Remember when Facebook was all about sharing what you had for dinner last night and funny videos of cats?
Ok, granted – for many people, that’s still exactly what it’s for. And while we’re not here to dismiss that kind of much-needed fun, we would like to highlight how beneficial Facebook can be for business.
We can speak confidently about this thanks to some first-hand experience on behalf of Modern Homes director, Tina Riley, who discovered an invaluable business contact – and friend – via Facebook.
It all started on a Facebook group
I’m a member of a popular Warwickshire Facebook networking group called Spaghetti Besties. It’s a great place on which to gain business advice, run ideas past friendly people and indulge in some much-needed banter after a long day.
It’s also where I discovered Maria from Reynolds Blinds, and where a fantastic business relationship began to develop.
We began chatting in the Facebook group, but decided it would be great to meet in person. So, we did, and over a coffee, discovered just how similar our businesses were.
The joy of finding a like-minded business
The similarities between Modern Homes and Reynolds Blinds were startling.
We quickly discovered that both businesses:
- were long established;
- focused on generating local business;
- remained family operated;
- put customer service before anything else; and
- had similar core business values.
More importantly, both Maria and I are very similar in that we love to share business advice. This results in a great sounding board for both parties, a shoulder to cry on occasionally, and some much-needed geeing-up whenever required.
Would I have found Maria if I hadn’t joined the Facebook group? It’s highly unlikely. At best, we’d have bumped into each other briefly at a networking event or while dealing with a mutual customer, but Facebook gave us the ability to build an initial relationship before we met in person.
The benefits of building local business relationships
Anyone who runs a family business will be acutely aware of the pressures involved.
It’s a daunting prospect when you’re first starting out, and can be equally troublesome when you’re established. That’s why local business relationships are so important.
Finding a company that isn’t a direct competitor is key, because you can offer advice without fear or damaging your own business and work together to provide customers with an even better experience.
Here are the other benefits I’ve learned about local business relationships after meeting Maria.
- We both work with the same client profile
It became clear early on that Reynolds Blinds and Modern Homes shared a very similar client base, which means we can advise each other on how we’ve independently approached that audience.
- We’re focused on providing a turn-key solution
We’ve always wanted to provide our customers with everything they need to plan and complete a bathroom or kitchen renovation.
Usually, that includes windows that need blinds, and Maria’s company offer the perfect high quality solution to add to our own.
- Our product ranges complement each other
We only provide the best possible products from the best suppliers, and Maria operates with the exact same mindset.
This means that when we work with Reynolds Blinds, the resulting solution is absolutely perfect for the client, with every aspect of the install complementing the next.
- Collaboration will result in recommendations
Having spent many years as a local business, we know how important recommendations are, and my chance meeting with Maria is an example of how collaboration will often result in our name being spread even further.
It’s a two-way street, but in order to recommend confidently, you need to get to know the business in question, and that’s exactly what happened with Maria.
I’m so glad I met Maria. She’s an invaluable business contact and a friend, but we simply wouldn’t have built this relationship without Facebook, or a desire to network locally.
If you’re inspired by this story, or want to find out more about how Modern Homes works with Reynolds Blinds, just get in touch today!