About the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. Why would a flower show be of use to a small business owner? First, there´s the networking aspect (any chance for subtle self promotion is a good thing) and because human beings occasionally need to relax, have some fun and develop a hobby, like gardening (which is a favorite of mine). And so I’ve decided to share some resources and networking opportunities that I find useful both professionally and personally. After all, a more relaxed human being makes a better entrepreneur.
A couple of my buddies own a landscaping business and invited me to attend this year´s San Francisco Flower and Garden show March 15-19th www.gardenshow.com. It´s a wonderful venue for networking and a great opportunity to learn more about landscape design, flower arranging and basic gardening tips. (After all wouldn’t you want to do business with someone you have something in common with)? The theme ,this year ,for one particular garden is the Garden Puzzle by San Francisco landscapers, Organic Mechanics. The garden is literally in the shape of a puzzle piece and the floor is a puzzle made of Connecticut Bluestone cut into hundreds of 18 x 20 inch “puzzle pieces. Additionally, the firm showcases 3 beds representing various types of plants to create a beautiful, harmonious setting. Be sure to ask for partners Sean or James who’ve been in business for nearly a decade or contact Organic Mechanics at FROGMOONDOG@aol.com .
The show itself opens with a gala event Tuesday evening, March 14th and the show runs Wednesday March 15th thru Sunday March 19th. More info is available at www.gardenshow.com. I was obviously interested in the networking aspect, but I’m also an amateur gardener (I love growing tomatoes and my zucchini is amazing).
For those with a difficult time leaving the office for anything other than business, this is a guilt free use of your time. And if you come back to the office with a potential client, new interest or skill, it makes the trip even sweeter.
And while you’re there you’ll need business cards to pass out. But why not take it a step further? What´s the first thing you do with a business card after a networking function? If you’re like me, you probably file it a way and never think about it unless you have an immediate need for that specific service or toss it. Here´s another way to keep your company name and services in front of the prospect without ending up in the rolodex (or trash) without so much as a glance. Think about printing up postcards with a short blurb of info on your service or product. Postcards are more appealing and not as easily discarded as business cards because the prospect must look (and read) the postcard before deciding to discard it. And if you need a resource for postcards, here´s one I’m finding more and more difficult to do without. WWW.Vistaprint.com allows you to design and order premium business cards costing next to nothing. Want proof? I recently designed and ordered 250 premium business cards costing no more than shipping and handling (which came to around $6.00) and delivered in about 21 days(you can express order them for about $20.00). And best of all, it took me about 30 minutes to design and order them. Simply go to the web site and follow the step by step template design instructions to create postcards, business cards, letterhead in minutes. Trust me, it´s worth it.
Finally, I want to mention a resource I can’t do without. So much so that I mention this publication at every workshop that I teach. Yep, it´s the San Francisco Business Times. For more info see my article titled" Need a cold calling list of prospects that cost next to nothing? Read on"?¦ Part One" on this site. Want to get free issues or a subscription at a discount (along with free copies of the 2006 and 2007 Book of lists)? Simply e-mail me or attend one of my workshops and receive a complimentary gift certificate.
Networking is like anything else in life. In order to make it work effectively, you need to find a frame of reference you like and can relate to.
So be sure to find an event you’ll enjoy and you’ll be guaranteed a successful experience and possibly a profitable one.
Tony Wilkins is the author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success or via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org