You never know where your next referral is going to come from, making it more important than ever to open yourself up to working and interacting with those who you might otherwise see as your competition.
A business friend of mine wrote about building community vs. worrying about competition earlier this year, highlighting all the reasons why connecting with others in your industry is beneficial to both businesses. And I couldn’t agree more.
We come into contact with a wide range of people simply through the act of doing business. Think about who’s on your client roster right now: likely different types and sizes of businesses from all over the country. Eventually, you might fill up and either you hire on additional staff or you have to turn away prospective clients.You need a community of like-minded pros on your side. It’s mutually-beneficial! Click To Tweet
If you’re like me, you hate to say no. But sometimes it’s inevitable. Would you rather turn someone away and give them some options to turn to, or say no and wish them well?
Hopefully helping others is one of your traits and a core value that you hold to in your business. It’s one of the things that really brings me joy in my business and it’s one of the things that drives me to keep learning and growing as a business owner.
In order to send people to bookkeepers who might be able to serve those I can’t, I need to have a community of bookkeepers and accountants who I know, like and trust. That means I’m constantly interacting with others in my industry so I can do just that.
And they often return the favor too. I’ve had countless referrals from finance executives at local businesses as well as other bookkeepers and accountants. This happens because I’ve taken the time to build relationships outside my home office.My biz has grown leaps and bounds thanks to the company I keep--the “competition.” Click To Tweet
Networking with others in your industry does so much more than just build your referral network. Other benefits include:
- Providing you with a sounding board of professionals who understand what you’re going through. Because, let’s face it, if your significant other isn’t a business owner, they get tired of hearing about your work pretty quickly (as much as they try to listen!).
- Offering you different perspectives on your business. The reality is that being a small business owner is difficult, because we don’t have large teams of people who do what we do. Being able to talk to someone else, a mentor or a peer, is a valuable resource that allows you to grow as a business and a business owner.
- Giving you the big-picture view of the industry as a whole. We can’t attend every workshop or learn every tool. When we have a community of like-minded professionals, we can learn about new innovations in our industry without having to do all the research ourselves. I love research probably more than the next person, but there’s only so much time in the day.
- Giving referrals to others who can benefit your business. I recently discovered a gem of a graphic designer and tech specialist, at a time when I needed some work done–quickly. I was happy to be able to refer this person out to another number nerd who needed some support. In turn, I helped two growing businesses make a connection.
Before you hide your cards any more, take a moment and find a community of bookkeepers or accountants (or whatever your industry happens to be) and start connecting. You don’t need to spill all your secrets, but you do need to trust that others can help you grow and learn so you can be the best you can be.
If you’re interested in finding a mentor to help with your growth, grab my business mentor guide below!