For the parsimonious startup, a strong network of business relationships will be the most valuable asset. Competitors can offer quid pro quo referral networks while adjacent businesses offer opportunities for future collaboration. Social media provides a low-cost means of building customer relationships, most critically at the convenience of the customer.

It’s common for nascent businesses to be short on supply or short on cash. Their most valuable resource, however, may not be one that appears on the balance sheet – quality business relationships.

“It’s absolutely essential for a startup with limited time and resources to build business relationships,” said Alistair Dodds, co-founder and marketing director of EIC Marketing. “They are the key to the discovery and referral business.” And unlike cash, strong business relationships are not a diminishing resource – a properly maintained network can only multiply. 

Depending on the business, a strong network may range from customers and clients to suppliers, buyers, outsourced service providers, the government, media or even competitors. Regardless, while the context may vary, all require the same foundation of amicability and trust. 

“Individuals naturally will want to expand the business they do with people they enjoy working with and, in many cases, may even create

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