When you hear the word “networking,” what comes to mind? Folks in perfectly-pressed suits standing around at a party, shaking hands, and telling stories? Business luncheons where you get to meet others in the community? Some networking does look like these scenarios. If you’re a contractor wondering why those things are important for your business, it’s important to remember the age-old business saying: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
If someone needs a job done, they don’t typically pull a random name out of a hat. Rather, they go through their list of contacts to see if they know anyone who can do the job. If the primary contact is unavailable, then they ask who the contact knows who might have a recommendation, if the contact doesn’t know anyone personally. It’s only once they’ve gone through these intricate networks and found no one, that they may take a risk on reaching out to an unknown contractor.
Again, this is risky and unfavorable. This is why you need to make sure that you and your company are well-networked, positively known to as many people as possible. The more people who know you, the more opportunities there are people will give you a call when they need something built, renovated, or have a problem that otherwise falls squarely into your wheelhouse.
How Do You Network?
Networking sounds like a technical skill and scary, but really, it’s not. It’s just socializing through a business lens. So, in order to network, all you have to do is get out there and meet people.
For example, are there local business events you could attend? Are there conventions or trade shows you could be a part of? Are you actively involved in any charities or social causes? All of these provide opportunities for you to network and meet other contractors, subcontractors, and potential clients.
The key thing to remember is that any interaction with someone, whether it’s meeting your partner’s co-workers, going to a Better Business Bureau mixer, or just showing up for a charity walk event: they all are chances for you to network. You never know who you’re going to meet, or when they’ll end up being that connection that comes through for you!
For more advice on how you can network for your contracting business and manage your contractor contacts and network with a robust bid management system, contact us today!