This post is the second of two parts. To read Part 1, please click here.
Building Trust in Community
BookKeeping Express provided marketing support when Groves opened her business by generating leads through a third-party vendor and by doing a mass mailing to 500 business owners in Monterey County that might need her services. But Groves candidly admits that she did not garner any clients from those efforts.
“I only got one call from someone asking to be taken off the mailing list.”
As a new business in the area and a franchise that was still creating brand awareness, she knew it was incumbent upon her to become known in her new community. Building trust with companies who would be sharing their financial data with her was crucial.
“What I did, I became a professional schmoozer,” she said.
She even obtained a certification to pour wine in California so that when she attended business events, she could engage potential clients when they came to her for a beverage.
Because the economy of Monterey County is so diverse, made up of agricultural, tourism, and educational interests, Groves joined four chambers of commerce and two professional women’s networks. She holds educational business seminars throughout the year and is involved in several volunteer organizations. She was named the Volunteer of the Month by both the Monterey Peninsula and the nearby Salinas chambers in 2012.
Major Presence in Region
She is also a graduate of Leadership Salinas Valley; recognized by the California legislature, the 20-week program consists of various exercises and local projects designed to further inform leaders who can help enhance community problem solving and development.
“Despite entering a market that was uncharted territory for both the Groves and for our brand, Ileen and Barry have gone above and beyond to become a major presence within their region,” said CEO of BookKeeping Express Greg Jones. “They have dedicated themselves to investing in their business community and have done so with the utmost professionalism as evidenced by client satisfaction and recognition among peers. In only a year, they have more than quadrupled their client base.”
“That’s how I marketed myself: I got people to know me and to trust me,” Groves said.