Networking Update

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by Suzanna Watson on August 28, 2010

I have done my fair share of talking on the topic of networking.

In one post I touched on the importance of networking.

In another post I discussed how to connect to others while at these networking events.

Tom has even discussed the topic before. He talked about the importance of creating your own mini commercial for use at networking functions.

Today I thought it would be a good idea to update you on how things have been going for me concerning my networking efforts.

Well I am very happy to report that it really does work (just like I reported before). I know you have heard this before, and perhaps you have not had much luck. But you need to stick to it.

It takes some time to pay dividends because people need to get to know you before doing business with you in many cases. This certainly has been the case with me. Though I normally get some business right away, it builds over time.

The one thing that I have learned is that not all networking groups are created equal. They each have their own identity. Some groups have cliques of members (just like high school only older!) that tend to stick together.

These cliquish groups generally are the least productive ones to participate in. The whole idea is to meet new people. When the members resist this basic function, the groups value diminishes greatly.

Some other groups (especially the Chamber of Commerce) are filled with all the large companies in your region. These large companies send representatives to the meeting that tend to not be interested in you and your tiny company. They treat the function as a happy hour with their close friends. No newcomers allowed.

The groups that tend to work the best are the ones populated with other small business owners. This group tends to be hungry and willing to expand the group to the newcomers in business.

Let me talk about the groups I’m involved in. I have joined four networking groups in the past four years. They are:

  1. The local Chamber of Commerce.
  2. A small lunch time group (formed by some Chamber of Commerce members).
  3. A township business association.
  4. A mid-sized group formed by a local businessman.

Through all of them I have met and become friends with many people from all industries. The Chamber gave me some business right away, but not enough to write home about. I did however meet many people that may use our services down the road.

The small lunch time group is more of a social hour to discuss business and occasionally exchange leads. The township group has given me quite a few good leads, some converting to well paying customers.

The medium size group has give me the most leads, averaging about 4 per meeting. This group tends to be the most aggressive in terms of how they try to attract business. They also work well as a group, meaning they always refer people they meet to other members in the group.

The bottom line in networking is to join as many groups as possible and try to get your moneys worth from each one. Do your best to adapt to each groups unique character and make of the most from it. Just stick to the game plan of attending as many events as possible, provide value, be a solid citizen and good results will surely follow.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 david December 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

thanks, i will start networking; i will keep you inform about my progress. trying to find a group now, dont have money but hopefully someone will take me in

2 Tom Watson December 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hi David!

Very few tasks will earn you more than getting out there and networking. On a side note, virtually all groups will let you attend several events for free to get a feel for the vibe each one has. Keep me posted David!

3 Kingdom Klean May 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

Thanks so mucbh for this!!! My biz partner and I officially started our cleaning biz in March. I just said to myself the other day that we need to get into some of these close knit, influential circles in our community. THANK YOU!

4 Tom Watson May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

I’m happy you have found us! Best of luck.

5 Christina Cruise March 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for that advice, really helps i will start my networking right away…..i just got ito the cleaning business and im tryna let it hit the field and start it off right….. Thanks again…

6 Tom Watson March 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Good luck Christina! Touch base if you need anything.

7 shelicia baker March 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

Thanks I started my business in 2010 I need some pointers on geting my business going

8 Tom Watson March 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Shelicia! Ok…you need help, and that’s what we do here. For starters, you should sign up for my newsletter. This is a good first step, and you can do so here… http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=uaiom6cab&p=oi&m=1102645239828

Now I highly recommended checking out my podcasts (http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/podcasts-2/). You can learn a lot for free just by tuning in.

Next up is all the articles in the blog, well over 240 all about getting started in the cleaning business. You can check them out here… http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/blog/

If your ready to really get started, you should order the manual (http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/start-your-own-cleaning-business/). The manual walks you through everything step by step. It will be a huge help to you. It tells you exactly how I did everything.

If you decide to order the course, and you don’t understand something in it, all you need to do is call me and I will walk you through it. With that said, if you need to get a particular question answered before ordering, just let me know. You can email (or call me for that matter) and I’ll gladly help in whatever way I can.

9 Lincoln urda November 5, 2013 at 5:30 am

I really appreciate your comments and tips.
Hope to hear more from you and get more ideas.
All the best!

10 Tom Watson November 5, 2013 at 7:41 am

Hi Lincoln! I’m happy to help and THANKS for commenting.

11 Antoine Auguste February 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I’m really want to be part of your network, because i’m struggling with my cleaning busness to the new accounts, please help me, i will be greatly appreciated

12 Tom Watson February 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Hi Antoine! What I would recommend is for you to start the education process ASAP. For instance, I have a 9 part newsletter (tons of good stuff) geared just for people who are starting out for the first time (you can sign up here: http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/join-my-email-list-its-free/).

13 malaka February 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm

hi I could use alittle help with starting my business..iam tring to find out how to get a cleaning contracts started. I could really use some feedback please

14 Tom Watson February 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Hi Malaka! What I would recommend is for you to start the education process ASAP. I have a 9 part newsletter (tons of good stuff) geared just for people who are starting out for the first time (you can sign up here:http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/join-my-email-list-its-free/).

15 Luraine Freeman August 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Hi I’m greatful for your help I have learned a lot from you, just need to utilize on it.

16 Tom Watson August 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

Hi Luraine! You are very welcome. You’ll be fine as you move forward. Touch base if you need anything!

17 eric September 13, 2014 at 1:41 am

great info,thanks, how do i know what to charge the customer i dont want to go to low but if i go to high i might lose a contract,is there some rule of thumb on the prices?

18 Tom Watson September 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Hi Eric! Pricing is not something I can sum up in an email. I have a whole chapter dedicated to that topic in all of my courses. Keep in mind it’s not hard, but it’s LOCAL. So you need to use the formula found in the courses to come up with a price. It’s not hard, just specific to your location.

19 clinton September 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for the information,I’m just getting into the cleaning business and having some problem finding building to clean can you give me a little more insite with this

20 Tom Watson September 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Hi Clinton! I’ll send you some old posts that may help you out. It may not be till later tonight or in the morning, but I’ll get them to you!

21 Hi my name. is Drew Foster January 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Trying to understand net working can someone help me I’m. In the cleaning bus iness as well and carpet. And floors Trying to get contract. In the city of Birmingham. Alabama. Thanks. Drew. Cleaning services

22 Tom Watson January 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Hi Drew! You need to join these groups, then you need to go REGULARLY. Over time people will get to know you, trust you, and they will eventually REFER YOU business. This approach is as old as the pyramids, and it works wonders over the long haul.

23 uliza June 20, 2015 at 7:47 am

I would like to knw where and how to start when looking for cleaning jobs for my company

24 Tom Watson June 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

Hi Uliza! You need to get your marketing material (even if it’s just a business card) into the hands of those you want to work for (houses if you want to clean them, and businesses if you want to clean those). That is how it’s done!

25 Carol keeble July 6, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Hi im looking to start my own business cleaning new builds
Any advice how i get contracts .

26 Tom Watson July 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Hi Carol! I would visit EACH place you see new construction and ask for the Supervisor. That’s all I did. For all other contracts… I did a big post on that here… http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/2010/11/17/how-to-find-office-cleaning-contracts-a-quick-start-guide-for-beginners-in-the-cleaning-business/

27 Tom Watson October 25, 2015 at 9:47 am

Hi George! We don’t have contracts to give out, we teach people how to get them here. All our courses have the same exact ways I grew my business.

28 George Massey April 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm

I George Massey owner of Nutra Kleen Janitorial service looking for contracts I’m new at this so I’m needing assistance on getting started . I just need 1 contract to get started my business number is 336 652 0801 I have great rates per square feet .I have 20 yrs of experience in cleaning .

29 Primrose May 24, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Dear Tom,
Thank you very much for this great advice…am exactly where you were at the beginning ,trying to find my feet,attending a few business development workshops but then again spending lots of money though not got enough contracts as yet..any tips on how i can get better would be welcome ..
Thanks
Primrose ..

30 Tom Watson May 25, 2016 at 9:03 am

Hi Primrose!

Be careful on spending money. Work at only spending it when you MUST. Spending on items that may bring business is good (flyers, business cards, direct mail, networking and other acts that may result in a sale).

31 Primrose nabukenya May 25, 2016 at 10:05 am

Dear Tom,
Thanks for the supportive advise ..️ok I would love to do more networking but not sure where at the moment ..do you by any chance know of any organisations I could join in the Oldham ,greater Manchester areas I am into cleaning services..also can you recommend to me a good company to help me with my business plan please
thanks
Primrose

32 Tom Watson May 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

1 – NETWORKING: You have to look in your LOCAL AREA. Go to Google and type “networking groups” AND your “zip-code” and see what comes up.

2 – BUSINESS PLAN: I am looking into this. Email me in a few days and I should have some info for you!

33 keith swan February 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm

I really liked your page, had a lot of useful info.
I would definitely look into the networking because am in process of trying grow my cleaning business as well as my Transportation business.
thanks
keith.

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