You need to network in order to grow your business. It’s all who you know at the end of the day that will ultimately either help or hinder you. Who you know affects your crowd, it affects your ability to find good people to work for you, and it affects your relationships with vendors. Relationships are everything.
First, I want to clear up some confusion that is in the market right now about with true networking is and is not.
Sitting around on your computer all day on Facebook is NOT true networking. Updating your BBM status is NOT true networking. Mass texting people is NOT true networking. All those things are designed to look like networking, but rest assured, that isn’t the way real winners do things.
Relationships are best built in the real world, face to face with real people. The generation of people that favor digital communication over live interactions are at a significant disadvantage to those who prefer live communication.
If you need more people to come down to your night club, I would recommend getting out there and meeting some new friends. Here are a few sure fire ways to meet new customers.
1.) GO OUT TO THE BAR – This one is obvious, but it would surprise you how many night club people I have met who do not go out regularly to bars on their time off. I hear excuses like “I’m too busy to do that” or “I spend enough time in bars when I’m actually working”. What those lame excuses really tell me is that the person is gravely mistaken as to what their job in the night club REALLY is about. It’s not JUST about pouring a drink, breaking up a fight, or managing a team of people. Part of your responsibility in the night club is to be meeting people OUTSIDE of your night club. The best part about going out to other bars is that you are meeting people that are already pre-disposed to spending money on partying. Going to the bar is also a great way to meet new talent for your night club, just in case you need to replace anyone working for you. Get to the club, shake hands and exchange business cards. Do it the old fashioned way.
2.) GET INVOLVED WITH ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE MEETING NEW PEOPLE – I used to host volleyball practices on Sunday for a group of players that just liked to get together with me and a small group of friends and practice on the fundamentals. Every week at least one new face showed up to play. Over the course of the year, that is at a minimum, 50 new people I met simply because I played volleyball. Some of those people converted into night club customers. This same tactic can be applied to any sport, activity, hobby, and interest. I know a bartender who successfully booked bottle service because of his involvement in Muay Thai kickboxing. Another friend of mine is very successful at bringing people to the bar because of his history playing football.
3.) LEAVE A TRAIL BEHIND YOU – Carry your business cards with you at all times. Talk to people everywhere you go. You never know when you will meet someone while just living your normal life. Every time you get your hair cut, that’s an opportunity. Sending your car in to get serviced? That’s a chance to strike up a conversation with someone just sitting around or the technician, or anyone else working at the dealership that happens to be cool. Good customers are everywhere outside of your bar environment.
Networking is about effort. Don’t let the digital age confuse you on how to really get it done. To truly network, you have to get out there, pound the pavement and meet the people you intend to convert into customers. There is no substitute for actually being there live in the flesh. Get off your computers and come back to real life. There’s more money to be made here.