I just discovered there’s someone else in the same business in my town! I’m afraid she might not like having competition in the same area. She’s apparently very active in the business community, and I’m really worried that this could put a damper on my own networking possibilities. What should I do? —NC
Actually, I view this as a positive because having more than one person in our industry in the same area can lend credibility to what we do in the eyes of the business community.
Having colleagues in your local area can also be an advantage because you can combine your efforts in raising awareness of the industry in your local business community and collaborate together in educating them.
It just might prove to be very fruitful for you to bring your local colleagues togetehr and talk about ways to lay that foundation and how to share efforts and costs of promoting the industry in your community (this is what’s known as co-opting advertising).
You could all put a presentation together, and shop it around to the various local business groups that offer any number of opportunities to do this. In my area, there are the Chamber of Commerce, networking groups, business associations, district associations, Toastmasters clubs, various industry groups and associations, etc.
And if you are a shy person, having colleagues to share the presenting makes it easier and you feel more confident.
By focusing on getting the information out there, it becomes education rather than advertisement.
The brilliance of this is that by making what we do as administrative experts well-known, your own personal business will benefit.
Who do think they’ll be calling when they need our brand of services (which your presentation has convinced them they need)?
Why, the people who gave them the info in the first place!
So, don’t think of colleagues as competition.
There are more work and clients to go around than you can possibly imagine. And you personally need (and can work with) only so many.
The businesses and industries we currently serve are only a fraction of those we could be helping grow. We have only begun to scratch the surface.
And one person’s non-fitting client can be the next one’s ideal client. 😉