Small Business Networking Tips

Networking Tips

Networking is one of the most integral elements of running a small business. Getting to know your competition, forming industry relationships, getting inspired are all components of the same networking branch: helping your small business grow while making some great connections along the way.

That’s why this week we’re sharing just a few top tips to help establish your networking sphere; combining notions of communication, mentorship, brand awareness and preparation to help boost your business to new heights.

 

The Benefits

Networking Social

We know what you’re thinking. As a small business owner you’ve got enough on your plate without bringing small talk, handshakes and lost business cards into the mix. But truthfully, networking is so much more than this and the advantages of building an integrated networking system can be broader than you think:

Making Friends

Meeting potential new partners, local suppliers, retailers can have a huge impact on your sphere of influence. Expanding both your brand awareness and your sales prospects concurrently.

Meeting your Mentor

Not to mention, bringing about the possibility of mentorship. If you're just starting out and you need an experienced shoulder to lean on during the hard times and tricky decisions, networking could be the avenue you need to set up a budding business mentoring relationship.

Building Brand Awareness

Being known is half the battle when exercising your small business endeavours. Through networking, recommendations come in full swing and what better than to be referred by industry experts as well as retentive customers.

 

Get Prepped

Taking Notes

Preparation is key to a successful networking effort. Understanding your business wholly and being ready to present the key elements that make you stand out from a slew of small businesses is of the utmost importance when meeting other industry peers and experts.

Pitch Preparation

When introducing yourself and your business to a potential industry connection, be prepared to explain and promote succinctly your company ethics and individuality. A one-sentence statement or very brief paragraph is the best way to go about this – think elevator pitch!

Know the Room

If you’re attending a networking event, conference or marketing expo (check out our Small Business Events hotlist!) it’s best to know the types of people you’re going to meet. Have a look at those invited as well as the event’s social media pages. This will give you an insight into the prospects of said event, while giving you invaluable information as to dress code and tech necessities – is it a laptop affair or will your mobile phone suffice?

Know your Offering

If you’re an industry specialist, or are simply able to offer people a fresh perspective on the challenges of commerce, then prove yourself. You’re more likely to be remembered if you’re able to offer helpful advice, knowledge and connections pertaining to the industry you know so well.

 

Know Where to Go

Networking

Finishing off with the basics. Figuring out the best places to endure your networking flurries is one of the key factors in your connective escapades. Listed below are three of the best ways to pursue networking success:

Social Media

No surprises here - connecting with your peers online is the easiest and most accessible route to networking gold. Using sites such as LinkedIn or the new Facebook Workplace app, businesses can present themselves to a growing sphere of business-centric newcomers and experts alike, while attracting fresh employees in the process.

Emails + Blogs

There are dozens of business blogs out there – as well as email bulletins – frequently posting about local or sector-specific networking events. Sign up and don’t let those messages fall into your spam folder!

Show Up!

lthough mentioned above, being present at industry events is crucial to finding and establishing those invaluable business relationships. So, make sure to actually be in attendance. Check out our previous articles on business events to find out more.

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