I recently got a question from a reader named Aaron, who's been in the records storage business, just like me, since 2002: "The challenge I am facing now," he wrote, "is getting the accounts that are not so obvious to find. I can't seem to tap into the legal market or schools. How do I build relationships with attorneys who won't make the time to meet with me in the first place?"
Aaron, I know you're in the box business, so thinking outside the box might be a little difficult, but while everybody is advertising in the journals that attorneys read and knocking on their doors directly, there are many novel approaches that you can take.
The only time an attorney will meet with you in his office is if you're there for business. In the beginning, when we did a deal, I'd insist that we use two sets of attorneys and that they give us their files. But you might not have as much legal work as we had. Next best thing: find out where attorneys meet. We found that many joined various organizations, and we went to those meetings, where the lawyers seemed more inclined to look for vendors. Socially, you might have friends who are friends with attorneys who can give you the opportunity in a social setting to ask them how you can get their business. One other thought: city and state governments have just started outsourcing their records storage business, which creates opportunities that didn't exist before.
NORM BRODSKY | Columnist
Street Smarts columnist and senior contributing editor Norm Brodsky is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded and expanded six businesses.