A few weeks ago I met with a local guy that is wanting to build up a business similar to ours, particularly on the WordPress development side of things. I was happy to talk to him, and I think he’ll be quite successful as he begins to build his business.
I also thought about the meeting in terms of ROI. I see people all the time trying to measure the ROI of their social efforts, which can be nearly impossible for a small business. If you’re a huge brand, there is enough data that you can begin to work out the numbers. For small businesses, one transaction can quickly skew the numbers (see the $100,000/hour receptionist or the $700 tweet). For an individual meeting it’s even more difficult to calculate, but let’s see what it looks like.
On first glance, it probably seemed like a bad move on my part. Giving away an hour of my time to help someone that will likely become my competition? Of course, I recently pointed out that I don’t view our competition as the enemy. In fact, I see it as quite the opposite — we can all learn a lot from each other. With that out out of the way, what’s the other side?
There are a lot of great things that could potentially come out of a meeting like that, such as:
- We’ll be seen as somewhat of an authority in his eyes, and somewhere to turn to if he has a technical problem.
- He’s likely to attend our monthly Meetup, where we can grow our relationship further.
- Assuming he finds it useful, he may invite others to future Meetups.
- He may also encourage others to follow our blog or social sites.
- If he finds a potential client that has a huge project, he may outsource parts of it to us.
You never know where one relationship might lead. I met a guy a few years ago and I was going to do some work on his site, but it never panned out. However, he’s since referred us to other people he knows and it’s led to well over $100,000 in business in the past few years.
Whatever business you’re in, get out there and meet others in your industry. You’ll learn a lot, and you never know what business might bloom from that relationship.