Consider commerce to be tomorrow’s big block party; imagine every house is a little bakery. Every product is a baked good and every resident is hungry. A storm pours and every big box store is closed. One house is bitter. They’re all out of sugar. One home lies flat. They have the least yeast. One home stands wilted. They’re all out of flour. Alone, they have nothing. But together, they have it all. If only they could work together…

When you’re starting a company, it’s important to establish and maintain relationships with people in every avenue of business. Sometimes we find ourselves in a bind and you never know when you’ll need a helping hand. Establish partnerships and have every possible hand extended towards you.

A positive relationship between businesses works both ways and benefits both parties. One home has sugar and lacks enough yeast, whereas, the other needs to rise but lacks enough sweets. This is the beauty of corporate synergy. Finding where synergies lie doesn’t need to be rushed. It’s better to meet your neighbors for a friendly hello before you ask them if they have yeast.

Where there are businesses, there are customers. Where there are customers, there is money to be made. Partnerships are important for more than B2B relations. Referrals are important because b2c affairs can drive your sales. When companies partner, they can share their primary and new customer bases.

In recent months, Disney has discussed partnering with YouTube. Both companies are already very successful, but they realized that they could increase their customer bases even further by partnering. YouTube has developed a negative light with parents because of some of the content they host, content that AOL’s Engadget has deemed “unwholesome.”

Disney saw YouTube as an avenue to reach customers with their products even more than they already have. The partnership benefits YouTube because it increases the amount of family-friendly content on their site, and in turn, makes parents feel better about their children surfing it.

As innate creatures of habit, we choose our favorite things – things that we’re comfortable and experienced with using. When we recommend these things to others, they feel the comfort and satisfaction in our tone. When businesses can proudly refer other businesses, customers are likely to feel comfortable. And when customers feel comfortable, they’re more likely to spend.

Networking and establishing partnerships is important, but maintaining these relationships is the key. Don’t be caught out in the cold, searching far and wide, for something your neighbor has on the shelf. Utilize your resources and be available to your colleagues. Utilize your B2B relationships to negotiate better rates for quality goods and services.

If businesses function together and grow together, we’ll profit together. When we profit together, our block party in the sun won’t be affected by rainy seasons.