“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I’m sure we have heard this phrase many times in the normal course of business. When my mentors, bosses, friends or co-workers would make that statement I give it brief consideration and dismiss it thinking I will be successful because of my intellectual mind and entrepreneurial spirit – not because of who I know. Conceptually, I understood the power of networking but as with any millennial, I believed that I was going to do it my way because my way works. Well, I stand corrected. After quick reconsideration, I crossed over to the other side and decided to capitalize on the power of networking to the benefit of my professional growth and expanding my barbecue business brand.
As a first step, I became a member of the Pyramid Club and joined their membership committee. Also, I am utilizing my membership by hosting bi-monthly tastings for Streetside BBQ. This allows potential customers to meet me and to sample the food so they can make an informed decision for their next catered event.
I recently participated in my first bridal expo at Harrah’s Casino. During the event I was able network and build a partnership with The Sanctuary Wedding Room. We are working on a plan where I will provide passed hors d’oeuvres for any bridal party that wishes to include food in their wedding package.
Streetside BBQ just participated in a Mt Airy Twitter Chat that discussed hidden gems, old standbys, and hopes for the future of Mt Airy, a suburb of Philadelphia. In Mt Airy, there is a historical library, Lovett Library, which is seeking local based businesses to provide free classes to Mt Airy residents. Through this platform, I am working with Lovett Library and Mt Airy Business Association to set up barbecue related classes such as grilling, barbecuing, creating rubs and seasonings, etc. in the upcoming year.
In my short time networking so far, I have already realized its influence in expanding my reach. Of course, like anything else, its trial and error but the benefits and rewards of networking are going to outweigh any potential risks and I am looking forward to where this journey is going to take me.