Have you ever landed a new client from your son’s school? I have…over 600 actually. I talk to Accounting Pros all the time who fail to take advantage of this mecca of opportunity. While you don’t want to be the annoying person in the room, there’s a ton of networking opportunity at your kids’ schools. Kids cost a fortune; make them earn it, get involved in school functions and acquire new clients.
Get involved with fundraisers. While you can help your school raise money, you can also meet some great new clients. Focus on the task at hand, raising money. The relationships you’ll build will turn into friendships and even clients. It just happens. The secret to any business networking opportunity is to be present. If you aren’t there, you can’t meet anyone new.
When my son was a toddler, I helped run various events at his preschool and elementary. Of course, I was always the tech guy in the mix. If you are an accounting pro you should be the “treasurer,” naturally. I helped with music, computers, media setup and created a bunch of great slideshows to help bring tears to the less than sober parents in the room who were about to be hit with live auction items that their kids made, just for them. It works, brilliantly. I met tons of new people and that led to new business for my then burgeoning company.
When my son hit elementary school, I helped run his school’s carnival fundraiser. I ended up on the stage as the emcee. I created and ran an event called MUS Idol. The kids would pay 10 tickets to get a chance to lipsync in front of their peers and parents. To say it was a success would be an understatement. I also ran the live auction. As auctioneer, I once watched a mom bid against a kid who had her mom on the phone authorizing bids for a donated large screen TV. The mom on the phone won and then donated the TV back to the school after paying $2,000. She became a client of mine later.
At the end of the day, you can choose how you spend your time. I choose doing things that will help my community and in turn, can help my family. We all need to make a living and there is certainly no shame in that. So get involved and see what happens. While I landed hundreds of clients doing these events, my favorite accomplishment of the entire 9 years was receiving a “PTA Honored Me” plaque.