No matter what your personal or professional goals are, it’s impossible to do anything alone. You need other people to teach you things, show you things, and connect you to other people and services you’ll need to achieve those goals. One of the most difficult aspects of any business or worthwhile endeavor will be finding and maintaining a good relationship with those people—but once you have them in place, your life will be much easier.
Why You Need Good People on Call
The idea is to meet people belonging to specific niches and keep their contact information handy, in case you ever need their services, advice, or input. There are three advantages to gradually building a network over time, rather than researching people as you come in need of their services:
- No matter what niche you’re looking for, cost will exist on a wide spectrum. Handyman services, for example, can range between $55 and $125 an hour for most jobs. Pre-selecting your contacts helps you weed out the people outside your price range.
- Getting to know the people in your contact list also gives you the chance to build trust, and a personal relationship. That makes things far less stressful when it’s time to place a service call, and might even help you score a better deal.
- Emergency timing. If you’re facing an emergency at home or at the office, the last thing you want is to rifle through an extended list of possible contacts. You need someone by your side immediately and having people on standby is ideal.
The People You Need
So who are the best people to have on standby?
- A lawyer (or preferably, more than one). You might have a lawyer on call if you decide to buy property, or to help you draft and manage your business contracts. But do you know what to do if you’re bitten by a random dog or are facing a civil suit? Having multiple lawyers on call to help you with a variety of potential legal issues is ideal, since many legal problems require fast action and professional experience to resolve.
- A handyman. You’ll also want a general handyman on call if you own a property. You may have some DIY skills yourself, or may rely on YouTube videos to get through most of your maintenance and repairs, but when you find an issue that you can’t resolve on your own, you’ll want an expert to take a look for you—and not charge you a ridiculous fee to do it.
- A professional networker. Why do your own networking when you can have someone do it for you? Some people are natural extroverts and specialize in building large networks of contacts. You’ll want at least one person like this on your team; they’ll be able to send you referrals for practically any job or need you have.
- An industry mentor. Try to find at least one person in your industry who has more experience, knowledge, and insight than you do. They don’t need to be a direct mentor to you, but you should be on good enough terms with them to ask them for advice on occasion.
- Trade specialists. In addition to your handyman, it’s a good idea to have a handful of trade specialists on your team. These will include people like HVAC professionals, plumbers, electricians, or even niche specialists like welders. If you’re managing property or have a large commercial building, these contacts are indispensable. Otherwise, they’re good to have in a pinch, but you probably won’t need to manage a long-term relationship with them.
- An experienced investor. There’s no shortage of investment types out there, ranging from extremely safe to extremely risky. Having someone who’s been in multiple investment types (and has experienced mistakes and failure in the past) is essential if you want to make smarter buying decisions.
- A doctor or nurse. You never know when you’ll need medical attention. Being on good terms with a general practitioner can help you get direction for almost any ailment you face. And though you shouldn’t rely on a personal contact for professional medical advice, it doesn’t hurt to have a medically inclined contact who you can call to resolve a quick question, or see if it’s important to go to the hospital.
Now that you have this list, the last thing to do is find the people to fill these roles. You can start by attending local networking events, and asking your friends and existing contacts for recommendations. Personally introduce yourself whenever you can, and try out your most promising candidates for a job or two before you solidify them as your go-to for a given category.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.