Reciprocity. Reciprocate. Reciprocal…all buzzwords that actually mean something to the survival and success of your business.

Merriam-Webster defines reciprocate as:

1: to give and take mutually
2: to return in kind or degree

Now, I’m not going to start preaching the virtues of reciprocating, and how it’s good for your soul and conscience. I’ll leave that to someone else…

What I’m talking about today is reciprocating as a business and money-making strategy.

Reciprocating in Business

Reciprocating can take many different forms. It can be as simple as publicly thanking a follower who retweeted one of your tweets. It can involve promoting another business as a thank you for an unsolicited review of your product. It can be a joint venture formed to cross-promote with a colleague.

By reciprocating in kind with another entrepreneur, you will not only build a solid reputation as a stand-up business person, but you will get exposure to a much larger audience than going at it by yourself.

The larger your audience, and the greater your potential is to find new customers, readers or members.

But don’t just blindly form reciprocal relationships with every Tom, Dick and Harry that retweets you. Be strategically selective with whom you form these relationships with to maximize the return on your reciprocal efforts (RORE).

How Does RORE Work?

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The basic premise of RORE is that the return you get on your reciprocal efforts should be equal to or greater than what the other party received from their reciprocal efforts.

So, just like your financials, you need to track your RORE, and end those reciprocal relationships that are not paying off and look for new ones that will. Don’t keep hanging on to the hope that one day all of your efforts will pay off. Your time is too valuable and your schedule too full to spend time on relationships that don’t produce results.

Now, I know you’re saying that this is harsh. But this is business. Some of it is about feeling good and doing good, but really, you are in it to make money and to be successful. So you need to approach every aspect of your business with this mindset.

One more thing, I just came up with the concept of RORE as I was writing this post. It was originally a rant bashing those that only want one way reciprocal relationships and morphed into this idea. Let me know what you think.

Image credit (GIVE): jellofishy
Image credit (puzzle): gehringj