It’s a new year, and I’m feeling the need to reflect on my past business development progress. When I started my business in 2017, I seriously thought that in order to get business all I had to do was mail people, email people, and call people – cold contacts, in other words.
Many months and lots of stressful/depressing times later, I gradually realized that I was wrong. Maybe other people are better suited for cold contacts than I am, but oh boy it was terrible. What I came to realize was that my best bet was networking. More and more, I started reaching out to people and just talking to them. I became friends with a lot of people in the non-profit industry. I didn’t discriminate! I befriended Canadians, Americans, consultants without analytical skills, and even consultants with analytical skills! That’s right, I befriended people who could ostensibly be considered my competition.
Over time, a lot of people came to know that I know what I know (hats off to Paul Nazareth for that phrase). After establishing enough professional relationships, it seemed like I had reached a critical mass. Business, which had initially been trickling in, started to ramp up faster and faster. Whereas previously I felt like I needed to hustle to get business, I eventually reached a stage where marketing was a much more lazy affair.
It’s a good thing too, because I seriously don’t know how to market myself in the traditional sense. Now that I’ve had an almost 5 year run of my business, I can say that business development in the Non-Profit industry has been ALL about relationships. It’s ironic that I’ve done well in cultivating these relationships, because I consider myself socially awkward. Regardless, I’m really thankful for each and every one of these relationships. Each one has helped to lift me up, and sustain me throughout the years, and especially throughout the pandemic!
Love you all!