I wrote this blog in 2019 and an awful lot has changed since. What hasn't changed is the strong role model Roger and Helen demonstrate of how to build a great business by nurturing a strong and supportive network ...
It's telling that Roger and I could write this blog today and the only thing missing is an actual party. The occasion I'm talking about was a party to mark the fifth year in business of Essendon Accounts and Tax.
As always, Roger Eddowes and Helen Beaumont presented it as a thank you to all the people who helped them take the company from near disaster to its success today. I asked Roger to write a few words for this blog post and I think his words sum up the reason for that success.
We needed an office, computers and finance and all were produced within days with huge thanks to our network. If our network didn't exist, we wouldn't be celebrating our years in business and treating our clients and collaborators to a summer party of fizz and great food at Potterspury House. Indeed having access to Potterspury House came about from a network contact.
It is so easy in the day-to-day rush of working life not to nurture your network of contacts. One of my nurturing ways is to bring contacts together once a month for a breakfast meeting where we can share knowledge and experiences, support each other and learn from each other. We build immense trust, and as we found out five years ago, you don't know when you urgently need support.
Having that contact sphere of great people is also invaluable for our clients. So, when someone needs their insurance sorted, needs a new IT system, needs finance, needs an HR expert, or whatever, we can make that vital introduction and make things better."
So, as Roger and Helen have proved, ignore your network at you peril! Here are three tips we can all learn from their experience:
- Surround yourself with good people
Take the time to get to know a wide range of like-minded people in a diverse range of businesses. Not everyone will be your client, but at some time all those people may serve your business in some way as suppliers, sources of information or just for support to both you and others in your network. So, take your time getting to know people well and pick the people who have the technical skills and most importantly, the right attitude around collaboration and helping each other.
- Nurture those relationships in the good times
Never be too busy to find the time for these people. That means scheduling in time to spend just catching up with what's important for them and seeking out ways to help. Then when you need them, these are the people who will be there with offers of help.
- Acknowledge and thank the people who have contributed to your success
I often see people offer financial incentives to others to find business. A much more powerful way is to seek out how to help them in return and remember your good manners in saying thank you. If nothing else it's a great excuse for a party!
So, thank you Roger and the whole team at Essendon for the great service you offer me as my accountant and as landlord for my offices.
And thank you for the support you have given me over the years you have been part of my own network.
If you'd like to learn more about referral marketing then do give me a call on 07970 638857 and let's have a chat and see how I can help you.