any chance at keeping up. That’s logic. What you might not realize is that doing this will become much easier once you’re in some inner-circle. Of course, you need to keep those friendships strong. As such, you don’t want to use the information you glean here too blatantly. You will find, though, that news of a competitor’s big marketing campaign hits you sooner than it would otherwise. You could then double your efforts, or focus on a large campaign yourself in retaliation. Even better, you should be able to start your efforts sooner than you would otherwise. That means you can release your counter efforts shortly after your competitors go live. Keep this friendly by making sure that your campaigns are different enough not to oppose each other. Then, rest easy that you can at least keep up as much hype as those other companies are doing.

Friends can keep you sane

Finally, it’s worth noting the simple fact that friendships, especially those in the business world, can keep you sane. Admittedly, your relationships here aren’t going to be like those you have with, say, your childhood pals. There will always be a business-like tone to these interactions. Still, it’s surprising how comforting it can feel to spend time with those in a similar position. Every entrepreneur can feel a little lonely when things get rough. Your real friends and family can try all they like, but they won’t be able to understand what you’re going through. By comparison, the relationships you make in your industry could do just that. These could become people whom you meet up with for a drink when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Harness these friendships well, and you should find yourself in a position where people are willing to give you advice. That can be an invaluable benefit, and one well worth all those networking events.

With a bit of luck, having friends in the right places should be all it takes to see you to success at all times. It’ll certainly make your journey into business smoother than it would be otherwise. No entrepreneur is an island, after all.