For virtually all new industry brokers, networking represents their first steps toward business development. This is often because their first ventures into lead-generating networking can be relatively without cost and with roughly 50% of all new factoring clients being sourced as a result of networking and relationship building, it is easy to understand why networking takes the lead for those new to the industry.
Many new to the industry will find that simply being in the right place, at the right time, and armed with the right knowledge can lead to landing a sizable new account. Such was the case for “Martha”. Arming yourself with the right knowledge is as simple as completing the Free Factoring Broker Training Course at Campus IACFB. Some new to the industry and networking are initially intimidated thinking they will be recognized as an industry “newbie” and exposed as not really being educated on the topic of factoring and alternative small business finance. With the comprehensive training provided by the Factoring 101 Program at Campus IACFB, that is simply not the case. And, for those still worried, taking the Campus certification exam should allay all fears and doubts of being exposed as an industry neophyte when meeting other professionals at local networking events.
5 Great Free Networking Opportunities for New Factoring Brokers
So with business cards in hand and your website up and operational, here are 5 great places to start and to get your networking feet wet.
- CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Although joining your local Chamber of Commerce will have a cost, you should be able to attend several after hours events sponsored by your local Chamber before you actually become a member. Chamber events are a great place to meet community bank loan officers as well as prospective clients. Check out your local Chamber’s website for upcoming after hours events and make a call as a “prospective member” so you can attend.
- SCORE: Most cities of size have a local SCORE (Service Corp. of Retired Executives) office which assists and mentors small business entrepreneurs. One typical function of SCORE is to hold seminars and workshops dealing with topics of importance for business owners. One of those topics is “financing” and you will certainly want to attend any events hosted by your local SCORE Chapter.
- SBDC: Small Business Development Centers are typically partnerships between the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) and local universities and provide training and support to entrepreneurs with intentions to start new businesses. Like SCORE, local SBDC’s will hold educational workshops for business owners on a whole variety of subjects. This is not only a great place to meet new business owners who may need your services but also the staff of the SBDC who can send business your way once you have established a relationship with them.
- FRATERNAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS: Fraternal Service Organizations offer exceptional opportunities for networking and most actively promote members doing business with other members by allowing only one person in the organization chapter from each vocation. For example, only one life insurance salesman in the chapter. Your business as a commercial finance consultant is so “under-the-radar” that it is unlikely you will find competition in any Fraternal Service Organizations you choose to join. Popular organizations are Rotary International, Kiwanis Clubs, Elk’s Clubs, Optimists International, etc. A list of such organizations can be found here.
- OTHER LOCAL CLUBS OF INTEREST: For most new brokers operating in even medium size cities, there exists a plethora of local clubs you can join and participate in where being at the right place, at the right time, and armed with the right knowledge can pay big dividends. Consider joining a car club and attending car shows, find out where the supporters of your favorite football or baseball team meet up on Sundays and plan to attend. There are clubs devoted to kayak fishing, model railroading, photography, pottery, and hundreds of other hobbies and pastimes. Choose something you’re passionate about and get involved. As a factoring broker, being in the right place, at the right time, and armed with the right knowledge can mean 10’s of thousands of commission income each end every year.
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