By: Noleen Thompson
So, you started a business in the last year or two, how is it going? Having an idea for a business is really easy, but the road to making a success of a startup and maintaining the momentum of being an intuitive entrepreneur can very often be hard and lonely.
Being a small business owner means one should have and acquire a range of skills, be able to think on your feet and constantly make decisions and find solutions on the fly. It’s exciting but tough at the same time.
But running a business needn’t be a lonely road. There is endless value in sharing ideas with others in your industry and to form or join a power team where you build relationships with other entrepreneurs. To connect with other business owners who offer more or less the same service or product as you should not be seen as a threat, but rather an opportunity to support one another and to build a solid network of outsourced solutions for your businesses.
Power through collaboration
As an example, an architect might find it difficult to find new clients, but if he teamed up with a property developer or general contractor, new doors could be opened for him. He can be put in contact with potential clients by word of mouth and credible referrals that he otherwise would not have had.
In the same way, an image consultant and a hairdresser will make a perfect power team, because of the nature of both their services of making people look great and feel better about themselves. The chances are high that an image consultant’s happy customer will want to use a recommended hairdresser’s service and vice versa – it’s all about building trusted relationships and capitalising on the synergies between similar businesses.
No business is an island
So no more sitting on your lonely island thinking only you can make your business a success. As part of a powerful network, small business owners have access to talent and specialists on a silver platter that will allow them to select from a variety of outsourced services to alleviate day to day business pressures.
No one can be a specialist in everything and that is exactly where power teams come into play. You can outsource what you are not good at and maintain a great relationship with your client as you are seen someone who get’s it all done!
There are quite a few organised networking groups all around the country that welcome business owners into their circles. Many of these groups are free to join and they meet up for lunch or breakfast on a regular basis (meals are generally for your own account) where they focus on educating each other on their products or services.
The more you know about someone’s business, the easier it gets to pass a good referral, and likewise, you will receive more referrals if you are specific about what type of clients you would like to attract and what your services are all about. Always be prepared with a good elevator pitch that describes your business in a nutshell, but that gives enough information to elicit more interest for possible further discussions.
Make 2019 the year to talk about your business and to build relationships and power teams that will give your company a boost. If you constantly surround yourself with credible and accountable providers and like-minded business owners who understand your industry, you will no doubt see the growth in your own business that you envisioned at start-up.
About the author: Noeleen Thompson is the Managing Director of LadyBugz, a provider of leading edge in-house and open LinkedIn training workshops. They have been in the training and development space for over 20 years.