You may realize that there is true value in business networking, but feel unsure of how to approach this. If you are thinking of starting your own business or you have recently launched, then this is an excellent time to start networking. It is a great time to meet other entrepreneurs and like-minded people who you can bounce ideas off of. It’s a wonderful way of getting tips and insight from those who have done it before. Business networking is also a great way to discover contacts that you may not have even realized you had available to you. If you aren’t networking you need to consider starting —this may be your true key to success moving forward.
Networking can be a wonderful and successful way of getting your business out there in the mainstream. It can lead to new customers, vendors, and contacts that will help you take things to a new level. Though you may feel a bit unsure of being in social situations such as this, you may find that you can overcome that fear after just one effective networking session. Try for yourself and see how you feel, you might be surprised at the success you have with even just 1 or 2 networking opportunities.
Having a goal or mission in mind when business networking is important. You can enjoy the process and get a lot out of it if you focus on the following areas before you approach the fine art of networking. Some focus areas or goals are:
1. Build as many contacts as possible:
The key here is to meet as many people as you possibly can. Take the time to talk to anybody and everybody, and don’t let fear or uncertainty get in the way of that. You may find that you are building your contacts to a level that you never thought possible. Know that every contact can equate to a business partner or a customer, both of which benefit you greatly in the end. Be prepared to tell everyone about your business and how your services can help them.
2. Look for hidden or unique opportunities with business networking:
Be open minded, there will be people at a business networking group that you think have no alignment with your business or goals. In speaking with these people you may uncover opportunities that you never knew were possible without networking, you may learn something new. Business networking can be a great way to talk to your target demographic. It may be a new way of doing business online or you may learn a new tip or trick that has worked for someone in the same position as you. There is so much opportunity in a good foundation of contacts, and therefore the more people that you meet the more that these may contribute to your success.
3. Possible pathways to business partners or customers:
You will find that networking is as an excellent way to meet potential clients or customers – but maybe not directly. Your networking contact may know someone who could you use your services and they become a referral source for you. Or you might meet some wonderful vendors or valuable business partners. If you come together for a common purpose and get to talking, you will will find that you have similarities or ways to align as a referral source for one another. Try it and see for yourself how well this will work for you but remember to be open minded.
4. Events or organizations that let you meet other small business owners:
Try attending one business networking event a month and you will see how much value there is in this. There is a good chance that you will find that there are smaller or more targeted organizations that you need to be a part of too. Go in with an open mind and a willingness to succeed. Success is right around the corner. Business networking is a platform to lead you to that next big step!