I went to an early morning networking group that is in the midst of forming. It was interesting to watch their process, though it was accidental that I got an invite from Meetup.com to attend. They weren’t doing a networking meeting per-se. There was some discussion of what they don’t like about the style of other networking groups. As with other small groups I’ve seen, they will have attendance requirements and want to keep membership limited to only one representative of each market area in the group (i.e. one residential real estate, one commercial real estate, one insurance (or one of each type), one IT/computer type, etc). The groups limit themselves this way so when they share referrals they aren’t stepping on toes. [I’ve come to decide I think that sort of artificial grouping isn’t important and that people shouldn’t worry about competition like that.] So, interesting to meet more people but not my group.
I worked the rest of the day and then there was an evening networking group I went to. On the way over, the voice in my head was arguing about how can I make my business work given how little I’m making from each of my handful of clients right now. We went back and forth for a bit. Some of the argument is that managing a handful of clients take a lot of time, how can I expand. The ah-ha moment was remembering that it isn’t the number of clients that I can manage at once, it is the amount I’m making off of each client. In time, I can charge more and thus solve that problem. The voice in my head then slunk back into its dark corner. Score one for me.
The evening networking group was great and after 3 hours my brain was full. It was an informal gathering in the back of a restaurant in a cocktail hour setting with a brief speaker and Q&A in the middle of it. There were 35 or so people there, the usual bunch of insurance and real estate folks with some other computer/web/IT people and others. I had some pretty interesting conversations with some people and picked up a bunch of business cards.
I had an especially interesting conversation with a couple of guys who partnered up on a data analysis product they are selling into the real-estate market. I was intrigued by how and what they were doing and we had a good talk related to my background developing similar software in a previous life. They seemed pretty smart and excited about what they were doing. It was especially fun to have a pretty advanced technical conversation about something in my area. That had literally not happened in any good way for many many years. There might be some possibilities working with them in future, we will follow up.
I also got some good feedback about my ideal customer ideas and some market researching techniques I’ll try at subsequent networking gatherings.
I had an online call with a potential client when I got back. Gave out some free advice and suggestions about how they can solve a problem they are having now and we will catch up when I get back from my road trip next week.
I was pretty wound up by the time I got home. We finished packing so we could leave early in the morning and I made a quiche for breakfast. After waiting for it to cool, I was calmed down enough I could sleep.