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  • Joey

3 Ways I’ve Leveraged Connections to Improve My Business

The game of business is tricky. It’s ambiguous and hard to navigate because there’s seldom a clear cut answer to the one question every business owner has: How do I make more money? One avenue to get there is to leverage your connections. Any and all of them! Here are 3 examples in which I leveraged my relationships to improve my business.

1. Word of mouth referrals

This has been one of the biggest assets for our mobile food company over the past 5 years. Most word of mouth starts with people who know and support you like friends and family members. So, if you’re a good person with good intentions, it’s likely you at least have a handful of people in your corner. After that, it’s up to you. Excellent input will yield an excellent output. We still land catering events that are three plus times removed from their original referral, but wouldn’t have happened without it. As a mobile business that mostly services the Chicagoland area, that’s huge. Here’s a great example. A high school friend referred us as a potential food option for a Chicago music festival in need of a VIP vendor. We landed the deal, which was a two day prepaid event to serve VIP ticket holders. So many new people tried our food, we made great money, and we got our first music festival under our belt. That’s how you rack up experience and credibility!

2. Make use of your sales person’s knowledge and industry network

I’m not sure what else I’d call this one? But basically make use of the people surrounding you in your industry. You don’t need to do it alone. There’s always going to be someone ahead and behind. That’s the game. Our sales rep for Vienna Beef is a true veteran in the industry. As a result, he tends to have an idea of what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly who to call when your potato chopper goes down.

3. Establish relationships with local business owners

As a business owner, life is a lot easier when you build relationships with other businesses. There can be a stigma of business people being cut throats, but I believe there’s enough space for everyone to win. We’re doing our first event with three local bars who don’t serve food. What do people like to do when they drink? Eat! And after they eat, they want to drink some more! So we’re partnering to be a dedicated on demand delivery service. Why is it different? Well, we’re only open for them so we are their dedicated kitchen. Deliveries WILL be fast because that’s the way it’s designed. Of course, someone could order for delivery from another restaurant, but that restaurant is busy servicing the entire area and we’re focused on just those three spots. For us, it’s innovative by getting in front of hungry customers and for the bars, the added food is enticing for people to come, enjoy cocktails, and STAY. In addition, we partner with Stix n Brix, a wood fired pizza business, for home made bread rolls that we use for Philly Cheesesteaks and breakfast sandwiches. Last week, Ballpark Pub smoked two absolutely delicious briskets for us to use and create items to sell while we’re out and about doing our mobile food thing!

If you could take away one thing from the three examples above, I hope it’s this: Your business is more important than your ego. Get out there, talk to people, and create collaborations. You’re either the solution or the blocker.


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