The Importance of Networking

How Networking Can Take Your Business to the Next Level!


“Networking with other business owners helps you remember that you are not alone. Others have been where you are.” – Kevin Reichelt DRIVE client & owner of Steller’s Garage of Shelton, CT


Kevin Reichelt at Steller’s Garage


Networking can be the key to growing your business. When you interact with people not only in your own profession but interconnected ones you can develop highly beneficial relationships. Think of your current network, when was the last time you received help from someone you know? Forming these connections can help you in various ways, from another tow owner letting you know how they solved a similar problem to a fellow local business sending customers your way. Keep reading to learn why you should network and how to do it. 


Steller’s Garage tow truck

Kevin Reichelt, owner of Steller’s Garage, sees it like this, “The combined knowledge is irreplaceable, no college or school can teach you what most of us learn over time.” When you are facing a new problem, it may feel like you can only get through it yourself. But when you have a strong network full of experienced professionals your solution may be closer than you think. Being able to jump on the phone and talk through your issue is a benefit of befriending other business owners. In the 27 years Kevin has owned his business, he has found camaraderie in his network. He says, “Networking with other business owners helps you remember that you are not alone. Others have been where you are.” 


Steller’s Garage

Not only do other business owners help you through the rocky patches, but they can also give you hope for your future. As a business owner, you know your workflow can have its ups and downs. So, being able to look at someone else’s story can help keep you motivated. This is one thing Kevin has taken away from his relationships with other owners, he says “I have learned that it is possible to build a business that you can manage, one that is not managing you.” When you are able to see someone you relate to succeed you could find yourself motivated to keep pushing through your “down” periods. 


Networking = success

You might be wondering how to start building your network. Look no further than your own backyard. Don’t think of the other tow owners as your competition, but rather as a group of people fighting the same battles as you. The other businesses in your town are the first people you should be going to when initially forming your network. More than likely you’ll already have some relationships in place! Your community is filled with other small business owners that you can connect with, one piece of advice Kevin has, is to “start your own group of other tow business owners and meet every so often.” This way you are consistently interacting with those near you, at your meeting you can talk about a variety of topics or even take turns bringing up individual concerns. 


Kevin Reichelt of Steller’s Garage of Shelton, CT

Don’t just stop at the other tow businesses though! Reach out to other companies in your area to start forming relationships with them too. As Kevin puts it, “Even though our businesses differ, most business practices do not.” So, if your usual network’s advice isn’t cutting it don’t be afraid to expand to other industries. On top of that, once you have established relationships with other businesses you can create cross promotions with one another. You could offer a 10% discount to the customers at a local restaurant. Now you’re driving that business’ consumer base your way and expanding your pool of clients. This also helps strengthen your community’s small businesses and bolster your local economy. Your community is stronger when it is connected.


One of Kevin’s tow trucks

Other local business owners are great resources, but you can expand your network even further through a multitude of outlets. For example, Kevin is a DRIVE client. This gives him access to a Master Coach and a plethora of industry professionals. He says, “I don’t just seek out people to network with locally, but through the groups I’m involved with as well.” And in today’s world, that’s easier than ever! There are various social media groups you can join that have a wide range in topic and members. So, hop in and connect with other skilled pros. With tools like Zoom meetings can be held in an instant allowing you to connect with people all over the country, or even around the world. Another way Kevin expands his network is through attending events. He says, “Get to conventions and expositions.” He always makes a point to attend DRIVE’s annual EXPO. Here he is able to not only connect with other shop owners but specialized vendors as well. 


Steller’s Garage old wrecker

Being a business owner can be isolating, it may feel like people don’t understand the struggles you face. Which is why it’s important you have a network of people you can turn to not only for advice but to be friends with. Having people that understand you can help you feel better about the difficulties you are facing. Kevin says, “On a personal level I have made an entire community of friends that have helped me, and I have helped them.” Creating your network doesn’t just have to be about expanding your business connections, it can also be about forming friendships.


Overall, having a network is an important part of owning a business. It is important for many reasons. Including obtaining advice from people that have been in your position before, strengthening your local community, and forming friendships with those that understand you. Kevin puts it simply, “Networking is a key to success.”


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Link to AmericanTow article – page 76

Link to Kevin’s DRIVE Master of Shop Management speech at DRIVE EXPO 2022

Link to Kevin’s guest appearance on DRIVE FACEBOOK LIVE

Link to another Kevin guest apperance on DRIVE FACEBOOK LIVE


Prepared by Chase Clough