To have a long and successful career in business there are a number of factors that must be in place. For one, you have to possess demonstrated expertise in one or more areas. If you’re a consultant or service provider, this is what you have to sell and also what forms the core of your value proposition. People often go to doctors or hire attorneys based on the reputation that precede them.
Other factors and qualities that play strong roles in success are knowing what your marketplace wants, knowing how to provide it in a competitive environment and the ability to build a legion of customers that helps you sustain and grow your business. A proper analysis is very important. You should study how to become a business analyst.
According to Michael Majeed, senior financial consultant and Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax consultant since 2014 at Arck Innovative Consulting Corporation in Markham, Ontario, he owes much of his success to his relationship-building skills, which he’s honed during his twenty-plus years as a business professional. His position requires him to build long term, profitable relationships with corporate, institutional and high net-worth individuals by providing them with customized financial solutions and business advisory services.
“I advise people on not only tax matters but also on business growth,” says Michael Majeed. “To them, I’m a trusted and valued business partner. You might even say that I function as a staff leader who isn’t a formal member of their management team. Whether I’m counseling a startup on how to finance an emerging business or helping a corporate entity add the right people to their workforce as they prepare for expansion, they need to know that I’m available to them and that their success is my top priority.”
Majeed says that building relationships is what has helped him transition from financial representative to advisor to what his clients consider an expert in business administration and management over his career. Like many in his industry, he started out in banking. That’s where he says he realized that a major key to success was in the form of getting to know people and forming productive professional relationships with them.
For example, while working in his first job after university, at Canada Trust, he was proactive in establishing relationships with members of the local professional community including CA’s, CBV’s, realtors, lawyers, and brokers.
“There’s an old axiom that says people buy from or work with people,” says Majeed. “It’s true. While companies do business with each other, it’s really the people at those companies who are interacting on a daily basis. In relationship-building it’s important to continually let your clients know that you’re looking out for them. This means clear, honest, ongoing communication so you stay top-of-mind.”
Majeed’s relationship-building skills continued to serve him well as he progressed in his career. After leaving Canada Trust he was named an associate, financial analyst at Stratos Business Consultants, and over the course of 10 years he was promoted twice, eventually to senior financial and business analyst.
From working closely with a wide range of clients, lenders and others to managing as many as 15 CAs, CMAs, CFAs, and others at any given time, his people skills were used to their full potential every business day as he supervised several key Stratos initiatives. His contributions were valued to such an extent by Stratos that the company publicly recognized him during this time for his ability to build strong rapport with both internal and external stakeholders.
“Because I’d become very adept at building and managing both client and employee relationships while providing financial and administrative advice related to a number of major projects, I was able to help our clients reduce costs, increase sales and achieve many other successful outcomes,” Michael Majeed recalls. These included helping a mid-sized printing company complete a $20 million acquisition, advising a Canadian pulp and paper company on a $15 million buyout. He also brought in 15 new consultancy contracts collectively worth $4 million to Stratos.
Following a several-month stint at Braithwaite Technology Consultants in Toronto where he served as regional manager for Ontario, specializing in SR&ED, he was appointed to his current position at Arck Innovative Consulting Corporation. In addition to providing numerous mid-market companies with tax advice related to Canada’s innovative Federal program to reward enterprises for their investments in research and development, he continues to help them grow and achieve financial goals via a variety of means.
He says that although he is by career a “numbers guy,” he wouldn’t have achieved the tremendous success he’s enjoyed, nor would he have had the opportunity to help so many Canadian companies grow and improve their financial performance without having developed excellent relationship-building skills. No matter what business you’re in, he says, you need to be able to interact continually with all types of people. Relationship-building is crucial to success.