We all understand the importance of relationships in business. And customers at McDonald’s restaurants both in the U.S. and around the world will have a clear reminder too when they can no longer find their favorite condiment. McDonald’s recently announced the unprecedented move of severing its relationship with arguably one of the world’s most famous ketchups.
Well, H.J. Heinz Co. was just acquired by Bershire Hathaway and Brazil-based 3G Capital. 3G Capital also owns the Burger King hamburger chain, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Add to this 3G’s impolitic decision to install former Burger King CEO, Bernard Hees, as the head of the iconic Pittsburgh ketchup company. Let’s just say McDonald’s doesn’t want to do business with the former head of their chief rival.
It’s an understandable but regrettable development for Heinz ketchup lovers everywhere.
But even more so for H.J. Heinz Co., it would seem.
Relationships Gone Bad Can Hurt a Business
The decision by McDonald’s effectively ends decades of striving by Heinz to rebuild its relationship with the fast food restaurant company in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. That relationship was damaged thanks to supply problems in the ’70s.
But more importantly, the decision will hurt outside the U.S. where the Wall Street Journal says the company was doing even more business with McDonald’s.
As a small business owner, you must constantly think about how business decisions may effect relationships with your existing clients, customers or suppliers.
Will decisions to venture into a new business or take on a new client or partner be seen as a conflict with your existing clients or customers? And can you afford to lose them, if so?
When considering buying a business, think about how customers and clients may react to that new ownership. Will they develop the same working relationship with you? Or was their business completely reliant on relationships forged with the prior owner?