One of the biggest challenges when starting up your career as an entrepreneur is building a list of contacts. Networking isn’t the easiest thing to do when you’ve yet to get your foot in the door, but it can get progressively easier the harder you work for it. One of the biggest benefits of networking is being able to secure more opportunities for your business and to find more affordable services that can help you become a more successful company.
This is why it’s incredibly important to connect with other local businesses in your area as an entrepreneur regardless if you’re working out of your garage or a small office. In this article, we’re going to expand on this idea and give you a couple of reasons why it’s important to get to know other businesses in your local area.
Providing services to each other
Local businesses need to band together not just to increase foot traffic, but also to provide services and products to each other in order to help your companies grow. Whether you’re running a hotel, a bakery or a small office, getting to know your local community means faster response times when interacting with critical services.
These response times can be crucial in helping your business thrive in a competitive environment. For example, if you own an office that is providing IT services to businesses internationally, then you might think that getting to know local businesses is relatively insignificant since you’re providing a global reach. However, what happens when your computers break down or your network experiences problems? Do you also rely on international services to help deliver replacements?
The more likely scenario is that you’ll need to speak to local hardware and computer stores or even contact a commercial electrician to help your business pick itself back up. In other words, regardless of your audience, your local business community can help provide a prompt response to things such as hardware failures and utility problems that will hinder your work progress.
Nurturing a local economy
Fostering a local economy is an important concern for all business owners regardless of their position or size. This is because local economies that thrive are more likely to be successful as a whole when it comes to the national and international stage. Think of it this way; if your business was situated next to a huge big-name brand store, there’s going to be more foot traffic coming your way which results in more potential business opportunities.
This isn’t really applicable if you’re working out of a small office or your home where you don’t care about foot traffic, but if you’re able to sustain local businesses and help the economy thrive with your services, then you’re less likely to go out of business thanks to a consistent demand for your services in the area. In other words, your success depends on the success of your customers and that’s why helping to nurture your local economy and provide opportunities to others is incredibly important.
Connecting with other local businesses provides them with a solution to their problems, but if you’re starting a store then supporting each other can help to create more foot traffic that is beneficial to everyone.
Putting yourself out into the public eye
Another big advantage of connecting with local businesses is being able to put your name out there. This can include attending local events, setting up charity events to raise awareness in the local area or even vowing to help grow local businesses with your services. These kinds of acts can help to improve your overall standing with the area that you’re in and also raise more attention in places like your local newspaper. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool that can be used effectively if you’re willing to put yourself out there into the local community.
Making public appearances and getting to know your local community ultimately helps you get noticed within your local area, but it can also lead to opportunities that extend outside of your area as well. For example, if you provided excellent IT support services to a local business, the owner might recommend you to other friends and business associates that are connected to them. Using word of mouth strategies, we can continue to grow our businesses and take advantage of local marketing opportunities.
Of course, any negative experiences you have with local businesses will also be amplified, so it’s best to take extra care when dealing with other businesses in your area.