In April, the IFA Annual Conference, one of the largest events in our industry, took place here in San Diego. Primary Funding co-hosted an event to help kick off the event, and then our team got serious about learning and making connections.
Building relationships is always a priority, but getting to hear about the latest industry trends, the impact of blockchain and AI on alternative financing, and hearing what others in our industry are doing is key to staying current and finding the best ways to continue helping our clients.
Here are the three top takeaways the Primary Funding team had from the IFA Conference that are relevant for our partners and clients alike!
Relationships are key to growth
We all know that relationships are critical to business success, but this point was reiterated repeatedly throughout the conference. From the colleagues we reconnected with at our networking event, to speakers, and the conversations we had during breaks, everywhere there were reminders of how important relationships are to success.
It was a good reminder of the importance of client referrals. The entire alternative financing industry relies on referrals from our clients and influencing partners. Building strong relationships is the key to business success! In addition, developing a team of trusted partners that are willing to share referrals if they are unable to help clients helps everyone succeed.
This is definitely a case of “A rising tide lifts all boats” as we look to serve our clients and partners collaboratively to help all of us.
Trust your gut
This one has been debated for years, but the latest research states that the vast majority of business decisions are made based on emotion, or your “gut-feel” and justified with data. The emphasis on “trusting your gut” came up in a few sessions and resonated with our Primary Funding team members, particularly when vetting new clients and opportunities. The bottom line is that if something seems off, it probably is. It is a reminder to do your research and get to the bottom of it. It is important to find out why your internal alarms are ringing, and then make decisions based on what you find. Don’t ignore your internal warnings, they may be right.
There are riches in the “niches”
It is important to specialize your products and service offerings. If you are helping everyone, then you are essentially helping no one. The end result is that it costs a lot more time and resources to be everything to everyone. In addition, it makes it hard for people to know what you do. You want your partners and prospects to know exactly what you do and who you help. Make it easy for them to know who to send to you. Find a niche and make it yours!
Did you know certain industries indicate the health of the economy?
The manufacturing industry is the one to watch. It is volatile and a good indicator of economic health because of its heavy ties to import/export activity. If exports are low, manufacturing will suffer and then the economy suffers. So, if you want to know where the economy is headed, watch the manufacturing industry.
We were all impressed with how candid and helpful many of our industry peers are. Everyone was willing to offer advice and offer tools of the trade. Everyone does things slightly differently, so it is always helpful to learn what is working for others, and for them to hear what is working for us. Being able to attend the IFA Conference in San Diego gave us all a new perspective and excited to continue helping the companies in our community gain access to the funding they need to grow!