FILMarketing May/June 2019

August 5th, 2021 by Bryan

Start Networking Today

By Kendall Combs

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” — Robert Kiyosaki

While professionals in our industry may have very different opinions on aspects of running a window film business including installation techniques, branding, and office management software, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: time is the ultimate luxury. The 24 hours given to us each day never seem long enough to not only work in our company, but on our company as well.

We know certain entrepreneurs in our window film world who seemed to rise above the “hamster wheel” of managing day-to-day operations successfully. What’s their secret? If there ever were a market built on strong people relationships, it’s this one, so it only makes sense that networking would be the secret sauce to growing your reach—especially when it comes to commercial film work.

I recently reached out to the members of our authorized Solar Gard Partners Facebook group, inquiring on their best architectural networking recommendations. Local glass companies, not surprisingly, were at the top of their partner list, followed by interior design firms, window treatment companies, contractors and security consultants.

What intrigued me was the mention of fellow dealers. This fact underscores a key benefit of networking many overlook. Yes, we seek to make complementary business connections for the opportunities they can provide, but these relationships also serve to educate us and offer a fresh perspective on both how to market and structure our operations. Trusted peers can act as sounding boards for new ideas, mentors when you find yourself at a professional crossroads, and offer understanding ears on stressful days when you need someone who’s “been there.”

So if you’re looking to boost your people power, here are three key ways to get started (or keep going):

Make Your List

Spend a few hours researching local organizations that can help expand your recognition and professional experience. Perhaps you already know who these are, or maybe you’re seriously considering these links for the first time. Write them down in order of priority, including the name of your direct contact (hint: start at the top!).

Say Hello

Start working that list! Begin making contact with these individuals, whether that be through an email greeting, introductory phone call or office pop-in with donuts. Include information on your company but always frame your communications by asking how you can help them. If a group setting is more comfortable for you, look into attending your local networking association’s next meeting.

Keep in Touch

We all know the importance of following-up, and it’ll be just as important as you develop your circle. There may be frustrating days as you revisit your list, but hang in there. Persistence pays off and you never know when you’ll see it happen!

Kendall Combs is the general manager of thin films at Solar Gard.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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