Small Business Networking.
Networking is one of the most valuable uses of a small business owner’s time in terms of return—and not just in monetary terms. Attend a few networking events to understand what I mean. But until you do that, read on.
The best part is that networking is mostly free! If you choose the right networking event, you will find it full of like-minded individuals, people that you can work with or learn from in some way.
Social Networking Events
I am not going to say that all events are going to be interesting. Most of the social networking events provide a laid-back atmosphere to chat with similar people, and these informal chats often lead to many opportunities and potential ways you can work together. There are always going to be some of those odd events where people just end up trying to sell something to you, but the good news is that lately, you will come across these less and less.
All of us would agree that face-to-face meetings create lasting impressions in the minds of people you meet. Networking events, ultimately, are not about whom you know, but rather who knows you.
The advent of internet has been extremely helpful in the development of this world, and social media has made stars out of many struggling artists, authors, business owners and actors. But the other side of the prism is that there has been a major loss to personal touch in our environment because of the easy access created by internet. The important questions that we need to ask ourselves are- has our bottom line increased because of the likes? Did the Instagram followers write us a million-dollar check? If the answer is no, I want to challenge all of you to work on building stronger personal relationships within your business. Read about this in detail in my previous post.
Knowing someone personally motivates the investor to plunge into starting something with you, giving you a contract or referring someone who needs what your business provides. Your own business may expand by meeting people personally. If not, it will at least expand your industry knowledge. This can always lead to future opportunities for both parties, in terms of help, advice and business.
Take a look at the business cards you received and email those people about what you spoke about while it is still fresh in your mind. After networking events, staying connected is the next important step. Send a “thank you” or “nice to meet you” note, no later than one week after the meeting.
There are many strong start-up communities around the world now, and in times of economic uncertainty, I truly believe that these communities have helped each start-up progress in this period that can be challenging for many.
Meeting like-minded people is a great chance to learn something and get ideas. Sometimes they can count as being at work because you are inevitably spreading the name of your business across an audience that can add value to your business. You may feel you are too busy to attend a networking event, but when you have attended a few, you will understand that they act as a nice break from being stuck in front of a computer. You will see the value in forming and maintaining a strong contact base, which will serve you well for years to come.
Forming a network is even more valuable for young entrepreneurs. It helps you learn from more experienced entrepreneurs and investors as well as to build useful contacts.
It is always helpful to contact a local advertising company to understand the importance of social networking and see how you can benefit from networking. We have a free one hour session at HyperEffects for aspiring young entrepreneurs and those who have been there and done that. It is our way to promotes more intimate networking sessions. Enrol today to talk to us and discuss challenges that your business faces in terms of marketing, advertising and connecting with the target audience. We pride ourselves in knowing how to overcome them!
Remember, your net worth is only as good as your network.