We have all heard it before! “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. Something that is very noticeable in Ireland certainly. Since living in Ireland I have got to know several different types of “communities”. I arrived with a small baby in 2008 and was in the Mother and Baby Set for a number of years. Then the Parents What Lunch Set for a short time before being dragged back into the Mother and Baby Set again!
Time has passed and I am now firmly ensconced in the Parent of a Child at School Set and now the looming 2nd Child about to start ECCE Set. Yet although I have traversed many “Sets” over the years here, I now find more and more of these same people are now returning to work like myself and finding their feet flapping in the Start-Up Business Set like me.
By now you must be wondering where this is going and reading this back at 2:30 in the morning I am wondering it myself!
Since returning to work, a lot of the relationships I have made professionally have been through the very people I have met and known through the previous Sets. They have given me a hand up and the confidence to push myself out of my comfort zone. The people I knew from Mother and Baby have been my head shot Photographer and Graphic Designer for my logo. There are many others too!
With this in mind I have been giving back to other parents returning to work and now several of us are now doing pretty well. The snowball effect has hit!
When I started this blog it was to document the growth of my business and I am pleased to say that I have witnessed the growth of others around me as well. It’s so support to support your local business and improve the financial climate in your area.
Products and Services Growth can be achieved by the following:
- There are groups that you can join on Facebook and Twitter that are an invaluable source of support and training. (Business and Start Up related). These same groups arrange group discounts for stand or stallholders by collecting lots of names interested in attending and getting a group rate from the venue.
- Establish what Social Media you need to be on and what time you had for it! Create a client profile for your business and envisage which type of social media you would find your clients on.
- With the same client profile, think where you can hand out/deliver flyers pertaining to your business. If you do wedding cakes, attend wedding venues and fairs and promise to cross sell with a connected business (people who do table flower displays, etc)
- Go to networking events. Most Local Enterprise Offices will have networking in your area that you can attend for a small fee. Make sure you attend armed with business cards and in plenty of time. Practice your 1 minute extended elevator pitch as you will more than likely be expected to provide it at the beginning!
- Be sure to carry cards on you at all times, there is always the chance you may bump into an old friend and they may know someone who could use your business.
- Community Centres, church halls, supermarkets and Parent and Toddler Groups all have notice boards which are either free or nearly that you could target.
- Get your business mentioned in local church parish notices too, some of them have huge emailing lists or lots of regular parishioners that collect the church notes every week. Normally a small fee for advertising in the printed notes.
- Talk to people, let everyone know what you are doing!
Outside of these are the higher payment ares media such as the press, radio and television, but you need to start somewhere. Use your networks and allow them to use you as you can both be an invaluable source of support and remember to pay it forward like so many other established businesses did helping you!
Now I find its best to remember to have both!