Landscape Networking OpportunitiesOutside Contributor
In a business driven by referrals, you need to develop a list of every group or organization you might be able to participate in to build your professional network.
Here is a list of different groups to consider getting involved in:
- Trade Associations – The landscape industry has a lot of local and national trade associations you can participate in. You will find that the quantity and size of the trade associations can vary based on your location. However, trade associations hold many different functions, luncheons and other events sometimes even including trade shows.
- Rotary Clubs – Join your local Rotary Club. Rotary Clubs are made up of members of the business community who work together to provide benefits to their local communities. As a business owner, this is a tremendous opportunity to get your business known within your community and also help other people. Finding your local Rotary Club is easy!
- Meet Up – If you haven’t discovered Meetup.com yet, check it out. You can find not only Meet Up groups in your local area to network with other entrepreneurs, but there’s a bunch of other Meet Up groups you might find interesting.
- Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers – Go out of your way to build relationships with these professionals. They are always looking for high quality, high integrity landscape professionals who can help install and maintain their projects. You can find your local chapters in our resources section.
- Property Managers and Management Companies – There are thousands of property management companies across the country who take care of rental properties. These companies are always seeking help from landscape professionals. If you are targeting this market as a part of your business plans, make sure your local property managers are aware of your company.
- Your Local Suppliers – Never forget your local suppliers are an important part of your business network. Make sure they know of the full scope of work your company provides. Don’t assume they know! You never know when new business referrals might come from your suppliers.
- Local Garden Centers – Depending on your business model, you might want to introduce yourself to your local garden centers. Every garden center is servicing garden enthusiasts who may want your services.
- Manufacturer Representatives – Depending on the product category there may – or may not be – a number of manufacturer representatives in your market. They can not only be a useful resource for product information and assistance, but they network with the suppliers, landscape architects and other influence peddlers in your local market.
- LinkedIn – This professional business online network has many different groups you can follow and join to network and share information with about your business. You never know when someone might be looking for an industry leader on LinkedIn. Make sure you have a presence on this site.
- Facebook – Yes, Facebook. You need to have a social media strategy that can help generate referrals for your business. If a property owner is satisfied with your company and shares it with friends on Facebook, you want to be present. You may also look on Facebook for informal community groups in your area. You want your business to be a part of that informal referral network!
- Master Gardeners – There are Master Gardeners in every state, and since they are actively involved in the community it is like chicken soup – it sure doesn’t hurt if they know who you are. Use this resource from the American Horticulture Society.
What other networking groups do you participate in? Let us know and we will add it for the Landscape Today community!