Each year, small business owners engage in exercises to determine where the majority of clients and leads materialized during the previous year. If you aren’t doing this exercise, you should consider it – the results may surprise you. For the past two years, I determined that the majority of my business comes from personal referrals from past colleagues or clients.
These are all people with whom I have connected personally or who know me through someone else. So…if I want to grow my business, I simply need to meet more people, yes? To work smarter, one of my primary objectives will be to focus on finding new networks of people to meet face-to-face in addition to marketing my business online.
Stepping out of my comfort zone to join in-person networking and peer groups has never come easily, and I am sure between running businesses and balancing personal lives, taking up a new hobby or joining a community club to network might not be the first thing jumping to mind when you have free time. But, if you can shift gears to think about participating in something new in terms of face-time with real people, it is nearly certain that your business will benefit.
Pick a cause or group you have been interested in trying and make a plan to commit to seeing it through – this commitment will introduce you to a new audience of potential clients.
Here are some places to get started:
- Business networking groups
- Peer mentoring groups
- Volunteer Organizations
- School Committees
- Parent Teacher Organizations
- Rotary clubs
Get out there and do it! I will be right there hustling alongside you.