Growing Your Network
In business, and especially in the family office space, the term networking is all-important. The old-school way to grow a network involved leveraging colleagues and contacts at conferences to form a web of valuable connections. Now, this "web" lives in a digital universe and is advanced enough to find contacts one might know or help to expand a network through existing connections. Failing to adapt to modern technology can be a missed opportunity to expand networks.
In every industry, one of the most important aspects of business is the ability to keep organized and detailed records. Over the years, there have been major and rapid changes made to record-keeping technology. In the past, the standard for keeping records was to write down contacts in a personal rolodex housing business cards and any other relevant information. At the time, this was a great way to keep this information in a single location. The major problem with this system is that contact information can change without one's knowledge. Contacts from a conference would be relatively new to one's network, so if contact information changed, key details could be missed. This is the problem with networking the "rolodex" way - running into dead ends with contacts that could've been beneficial.
In today's digital world, individuals and firms can leverage social media for networking, a big draw thanks to the dynamic nature of social media. This helps to eliminate dead ends with contacts. Industry conferences are even more valuable when a network can be visualized with social media such as LinkedIn. The average business card doesn't hold that much clout.
The Importance of Prospecting
Prospecting is vital to growing a business. It's defined as cold calling or cold emailing in hopes of making a connection or gaining an opportunity. Without a healthy prospect list, companies can't generate as many leads, and in turn may have less clients. Prospecting seems straight-forward enough, but here are some helpful tips on how to grow and nurture a prospect list.
- Utilize commonalities when reaching out - via social networking such as LinkedIn, did you and the prospect attend the same university, or work in similar industries/companies? Do you and the prospect have a connection(s) that you can leverage?
- Do your research on the firm/company you're reaching out to. Show prospects how you bring value or meet their specific needs.
- For emailing, make sure your subject line is compelling and grabs the prospect's attention.
- Find network groups - both on social media and in real life - which can help you to increase credibility and get a foot in the door with companies you're interested in reaching out to.
- Make sure you're relying on a trusted, user-friendly CRM to organize, map, reach out to, and follow up on prospects and contacts.
A powerful and useful tactic for expanding a family office network (or any industry network, really) is conference attendance. Conferences can help connect investors to contacts they'd never have otherwise had the opportunity to connect.
For those who've not yet had the opportunity to attend a conference, it's highly recommended, as investors can schmooze and rub elbows with industry names big and small who can provide valuable connections.
On-The-GoBusiness: The Cloud-based Software Advantage
The world has undergone monumental changes in recent years, with people and information constantly on the move at ever-quicker rates, and seemingly endless opportunities. With this on-the-go lifestyle, it's no surprise that businesses and technologies have had to evolve too. Technology has made it easy for people work anywhere; long-gone are the days of having important information confined to a desktop computer. With the proliferation of cloud-based software, individuals have the unique ability to work from any location, at any time.Recap
Understanding, implementing, and utilizing industry best practices, even as these practices rapidly change, is key to efficient capital raising for investors interested in the family office space. Adapting to the techniques and details of this space, one can grow and leverage a significant network in order to streamline capital raising and build valuable relationships.