Effective Relationship Building (ERB) For Small Business

One of the main problems facing small business today is how to have top of the notch marketing services for effective relationship building (or ERB, for short). I have faced too many times the same problem and more than often the problem was that such services were very expensive.

Effective Relationship Building For Small Business

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So what can I do to start developing a successful platform for my messages to be disseminated more easily? What’s are the parameters of effective relationship building for the small business?

In modern international, shared and virtual economy, relationships are everything. If you are able to develop effective relationship building operation in your small business you will succeed!

The AARRR Model Of Reference

The problem is not new! It has been faced before by the startups, trying to find out ways and approaches to measuring the success of a startup venture. And the result was the AARRR startup metrics model.

This model is not just for startups. It can be used as a reference model in many business cases and especially at the relationship building department.

A small business more than the large corporations, needs specialized road maps, approaches, and tools to help it leverage its resources and maximize its impact.

Along with the operations and procedures, the implementation of such model involves comes and suitable systems can help you multiply your effect across many audiences! Who said that effective relationship building it is easy?

What Implementing the AARRR Model in Small Business Involved

The AARRR model can be used by every small business require a template for the development of a strategic plan which can help it to develop a base of loyal clients and maintain them in the long run? Furthermore, what would it be the approach which would help a small business to grow via a loyal and devoted audience?
AARRR Model

The AARRR model seems promising and can be scaled accordingly to the requirements of the business. It has 5 main phases:

  • Acquisition: Where are customers coming from?
  • Activation: Are customers having a happy first-time experience?
  • Retention: Do customers keep coming back?
  • Revenue: Are you making money?
  • Referral: Do users tell others?

Let’s see how the AARRR model can help you to make effective relationship building for your small business.

Effective Relationship Building (ERB) For Small Business

To implement the AARRR model in your small business without a general plan or a clear understanding for its operations, its niche market, its audience or its products/services may be proved more problematic than it seems.

This particular model presupposes clarity on operations, SMART goals, and an entrepreneur mindset. Furthermore, it requires an experimentation mindset to help you and your team implement quickly some winning approaches and remove elements does not any more work.

An effective relationship building procedure should be targeted to the development of a loyal audience gathered around your brand, product/services, agency having as a basic underlying hypothesis that you operate in a certain way in order to provide constant value to your audience.

To do so, you need to gain trust and provide beyond the average value-added services to the people you have selected to serve.

This is the reason you need at first, define for your small business what kind of relationship want and with whom.

To reach that state though you need to define your niche market, your audience, and your products/services in the light of the existing marketplace. When these requirements are met, you need to find out and to develop innovative ways to build a relationship with the people you think they can help your business.

If you follow the AARRR model as a basic template for building meaningful and impactful relationships, you have many approaches to implement for developing the right kind of relationships with the right kind of people (for your business).

You need, first, to find out where your prospects and clients come from and how to attract them to your agency, firm or products. This is the 2 first phases of the model, the acquisition and activation phase.

As a small business owner who hasn’t have too many resources, you need innovative and original ways to help you do that. You need to listen what your niche market has to say and find out if there are problems, or areas needs improvement in which you can intervene to.

To find more information you need to gather all the right information and filtered in the light of your skills, products, knowledge, etc. and find solutions which would provide value to your prospects.

You also need to work a little harder on acquisition part since you need to come in contact with many different people and professionals in order to find the members of your audience.

This step is connected with the requirements of your niche market and with your ability to produce solutions for them.

One of the first things you want to do is to setup proper operations and systems to help you “listen” to your market.

When this is done, you start building a suitable relationship with people would have a meaning for you and your business and help you multiply your impact in the market.

Following the lead of the AARRR model, as a small business owner you can develop or use models, systems or tools does not cost too much but can help you disseminate your message in a larger audience.

More specifically, for:

  • (Research Market Requirements): You can use many tools most of which cost nothing. Among them, you can develop questionnaires and surveys with Google Forms to collect input from prospects and clients (you can use also documented methods to help you analyze the results, as the ASK Method is or other proven approaches for collecting and process requirements). You can also visit sites like Amazon, Google Trends,  Quora,   UdemyClarifyTeacheryTeachableThinkific,  SkillShare, etc.  or more specialized forums to collect more requirements from your niche market. You can also develop an early warning system using a free service like Google Alarm. You can process and filter the results using Google Docs and similar free tools. The possibilities are actually too many today.
  • Acquisition: To attract people to your brand, agency you need to use a mixture of traditional and digital marketing approaches. There are many ways you can do that, among which: development of a blog/site, SEO optimization, content & responsive marketing, reviews, advertising, guest posting, interaction in specialized groups and forums, outreach, social media (LinkedIn especially), participation in relating events, etc. This step for small business owners takes a little more time because it involves personal touch and interaction. You need to “know” the people you talk to and not, just, collect their email address. And you need to understand their requirements. This step will make you know to a broad audience but would have a zero effect if you don’t follow the next step.
  • Activation: This step aims at making prospect understand the value you provide and in order to keep on informed by you to trade you their e-mail or become your subscribers.  Only when someone gives you his/her email you can be sure that he/she is interested in what you offer. In relationship terms, you need to add him/her in a CRM in order to track the interaction with this person and send him/her information, newsletters, emails and briefs with information and data of his/her interest. The database of the emails you going to collect is one of the pillars of your future business.
  • Retention: Is not enough to collect 1,000 or even 10,000 emails or subscribers. You need to collect the right ones and the ones you can interact effectively with. And you need to maintain by offering them a stream of constant value. You can use your content for that, courses or webinars but the point is that you need to find ways to build stronger relationships with your subscribers and strengthen their ties with your brand. In this framework, you can communicate proactively with many of them, send them separate emails with offers and news, invitations for special events, etc.  You also need to develop appropriate communication channels with your clients, for receiving first what’s going on and where there are complains. Such channels may a be telephone, the email, a help desk, the social media, etc.
  • Revenue: There is no point to have too many subscribers if you don’t make any money of them. You need to develop relationships with the people are able to pay you for your services/products and can benefited big time from what your offering. For this reason you need to focus on further promotion and sales, by developing and distributing shareable content, whitepaper, and freebies can save hours to the final user but does not cost anything to you (besides hard work, of course!)  Revenue of course is not your only index, but you need to have a minimum revenue in order having your services and systems going on and keep on providing top services and updates of your lines of products/services. In this level, your main focus for effective relationship building is to embed or use the proper technologies and operation which would permit  you personalization of your services/products and messages towards your clients.
  • Referral: A really effective relationship building operation is the one that by providing more value facilitate the users to promote it to further audiences.  There are many tools and operations you can use here. In this context you can use, technologies as social sharing buttons, social lists integration and every piece of technology can facilitate the use and help him/her promote your content to other users.

Following the lead of the AARRR model, I believe that you would have a blueprint to help you develop effective relationship building operations for your small business.

Question: Do you think you can use the AARRR model for effective relationship building activities? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.