As professionals in the home industry, we know that our client’s dream home begins with a solid foundation. The backyard in which they will forge lasting memories starts with healthy soil. The rooms in which they will entertain family and friends, weather storms, and enjoy comfort, convenience, safety, and style are initiated with sound theory and best practice. Their visions are brought to life with experience, skill, and innovation.
But what about our own goals and objectives as businesspeople? As builders, creators, thinkers, and makers? They begin the same way. Belonging to a professional network is a fundamental — a foundational — step in achieving success in your field.
The Benefits of Belonging to a Professional Network
A professional network is a community of peers who come to the table with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, specialties, and knowledge bases. Companies are non-competitive, so you are free to bounce ideas off one another, ask for guidance, give advice, discuss challenges, and develop solutions in a constructive, collaborative way.
That’s benefit enough! But belonging to a professional network also empowers you to:
Advance Your Career and Grow Your Business
Think about a challenge you are facing in your business. Maybe you are outgrowing your “startup” status but have no idea what’s next or how to leverage opportunities for expansion. Maybe you are finding it difficult to market your business or you cannot retain the talent you need to deliver the best results to clients and customers. Whatever you are dealing with, rest assured that you are not the first, and you won’t be the last.
Connecting with like-minded professionals in your space gives you access to ideas, answers, and solutions that can propel your business forward. And it works both ways: you may have the key to greater success for a peer. This is your chance to share it.
Remember, in many professional networks, including Home Artisans of Indiana, only one company per service or trade is admitted. The point is collaboration, not competition.
Gain and Give Quality Referrals
About 65% of new business comes through referrals and recommendations; for many small businesses, this is their main source of new opportunities. One of the most powerful benefits of belonging to a professional network is that it can be an expressway for referrals. If you built your client’s dream house, for example, and they were thrilled with both the results and experience, it’s natural for them to reach out if they need a landscaping contractor or a cleaning service. They trust you; they’ll trust your recommendations.
Your peers have access to similar connections, and they can direct business and opportunities your way. It is a reciprocal process, and one that benefits everyone. Especially the clients and customers!
Build Your Skills and Your Knowledge
Professional networks are fertile ground for growth. Often, there are featured guests who discuss important topics; you’ll learn about everything from onboarding talent and boosting productivity to social media marketing and insurance.
You can also learn much through casual conversations. As mentioned, you’ll be part of a community with a wide spectrum of viewpoints and perspectives, not to mention skills and experiences. Who knows what useful nugget you’ll discover over a cup of coffee or as you walk into a regular meeting?
Educate the Public About Your Industry
Helping the public understand what you do, how you do it, and why is a critical step in building trust and credibility. Additionally, a professional network like Home Artisans of Indiana functions as a real-life Angi; rather than wading through the yellow pages hoping to find a suitable contractor, builder, electrician, plumbing supply company, designer, or landscaper, for instance, they can access HAOI. Each member has a proven track record of service, reliability, and results. Homeowners don’t have to settle for “suitable” or take a blind leap of faith based on an ad. They can choose the best. You!
The benefits of positive social interactions at work are well-researched and documented (but in case you were wondering: they are more engaged, more productive, are less stressed, produce higher quality work, and report higher levels of wellbeing). But what happens when you’re the boss? When you work as a solopreneur or independent contractor? When your only coworker is… well, you?
Peer groups facilitate not only professional growth but give you the opportunity to form lasting personal relationships and connections. That these people are in your industry, that they understand the trials and triumphs, is clearly a plus! Whether it’s your biweekly meeting or a special holiday event, you can talk shop and get to know the folks who make your community stronger.
Fishers Chapter Now Open
Home Artisans of Indiana’s Fishers chapter is now open for membership. This is an exciting step in making the power of peer communities accessible to more folks in the home improvement industry. Contact HAOI to learn more and join us in Fishers or Carmel to take advantages of the many benefits of belonging to a professional network.