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The True Value Of Networking To Contractors And The Community

Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Nov 03, 2023

The ability to network is a fundamental part of running a business. Running a business in isolation is difficult, so it helps to have expert partners and acquaintances available to share ideas with.
If you're looking to network with construction industry professionals, there are several ways to do so.
1. Attend industry events: Look for construction industry conferences, expos, and trade shows in your area. These events often have networking opportunities, such as meet-and-greets or after-hours social events.
Conferences are a way to actually meet in person, so the results can be hard to beat. Most conferences have time set aside for networking, allowing you to meet everyone in your niche. More work might involve getting to a conference, but the networking opportunities alone are often worth it. Best results can often be gained by creating a good impression in person, followed by an online contact.

The True Value Of Networking To Contractors And The Community


2. Join industry organizations: There are many professional organizations for people in the construction industry, such as the National Association of Home Builders, the Associated General Contractors of America, and the Construction Management Association of America. Joining one of these organizations can give you access to networking events and other resources and benefits.
3. Connect on social media: LinkedIn is an excellent platform for connecting with other professionals in your industry. You can also join LinkedIn groups related to construction and participate in discussions to connect with others.
Podcasts are popular now, so you should consider creating one for your niche audience. Regarding networking, though, a podcast can introduce your personality to relevant experts. Getting an interview might be your priority, but you can get better results if they are tempted to contact you directly. Discussing important industry news and updates will be attractive to industry leaders who are passionate about their niche.
An interview will give you direct contact with an expert, allowing you to make an impression and promote their brand. You might not get every consultation you desire, but most experts seek ways to promote themselves and will oblige. If you can approach them with a credible website, there is a good chance you can get some of their time.
Social media is perfect for networking, mainly when people are open to communicating directly. If you find an active expert in your niche, respond to their questions or comments. By making good contributions, you will quickly be noticed.
4. Attend local business events: Many cities have local chambers of commerce or other business organizations that hold networking events. These can be a great way to meet other professionals in your area and make connections. 
5. Volunteer or get involved in your community: Volunteering for a local charity or community organization can connect you with other professionals who share your values and interests. This can be a great way to make connections and build relationships.
When you get a chance, volunteer at your kid's school (or a local school if you don't have children of your own). They may need to make props for a school play or a quick paint job. This will open doors for you to meet parents and teachers who might need home service repair or remodeling.
Remember, networking is about building relationships, not just collecting business cards. Be genuine, be interested in others, and follow up with people after you meet them to continue the conversation.
There are all kinds of groups dedicated to networking. Some are highly structured with performance requirements, exclusive membership, and the payment of dues. Others are free form, come as you please, and no charge.
Not every group is suitable for every kind of business. You will find that some groups may not have connections in the market you are seeking to attract. You will find that some groups have rules that just don't fit with how your business works.
Yet one factor is often overlooked when considering a networking group: does this group offer more long-term or short-term value?
When focusing on short-term value, you see each group member only as a prospect. This limits the business potential of the group because you can't reach beyond the people in the room. If there are only 50 members, and 25 of them fit your prospect profile, what do you do once you have presented to all 25? You can either quit that group to start all over again with another group, or you can take a long-term value approach.
The long-term value of networking groups lies in building strong trusting relationships that will give you influence beyond the people in your immediate group.
Discover Needs
If you are like most people, you are already pretty clear about what you need. You may not be clear on what your business connections need. Do you know anyone who is a good prospect for them? Can you recommend or offer services that will help them? Find out what your contacts need and act to fulfill those needs.
Be generous
Stop looking at every person in your networking group as a potential sale. Especially early on, be more concerned about what you can give than what you can get from these meetings.
Give materially by sponsoring group events, donating to fundraising efforts, or bringing in some bagels for the meeting. Give your time and effort by contributing to a service position, or be free with great ideas and a welcoming smile.
Especially give liberally by helping others make valuable connections. If you can help one of your group members by introducing yourself, do it. If you are generous, the effort will come back to you.
Build trust
People seek out people they can trust. Cultivating trust takes time and effort, but is worth it. When it comes to business, trust is based on three factors:
Value – do you consistently bring value to the relationship?
Dependability – are you the real deal? Can you be depended upon?
Consistency – are you consistent over time? It is harder to develop trust if you are an occasional participant or just passing through.
Hold regular one-on-one meetings with group members. Get to know them, and they will get to know you.
Networking groups provide valuable business allies who can open doors and remove obstacles. Cultivate relationships instead of just asking for sales appointments. Because strong relationships build strong businesses over the long term, this is the most valuable approach to networking.
By implementing these methods, networking will become far more accessible. One of the problems with networking is the effort it can take for no results, but these methods all involve adding value. When an expert can see that you are being helpful first, making a connection becomes smoother.  All it requires is a few people with a reputation to support you, with this social proof adding to your status.
We offer free resources to help you save time and money that you can download and print now. 

About The Author:

Sharie_DeHart_President_Fast_Easy_Accounting_Serving_Contractors_All_Across_The_USA_Including_Alaska_And_Hawaii-1Sharie DeHart, QPA, co-founded Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com



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