3 cowboys standing outside a saloon
Date: 14/11/2018 | By: Steve Parker

How do you avoid working with cowboys? It’s not always easy – most “cowboys” won’t be wearing Stetsons and riding a horse.


But there are things you can do to make it more likely that you develop business relationships with the right kind of people.


BizSmart Core Adviser Steve Parker has been successfully exporting to markets worldwide for more than 30 years. He’s built his success on forming relationships with connections in the Middle East, Far East, Australasia, the USA, Europe, Africa and beyond, so he’s well placed to advise on strategic relationship building. And he’s good at avoiding “cowboys” too.


Listen to his webinar on this topic here


Or read on to understand more about the importance of business relationships and the advantages of steering clear of the cowboys.


Avoiding “the bad guys” and managing business relationships


Identifying cowboys can be tricky, but it’s a key part of managing business relationships. Once you can pick out the bad guys, life becomes a whole lot easier as you no longer have to deal with the cowboys.


These characters come in various guises, and for a small or medium business, who may not have the financial capacity, or mental energy, to rely on legal redress, it’s particularly important to avoid them.


A key part of figuring out whom to avoid involves going beyond visuals and first impressions. This gives you a better chance of ensuring you have happy and harmonious business relationships.


By focusing on relationships rather than aiming solely to sell your products and services, this can go some way to help you avoid “the bad guys”. Relationships revolve around trust so, for a start, you need to be conscious of dealing with the right people within an organisation.


Always get clear on who is running things, and who the decision makers are, remembering that it’s possible that people may dress to fool you. Giveaways can be things like body language, so if something doesn’t feel right, or someone looks uncomfortable, you may need to be wary.


Relationships are key


I’ve learnt a huge amount about managing business relationships, especially from dealing with people with different cultures and backgrounds. Many of these contacts have become valued friends.


And some relationships have also gone awry, and I’ve learnt from those too.


Remember – although you need to look out for the cowboys in business – exporting can be a lot easier than you think. There is also help available through BizSmart. In addition, you can access help to develop product ideas, taking something from a sketch or idea in your head, bringing it to market, and potentially selling it overseas. Don’t have regrets and don’t miss out on an opportunity when there is help available.


If you need assistance with exporting or with realising an idea, please email steve@biz-smart.co.uk


For more on this topic, watch Steve’s webinar here


BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.