At Handlr, we’re all about bringing the small business community together. Nothing strengthens a business like connecting and growing with other entrepreneurs. The Handlr marketplace allows you to share customers with other professional service businesses in your neighborhood creating the perfect opportunity to grow and spread the word. Why not help the process by getting to know your fellow businessmen and women? Below you’ll find some great tips for breaking the ice and connecting with those that can help you succeed.
Just call ‘em up!
There’s nothing wrong with calling up a business owner and asking them to join you for a cup of coffee or lunch. Offer to take them out and explain that you want to get to know the business owners in your area. Tell them you want to pick their brain about local marketing and outreach strategies. Ask them if they’d like to know anything about how you operate your business. Now obviously a direct competitor to your business may not feel like meeting with you, but entrepreneurs with compatible businesses stand to gain a lot from being friendly. Own a dog walking business? Call up your local groomer and offer to brainstorm with them. Do you clean houses for a living? Partner with the local pool cleaner to share customers. It really is that simple!
Start a community dinner.
A more approachable and formal way of meeting neighborhood biz owners is to start a monthly dinner. Setting this up is easy with a Facebook account or even a text thread. Reserve a table at a favorite bar/ restaurant on the same day each month and invite local owners via a Facebook page or chain text. If you need an extra push to get the traffic flowing you can offer to buy appetizers or the first round of drinks. Do this and we guarantee you’ll get at least a few guests to join you. If you don’t mind some potential randoms, tell guests they can bring a friend, or better yet, another business owner!
Invite them to a conference
Conferences and seminars can be an incredible way to bring new tools, tips and tricks to your own business, but no one likes going to them alone! If you need an excuse to talk to a fellow business owner, inviting them to accompany you to a conference is a great strategy. Not only will you both learn new strategies to bring back to your own business, but you can discuss what your learning on the fly with an alternative point of view! Comparing notes after each speaker or mingling as a group can make these event much more exciting.
Drop off a gift!
This one’s a no-brainer and especially good if a new business pops up in your neighborhood. Bringing by a pie or bouquet of flowers will not only make you a friend, but open the door to communication. Friendly gestures say a lot about not just who you are, but how you run a business. Bring a catered lunch for the new staff and that company is likely to suggest you to their own customers.
Add a “resources” page to your website!
This is the best possible excuse to get friendly with your business neighbors. Add a resources list to your website where you suggest compatible businesses to your customers. Add their website and phone number and then call the business to ask for permission to add their info. They’ll be so flattered that you’re recommending their business!
Invite them to Handlr!
This is an easy one to do as a way to establish connection or even after you’ve already done so. Tell your local entrepreneurs that you can share customers with them using the Handlr marketplace and it’ll be a win-win for you both!