5 Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

When starting your own business, networking is crucial to help you grow as it can provide you with business opportunities you might not be able to find on your own. Your network has the potential to provide you with insight into different fields, information on what potential employers look for and advice on how you can improve professionally. Entrepreneurship networks can not only help you learn about your specific industry from experts, but can also help you meet people that can help you better run your business. Examples of these people include distributors, investors, suppliers and partners. Here are our top 5 networking tips to help you get started:

Start building

 

While you may already have a wide range of personal connections including friends and family members, you are going to want to start building your business network. This should consist of a solid group of people with all different kinds of diverse backgrounds and experiences. If your business endeavor involves marketing of any sort, these connections will be beneficial in the beginning stages of getting the word out about your business. Building a professional network should also be the time for you to introduce yourself and the reason behind starting your business. When building your professional network, try connecting with people in the same industry as you, but also try connecting with people whose industries your business may benefit from learning from or partnering with. 

 

Establish a connection

 

A helpful tip to keep in mind when networking is that it’s not just about knowing someone, it’s about connecting with them. Use this as a time to engage with others in a way that helps you build a strong connection with them. Do your best to make a lasting impression! The goal of networking is not to collect as many phone numbers and instagram handles as possible, it’s actually to develop genuine relationships. After getting a business card from someone who may be a good connection, try following up and reaching out. This can go a long way towards cultivating relationships and making them last. It is important to maintain these relationships throughout your business career so they can convert into opportunities for your business. 

 

Get involved in your community

Getting involved in your community will allow you to volunteer and attend events that can lead you to meeting new people in the community and making connections with other local businesses and leaders. Not only is helping your community a plus, getting involved can help you get your name out there and attract local customers. Building relationships in your local area gives you opportunities to introduce yourself and your company to new customers and grow your audience. Even if you operate an internet-based business, talking to other entrepreneurs in your area can connect you with new marketing or shipping methods. If you are able to create a name for yourself within your community, this will also help you build credibility and be seen as a trustworthy person to do business with.

 

Attend social events

Not sure where to meet new people? Try attending social events. This is a great way to expand your network as many of the people at these events are also looking to make new connections. Attending in-person events can help you build opportunities that are nearby you as well as with people who have similar goals. Virtual events are also a great way to help you increase your accessibility to different geographic places and disciplines. Think of events as opportunities to socialize or to learn new information in a low-pressure environment. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn about something you don’t normally have the time or resources to invest in. If you’re nervous about attending a social event, try preparing beforehand by practicing what you plan to say and having business cards ready to give out. It also helps to have a stellar understanding of your business, which we are sure you do!

 

Take small steps towards growing

 

Take the tips we taught you about building connections with people and create a simple plan to maintain your connections as well as work towards growing your list of connections. This can be done in a way that’s as simple as reaching out to at least 5 of your contacts to follow up. Staying consistent with this will help you steadily grow your network without taking time away from your busy schedule. You should always be building and strengthening your network.

 

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