The days of going around, putting flyers in mailboxes, or just passing around business cards to everyone you meet, are over (although we do still love direct mail campaigns). However, if you want to establish long term relationships with fellow business owners in your community, it’s going to take a little more heavy lifting on your part - far more than just enhancing customer service experiences.
But, maybe you don’t know where to go to establish those connections. Or how you can nurture and expand the business relationships you already have.
Here’s your solution: join a networking group. Networking is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner because it’s opening yourself up to a world of people you might not have met before.
In order to truly grow your business, it’s important to develop your business networking skills and join a networking group. They might be more beneficial than you think.
If you’re a roofer and are struggling to expand your leads, a networking group can help expand your contacts. Networking groups are great for expanding your customer base because you’ll meet a variety of business owners, who may or may not be in the same industry. At the end of the day, local businesses love supporting one another. Be vocal about your current needs, and see if they can provide you with a few solid contacts. Just like that, your calendar will be full, all because you weren’t afraid to ask.
For instance, if you own a roofing company, you’ll meet contractors whose customers might need a roof repair while they’re on the job. If you all network, and really hit it off, they won’t mind referring you to their clients, and boom! Instant new lead. You can return the favor by referring them to your previous clients, and so on and so further. Your circle just keeps expanding with every networking event you attend.
Or, if you’re not big on social gatherings and chit chat, join an online network group that meets virtually. You’ll still be able to get those business referrals and important contact info, but can bypass all the rest. There are plenty of ways you can upgrade your business yourself, but joining a networking group is going to help you expand more than any software ever could.
As a business owner, you don’t have all the answers - but you probably have a few. Joining a networking group allows you to share your knowledge, all the missteps you’ve made, and you’re going to be an invaluable asset to your group. The best part? You can learn from other businesses, see how their experiences have changed their perspective, and what successes and failures have worked best for their company.
Joining a networking group is a great way to support your fellow roofers, plumbers, and service providers. Without their help, you might make a mistake that could have been avoided, just from hearing about their experiences.
Depending on what you’re looking for, it’s important to find a business group that fits your needs. Some platforms are smaller, like your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club, while others are global networking platforms, like BNI. Regardless of what platform you decide on, it’s important to find one that works for you, and contribute as much as you can while you’re there. Don’t overshadow other speakers. Listen to their stories, and offer wisdom where you can. They’ll be more than happy to return the favor later on.
Sometimes there are days where we feel dragged down by our own business, try as we might to love it. It can be discouraging if you get negative feedback, customer reviews, or deal with internal conflict between your employees.
However, a networking group gives you the opportunity to free yourself from these stressors, and discuss them with like-minded individuals. Plus, because they understand what you’re going through, they’ll be empathetic and encouraging in your situation. You’ll feel more confident, get a morale boost, and be uplifted by the fact that everyone encounters the same pain points. No one is ever in it alone.