How Networking Can Grow Your Business
Starting my first events business at the age of 14 in regional NSW I didn’t know anyone in any areas of the industry let alone anyone to contract artists through. I came accross the same issue again when I started a similar business in QLD at age 17 and again when I switched industries at age 19 to our moving business (Your Local Movers) as it is today.
My strength is relationships and people both internally and externally to my businesses. Many business owners don’t play to their strengths but have nicely prominent weaknesses, I had no choice. So the first thing I have always done is to start build a strong, well positioned and positive network.
My top advice to new business owners is to join organisations and groups that are similar to what you do. Personally I like organisations that are not in my industry because often it makes you the only one in the room.
Another piece of advice is to go to events in the area, you need to meet people from other industries and areas so you can think outside of the box. For example we go to building expos to meet insurance builders and flooring companies at their stands. You have a captive audience at these events and don’t have to cold call and guess who the BDM or correct person to talk to is.
You need to be genuinely interested in people you never know what their industry can give to yours. Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, revolutionised the manufacturing industry by touring an abattoir and taking on their conveyor lines to create the first version of the industrial conveyor belt.
Learn a way to remember names there are lots, use one and stick to it there is nothing like saying hey ….mate… to a prospect or potential partner and losing all of the previous rapport. I take this a step further and make a note on their card of where we met and what we talked about. That way I don’t get back to work and have no idea why I have Tony from Ryan Industries card. It also give me something to mention when I call them or add them on linkedin latter on.
A word of warning
Theres no point if theres no point. You could spend all your time networking with the wrong people so take 10 minutes and research the event, organisation or meeting before you commit. You have to ask for what you want face to face not in 6 weeks when you’ve got the guts up to call back.
Where do I find the best contacts? I find that Personal Development courses and organisations have people who are serious about growing businesses and themselves, so they are generally more open. It also gives you both an opportunity to be build trust through vulnerability, nothing builds reppot like trust.
Zachary Rook is the Director of Your Local Movers. Your Local Movers is a full service removalist company for businesses and homes. We aim to take the sting out of stress and help people enjoy the transition from old to new. We pride ourselves on continually putting smiles on our customers faces.