I remember when I decided to start my own tax practice, I thought that I could just put the shingle on the front door and
business would just flock to me. When that did not happen, I decided to do mass mailings to certain industries I wanted
to specialize in. Thousands of dollars in postage and only 2 clients later, I knew there had to be some better solution.
I used to think the only thing that “networked” was computers, not people. HAH, was I wrong! Networking has been the
most beneficial thing I have ever done for my business, and you can network your businesses in a multitude of ways. The
following is a brief list of some of those avenues:
1. Join a networking group such as BNI (Business Network International), MasterMind Groups, LeTip, Rotary, Kiwanis,
and Women in Business. The first group I ever joined was BNI. They taught me the importance of meeting with
prospective business owners on a weekly basis, giving my own informercial, and meeting with them outside of the normal
business meeting to better understand their business and how we may be able to help one another out.
2. Join a group that you are passionate about. A running group? Weightlifting? Crochet? You can use whatever hobby
or passion you have outside of work to make connections. One story I remember, by a high-powered mortgage broker,
talked of how he went to a networking event and talked about one of his passions, marathon running. Well, after the
meeting a gentleman came up to him and started talking about running and how he was currently in training to run his
first marathon and what tips could he offer. Turns out that man was a big developer in our area and he hired the mortgage
broker’s firm to do all the deals on that development. That connection started not from what the broker knew, but
because they had something a personal passion in common.
3. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved! The chamber has been amazing for me and my business.
They truly want to help their local businesses be successful. However, like anything, you must work at it. You have to
show up and maintain an involved presence. I was so grateful for their guidance and the business that has come my way
through the chamber. I even went through the local leadership program and now I am serving on the board of my local
4. Get involved with your professional organization – TxSEA! Two years ago, I attended my first education workshop
and somehow got roped into attending my first board meeting. And now, as the writer of the TxSEA newsletter, clearly it
was not my last! I am so grateful that I continued with TxSEA. Getting involved with my professional organization was
one of the better decisions I have made. It has afforded me the opportunity to help make our EA designation stronger and
I feel as if I have the support of hundreds.
“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to
come” ~Diane Helbig