Our business world revolves around the type and number of business contacts and relationships we have nurtured. Quality business relationships play a large part in a successful business. I am a business broker based in Florida and and I strongly value the business relationships I have. I don’t necessarily want to know more relevant people, I want more people to know me. As we network and strive to grow our business, its important to remember its not who you know, its who knows you.
We use various means to establish those relationships. When we make it our goal to grow our businesses by “getting out there and meeting more people”, that effort can be somewhat mis-guided. For every business person the needs are a little different. I help people buy and sell business. I strive to speak to more people that are considering buying a business. I also prospect and market to reach small business owners that have an interest in selling their business. In some businesses the largest asset may be the production equipment, in others it may be the building they own, in my business as a business broker my largest asset along with my experiences may be my business relationships.
Actually to me the concept of Business Relationships has changed significantly over the last several years with the evolving of the internet and social media. And the definition of a business relation has become somewhat blurred.
“On Facebook I have 1,800 friends”, “on Twitter 12,000 Follow Me and I follow 14,000” “On Linked-In I have 2,200 contacts”.- I actually don’t have these sort of numbers but many of us know people that do. The real fact, at least for me, is that if I have to use all my fingers and toes to count my real friends I consider myself fortunate.
Do the 1,800 Facebook friends know you? Do the 14,000 on Twitter know you? Of the 2200 Contacts on Link-ed In, how many are going to shoot me an email when they want to Buy a Business or Sell a Business in Florida, or buy printer paper, or get my lawn service, or whatever my business offers?
As we strive to network and expand our sphere of relationships I recently got reminded of the actual goal of this effort , or rather what the end result of this effort should actually be. Very often I think through my networking efforts, I want to meet people, when really what I want to do is have people meet me, get to know me. I know who President Obama is, but I don’t really “know” President Obama. So I know of President Obama – does that help my business? No. But what if President Obama knew me or knew of me? I know of Bill Gates, Microsoft. So what. What if Bill Gates knew of me. But from a practical standpoint, knowing the president of the small business right here on Main St. is nice, but meeting him and striving to get him to know me, and when he and his friends are talking and one strikes up the all to common conversation of “Do you know anyone who…” can help me buy a business in Florida, this small business owner can say yes, I know this great business broker and his name is…