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Make relationships more important than ever

Your company is not alone in this economic cycle.

Your employees, customers, suppliers, and everyone connected to you — and others you are dependent upon — need to be better connected to you than ever before.

"Now is an ideal time to look at your firm’s most important business relationships and work harder at strengthening your ties with important clients and others you depend upon," says Ed Wallace, president of the Relational Capital Group in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

"Studies from the Kellogg School of Management and others suggest that companies that invest in relationships with employees and customers outperform their competitors by as much as five times. That's a powerful incentive — especially during uncertain times."

Work hard at keeping your important relationships strong and current. Pick up the phone. Stop in. Schedule lunches. Send emails. Write to them. Keep them informed and feeling a part of things. Let them know they matter.

Excerpted by permission from Emerging Stronger: Seven achievable strategies to help you emerge stronger than ever from this slowdown by Carl Francis, CEO of Envisian, a strategic consulting firm.