Many people have heard the popular phrase, “it’s all in who you know.” This quote refers to the massive number of jobs available through networking as well as the resources available to you as a small business owner. It’s all about getting to know the right “people”. But where do you meet these people in the first place? How do you get to know them? The answer is more than just networking – you need to get to know specific people. Here are a couple that can help you succeed.
Community Development Officials
Your local government office is more than just a place that sets your sales tax and renews permits. Often, these offices have a large amount of interest in helping small businesses succeed. If your business is doing well, they get more money to fuel the city’s needs – and that’s good for everyone.
Find the community development office that’s focused on propping up small business. Grab a short meeting and have a nice lunch with someone – there’s no need to pitch the first time you meet. Ask questions about upcoming events or about the city, or anything that comes to mind and is appropriate. Make sure, by the end of the meeting, that you’ve established that you’re a friend. Make sure you’re available for their needs – maybe you work on roofs when you’re not running your business and this official needs a new roof.
You can’t keep all of your cash in your dresser drawer. You have to take it to the bank eventually. Bankers are those people who keep all of your money safe and also stand in between you and small business loans. It’s their job to give out that money, and they usually want to give it out. But bankers are human, just like everyone else – when they know and like someone, they’re more likely to give that person a loan. You want to be that person.
Google some banks that are specific to your area and crash a mixer party that most small banks like to host on a monthly basis. Figure out when the get-together is and RSVP. Show up, mingle, and have a good time – let them know you’re not a stranger.