One of those things that successful entrepreneurs are very good at is establishing positive business relationships with their employees, business associates, suppliers, customers, and everyone else that contribute directly or indirectly to the continued survival of their business.

Even businesses with great products and services have failed because they couldn’t establish positive relationships with those that matter. The world is filled with people, not just products and consumers. And these people desire a connection with other people—people they want to work with and trust for the long term.

No matter what type of business you are into, you need to establish and maintain business relationships. And here are 10 reasons why this is more than necessary:

10 Reasons Why Business Relationships Are Important

1. Business relationships improve your communication skills

By establishing business relationships, you will communicate and interact frequently with your customers, employees, suppliers, and business associates. This frequent communication will no doubt sharpen your communication skills and boost your confidence when interacting with others. When you are confident during communication, you will be able to establish even more relationships without balking.

2. Business relationships foster friendship

Business relationships can turn into long-term—or even lifetime—friendships. And it goes without saying that being friends with someone is more than being just an employee, or customer, or business associate. With friendship comes trust, fun, and lots more. By building business relationships, you will have more friends, and you will get more value from them, just as they will from you.

3. Business relationships give you some personal sense of fulfillment

Business isn’t only about profit. The joy that comes from profit is usually short-lived if that profit isn’t sustained. But the joy and fulfillment that comes with having positive relationships last longer. And the more fulfilled you are, the more motivated you will be to establish even more relationships.

4. Business relationships bring repeat business

Attracting one-time customers who come once and never return won’t help your business grow in the long term. In reality, growing a business to the point of commercial success requires building a large pool of loyal, repeat customers. Now, the business world is tilting towards the subscription model with the ultimate goal being to establish and maintain business relationships with clients for the long term.

5. Business relationships help branding

The long-term success of your business hinges largely on its reputation. If you are kind, courteous, and attentive to your customers, employees, and business associates, you will establish a good reputation for your business. And people will deem you and your business as trustworthy and experienced. When this happens, the result is more business from existing customers.

6. Business relationships help promote your business

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods. When you build good relationships with your customers, employees, and other people you deal with, they will become your marketing agents. They will introduce your business to their friends and relatives.

And remember, a customer reached via word of mouth is a sold customer. Such customers have no doubts about your business because they have come to know your business through people who know and are satisfied with your business.

7. Business relationships improves teamwork

A healthy relationship between you and your employees and between your employees themselves is vital to the success of your business. By treating them with respect and applauding their successes (no matter how small), you will increase their productivity, their commitment to their jobs, and their contributions to the growth of your business.

8. Business relationships bring about customer satisfaction

In business, you can’t get everything right all the time. There will be times when you will disappoint your customer or when they will misunderstand you. In such instances, it’s important to fix whatever problems that might have arose.

Most customers can easily move past issues and get back to good terms with you if you treat them with respect and listen to them. Even when customers are upset with your business, you need keep building a positive relationship with them. You and your employees need to understand this.

9. Business relationships help keep your business moving—even in hard times

When the economy is grimacing, people—including your customers—become cash-strapped. But if you have built a solid relationship with them back in time, they will still do business with you no matter how little. This is because the little business that will be done in such times will be done between friends.

10. Business relationships build even more relationships

When you build positive relationships with your customers, suppliers, employees, and business partners, you will enjoy the previously discussed benefits. And since you will no doubt want more of these benefits, you will be motivated to establish even more relationships. And those you have built relationships with will introduce more people to your business that you can establish new relationships with. You get it?