By Maisie Dunbar
Before I became an entrepreneur, my father often said these words: “Your network increases your net worth.” I never understood it. Now I do. Your network does not only relate to money; it is also related to the value of the relationships you establish, the professional room (business gathering) you enter, the business association you have joined, etc. A strong network embodies fostering the relations you create. Investing in your craft enables you to have access to your peers in a way that grows relationships with ease. The value of your network is priceless. It is not built for today; it is built for a tomorrow that will propel your LEGACY!
Here are six recommendations for upping your networking game:
- Join your local business groups/meetups. By joining these groups, you will be surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. While you are part of these groups, ask questions, take advantage of activities, invite members to your salon and create a special code for group members so you have a data tracking system in place.
- Join trade membership/trade shows. Attending trade shows will help you with your communication skills as well as your technical skills. It is always good to have the opportunity to ask other nail pros or manufacturers questions. If you are in salon by yourself or a co-working space, stepping outside into a community is a great way to expand your business as well. For example, if you are based in California, and your client is visiting another state, you could contact a nail professional you met at a trade show living in that other state with your client. It is much easier to refer a qualified nail professional to your client than having your client going through Google to find a technician. It takes the guesswork out for your clients, and you become more than technician to your client: a resource.
- Get a membership. Having a professional membership allows you to connect with others in a targeted group for scaling your business.
- Do not be shy. As they say, you only get one chance to make a good impression. Once you are in the room with other people, it is up to you to let them know who you are, what you do and how you can serve them better than the salon they have been going to. When you are in the room with your peers, you must let them know you are ready and willing to collaborate. State your strength, and get to know their strength.
- Follow up. Yes, yes, yes—follow up. You have less then 24 hours to follow up. If you wait too long, that person you met may forget who you are and where they met you. Additional tip: Label the business cards you give and receive with the location or event at which you met.
- Express gratitude. If you have received a referral from any of these events or membership, always pick up the phone and thank the person who gave you that referral. Remember, no one is an island—we need people. A grateful heart is a place where seeds grow!
About the Author
Maisie Dunbar is the president and founder of Maisie Dunbar Beauty Brands featuring BluffaJo Cosmetics. She is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and a member of Nailpro's 2022 advisory board.