Doing business with people we know and trust is comforting and safe. There are a number of other benefits in doing business this way.
One, we feel we get a better deal.
Two, we think we won’t get ripped-off.
Three, there is some mutual understanding between people doing business together, that says ‘I have your back’.
Four, we are happy to help others.
On top of that, we have an opportunity to form a positive relationship with some-one else in our network. Sometimes it is harder to do that with large brands and business. Big business puts a lot of emphasis on reputation, trust and authenticity these days. A lot of the big brands invest a lot of time and money in engaging with customers in a way that builds trust and ongoing loyalty. It is what all business, big and small, needs to do to grow in a competitive marketplace.
For local businesses or those working as a sole-trader or freelancer, having a network of people you know and trust to carry out jobs and projects is the back-bone to many successful small businesses.
From my own experience, I much prefer using some-one who has set up their own consultancy a few streets away from me. It makes it easy to catch-up for a meeting! There are so many women and men in my local area who are connected to my kids local school, who are successful consultants, graphic designers, photographers, mentors and more. There is a goldmine of experience to tap into within my own local school community of parents. So many of us are not working in large corporations anymore. We have set-up our own business to balance the challenges of work, family and lifestyle plus there is more freedom, satisfaction and reward in working for oneself.
Networking can be the challenge for many small local businesses, sole-traders and freelancers. Many need to work harder to stay connected to industry and external opportunities to secure further business. I find working at my desk as a sole-trader and freelancer can be a solo career and I have enjoyed the networking opportunities I have found myself in with local mums and dads who are also balancing a solo career. I tend to grab little nuggets of advice, tips and more with my local networking of School Business Register contacts as well and the playground is still proving to be a good touch point for many of us to check-in with ‘how business’ is going.
I’m thinking of growing our local networking opportunities further in the near future. So watch this space. In the meantime, let me know if you have any thoughts, tips or advice for local freelancers and sole-traders to stay connected with others in business
Founder, The School Business Register, Find out how we support local business, freelancers and sole-traders at www.schoolbusinessregister.com.au.