I have often overheard comments from people stating ‘Oh. You have a lot of start-up companies or one man bands at this meeting!’ they are too small for my business.
Unfortunately, in my opinion the people who make these comments are so blinkered in their thinking that I know for a fact that they lose many opportunities to get extra business.
The reason for this is that a large majority of start-up businesses are launched by people who have recently left a corporate business and of course they still have all of the contact details of the key people inside the company that they have just left.
My approach, as a guest would be to talk to and much more importantly, listen to the sole traders and discover where they worked prior to opening their business and if that could be of any use to my own business in the future.
Because you never know who you are talking to and who they may know.
Let me give you a true example of this happening at a Business Club Northants meeting some years ago- a young American lady had started up her own business training people who travelled abroad representing corporate companies, in the different cultures of foreign countries.
So to give you a simple example- giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign might be ok in this country but could mean something very rude in another and you could lose business.
Well this lady had been trying for several months to get into British Aerospace, no less, one of the largest companies in the UK without getting even close.
One night she attended the Business Club Northants as a guest and at the break sat having a coffee with one of our members who himself incidentally, was a one man company – and it transpired that his brother was a Director of BAE at the time. Not only did he arrange for her to meet his brother but she won a contract and she also then joined The Business Club Northants.
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