Harnessing Your Network to Grow Your Family Business

Jun 13, 2024

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family-owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by Manny Seymour.

Harnessing Your Network to Grow Your Family Business

Starting a new business is a significant endeavor that often begins with leveraging the relationships you already have. Tapping into your existing network can provide the initial support and client base necessary to launch successfully. By harnessing these connections, you set the stage for future growth and opportunities.

Utilize Your Professional Network

You might already have a wealth of potential opportunities within your professional network. These are individuals who understand your capabilities and are likely to recommend your services. Reach out to former colleagues, industry contacts, and professional acquaintances. Explain your new venture and discuss how it could benefit them or others in their network. This proactive approach not only spreads the word about your business but also opens doors to potential client introductions.

Collaborate with Local Business Owners

Consider partnering with a local business owner you already know. Such partnerships can expand your reach, offering access to their customer base while providing them with added value or services that complement their existing offerings. It’s essential to choose a partner whose business ethics align with yours and whose customer base can be enhanced by your offerings. This connection can be formalized through a memorandum of understanding. While not legally binding, this document clarifies the intentions of both parties — outlining the steps you intend to take together and setting the foundation for a mutual relationship. If you’re unsure where to start with creating such a document, you can try this page for guidance on drafting a memorandum of understanding.

Announce Your Venture on Social Media

Your personal social media profiles are tools waiting to be utilized for your business promotion. Announce your new business and highlight what sets it apart. This not only informs your network about your venture but also invites inquiries and potential leads. Regular updates about your progress and milestones can keep your audience engaged and more likely to recommend your services to others.

Launch an Introductory Email

Craft a thoughtful launch email that shares your excitement and details about your business. Send this to both your personal and professional email contacts. The key is to be informative yet engaging, encouraging recipients to either avail of your services or forward your message to others who might be interested. This approach helps in widening your exposure and can lead to securing those initial crucial clients.

Encourage Referrals

Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Ask your connections to refer you to others who might need your services. Providing a simple referral request can lead to surprising results. People are generally willing to help, especially if they believe in your capability and the quality of your service. You could also consider offering incentives for referrals, such as discounts or a free service for every successful referral, which can motivate your network to actively promote your business.

Connect with Alumni Networks

Your educational institutions are a goldmine for networking. Tap into alumni networks, where shared experiences can foster trust and openness. These networks often have dedicated platforms where you can post about your new business or even attend networking events. Such connections are more likely to support fellow alumni, providing you with potential leads and clients.

Engage Family and Friends

Inform your family and friends about your business endeavors. They can be your biggest cheerleaders, spreading the word in their circles. The personal endorsement from them can significantly influence others, leading to potential client inquiries and opportunities. Encourage them to share your business updates and milestones on their social media, which can further extend your reach. Their genuine support not only bolsters your promotional efforts but also instills confidence in potential clients through trusted, familiar voices.

Building a client base for your new business using your existing connections is both practical and efficient. By strategically engaging with your professional network, collaborating with local businesses, utilizing social media, and more, you are laying a strong foundation for your business’s growth. These initial steps are not just about gaining clients but also about building lasting relationships that will support your business in the long run. Remember, every conversation is an opportunity to expand your reach and secure another advocate for your venture.

If you have questions relating to the content of this article, Many Seymour would welcome the opportunity to talk with you.  Mr. Seymour can be reached at manny.seymour@allisdwell.com.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, accounting, legal, and financial planning communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.