While there is plenty of money to be made in the drug world dime bags and QPs, I’m not suggesting you add these to your list of services.Â What I am suggesting is a clever business idea I picked up while watching the hit HBO series, Weeds.
If you are unfamiliar with the show Weeds, here is a description from Yahoo TV;
“A widowed suburban mother determinedly keeps up appearances in her idyllic community, whose residents remain oblivious to the fact that she’s the source of the high-quality marijuana that’s suddenly flooded the neighborhood. In Season 2, Nancy evolved into a true business woman from her humble beginnings as a dealer. She struggled to meet her obligations to her family and her new found “career.” Her questionable choices continued to play havoc with her life. Last season, viewers saw Nancy venture from hesitant but determined toe-dipper in the unpredictable waters of drug dealing to confident, full-fledged queen-pin entrepreneur.”
What I learned from the Show
There is an episode in the series in which the main characters accountant mentions that he canvas college bulletin boards for things like small business clubs and entrepreneur groups. He then makes arrangements tos peak at these clubs and meetings, upon which his lectures are designed to confuse the hell out of people when it comes to taxes and accounting. He then passes his business card around and the “deer in headlights” members come asking for his help.
Now I’m not suggesting that you find some similar groups and confuse the hell out of them when it comes to web design or graphics, but speaking at these sort of events can lead some decent work. Places like the Small Business Development Center and other small business association usually have work shops and guest speakers on a regular basis. If you don’t have a fear of public speaking, these organizations can be a great way to drum up business.
How to Find Small Business Clubs and Associations
If you are interested in trying out this networking technique, there a number of places where you can start looking for clubs and associations in your area.
As mentioned above, colleges can be a great place to start looking for these sorts of clubs. You can always try out the college website first. Sometimes these websites are more geared toward recruiting new students then promoting campus activities. If you can’t find any information about clubs on their website, you can always try calling student services. These people will generally be able to anwser any questions you have about clubs, or at least point you in the right direction.
The Small Business Development Center has locations all over the US. You can check out their website to find a location near you. You can also look at their calendar of events to see what sort of workshops and lectures they provide. After you are a little more familiar with what your local SBDC offers, try contacting them and pitching a lecture about the importance of web design or something similar. They are likely to jump at the offer and set something up right away.
Another place that I have found useful in finding local small business groups in my area is a website called Meetup. This website is full of homemade groups in your area. Some of them can be as broad as “Small Business Owners of City Name.” Some can be even more specific if you are into niche work like “Bloggers of City Name.” These groups tend to meet once a month or more usually have a guest speaker or specific topic they talk about. If you contact the group founder, it is highly likely that you can arrange some sort of design specific topic night.
Do any of you have any experience with doing this sort of thing to driver business or just educate fellow entrepreneurs in your area? Im sure your fellow readers would love to hear your experience and how they worked out for you in the end. If you have any stories regarding this topic, please share it in the comments section below.
The image for this article was purchased from Shutterstock