If you are in business for yourself, then you probably already know how handy having local friends can be. Chances are you more than likely are using multiple handy people as solutions to your countless problems that show up in your business.
Other than those handy friends, you are going to need to get to know other business owners in your area. There are multiple reasons for this, and we are going to dive into those reasons in this post to help you see the value of making friends with the other businesses around you.
Make Friends With Other Business Owners
Owning a business is tough. You have so many things you are required to do like accounting, payroll, inventory, posting, research, creating ads, and legal just to name a few.
Most of those are the things that no one really sees, yet it still has to get done day after day. Although, meeting other business owners around your area and figuring out what solutions they use for these things could be extremely beneficial. You could even save a bunch of money if you simply got introduced to the right person to help you with one of those monthly necessities. Therefore, lets go over these four benefits of making friends with other business owners:
- Learn News Fast
- Build A Community
- Business Opportunities
- Learn The Tricks
Chances are the other business owners around you know something you don’t and you know something that they don’t! Therefore, lets dive into our first benefit of knowing the business owners around you – learning news fast.
Learn News Fast
As you build out your network, promote your business, and try to stay up to date, you might feel overwhelmed.
Although, it is extremely important to stay up to date of relevant news, changes in city policies, and upcoming events. For example, with the Covid crisis, there is constantly news coming out from the cities and counties about employee requirements, common laws, cleaning procedures, and things to avoid.
Certain people will get the news quicker than others based on who they know. This is a huge advantage for some businesses since you could be first in line for additional funding, opening back up, or simply protecting your employees and customers.
Another great example is for hearing about upcoming events and markets. In Gwinnett, there are annual events and markets that restaurants and businesses can sign up for to be apart of. Signing up early for these could mean sponsorship, having a well placed tent for better exposure, or simply getting to cater the event. Clearly, most local spots would love to be involved and informed about these things to gain additional exposure, but you need to hear about it first!
The best way to hear about all the news first is by getting to know the other local business owners, and slowly building a positive community!
Build A Community
One of the best things you can do to support your small business journey is to build a community around yourself.
In order to succeed in the small business world you will need a strong community to support not only your business but yourself as well. I have seen so many business owners find other business owners around town to hang out with, talk to, and lean on in difficult situations.
You never know what kind of challenges will arise when going through this life, but no one will know the challenges better than other business owners. Chances are they have experienced something that you are going through, and chances are they know solutions as well.
On top of the personal relationships, building a community will help your business in the long-term. Chances are those business owners you know best will help promote your brand and business through their conversations. they will recommend their customers to check you out, involve you in social posts, and promote your accomplishments and updates. Building a positive community will also rub off on your customers, and let people know you are more than just a money machine trying to be successful but investing in the community with your free time as well.
Potential Business Opportunities
As you meet other owners and develop relationships, you might find other business opportunities.
This usually happens a few years after knowing these owners, but it happens more than you think. Chances are the successful local owners are constantly looking for new opportunities themselves. These opportunities could involve expansion to new locations, partnerships to promote business further, or even in selling their current business to take on other endeavors.
If these people trust and respect your opinion or even your quality of work, chances are you will be included as a person they will reach out to. From my personal experience I have seen successful restaurant owners get all kinds of offers from local spots looking to bring them onboard, to investors looking to buy them out, to property managers begging them to come bring people to their locations with good food.
This is just the tip of the ice berg through. Once you show yourself to be useful and bring in a good customer base, the sky is the limit with the right connections.
The last benefit of meeting other business owners around your area is the chance for personal rates.
As you become a regular with these people, they can overtime be inclined to give you favorable service options. While you would never want to pull away from their income or success, it might be in your best interest to do a type of trade with them for services.
I have seen local restaurants give fencing businesses, electricians, breweries, and other businesses that work for them coupons to their restaurant to be used for dining instead of directly paying them. For instance, I know a restaurant that gave a fence company owner two thousand dollars in a gift card to their location instead of just paying them $800 for the service.
While this might seem like an obvious sweet deal, it creates a type of barter system for these local businesses and increases the level of respect and community. By doing favors for other businesses or giving them discounts, they are much more willing to not only use your own services, but to promote you to their customers and increase your exposure over time. Not to mention the clear benefit of just getting discounts on things you could end up paying thousands of dollars for if a business unfamiliar with you might charge you.
Know Your Business Neighbors
From this list, it is a clear win win to not only meet the other business owners around you, but to really start to invest in them as well. Building that strong community around your business is a win for not only yourself, but for your customers as well. Put yourself out there, make the introductions, and see how far those relationships might take you. It will probably be further than you expected.