Small businesses are rising in popularity among eager professionals because there are plenty of fresh opportunities for self-starters in different industries. In this digital age, it even makes global business-customer relationship building much easier by having a website. However, if you don’t have confirmed networks from various individuals, it can be harder to keep your operations afloat due to the lack of commercial attention and professional assistance. Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to address this.
As an emerging business owner, you can step up to the challenge by honing your networking skills. Even if you have little-to-no experience in this area, you can easily thrive by using the best practices. To have a better understanding of this, utilise this guide as your starting point.
Merge traditional and modern means to connect with new contacts
You may think that there is no longer room for business cards in this day and age, but it is not the case among small enterprise owners. It is because they are more concerned with fostering personalised connections, and there is something more impressive about having a creative yet convenient way to present yourself. The catch, though, is it can depend on your industry.
For instance, suppose you have a small business committed to selling eco-friendly paper bags for food catering services. In that case, it would be counterintuitive to hand out your information printed out on a paper-based card.
As an alternative, you can either have a digitised version of your contact information or have interested partners take a photo of your business card. It can even be a strategic segue into what you love, what you do, and what you can offer when you work with certain startups.
Never engage in gossip and degrading backtalk about fellow business partners
There are plenty of egotistical professionals in the industry who thrive on putting others down, especially direct competitors. In the small business community, doing this is harder to pull off because everyone knows each other. It is almost like there is a mutual agreement that there should be no form of toxic gossiping and other discriminatory behaviour among fellow owners.
Remember, small-to-medium sized businesses have to stick together to be effective in their respective niches. This way, they can thrive as a community even against the bigger players in the local and global market. So, you have to stay away from toxic or difficult professionals. In the same way, don’t be the source of petty gossip that never amounts to anything good, especially in this professional environment.
Attend networking events diligently and make as many meaningful connections as possible
The name of the small business networking game for events is widening your contacts while being intentional about them. You are not merely going to hand over your business cards, shake hands, and move on to the next. Doing so is largely frowned upon because it comes off as disingenuous and sends a wrong first impression.
Instead, take your time to get acquainted with people, but know when it would be appropriate to look out for other lucrative partnerships. Of course, practice makes perfect here, so you should attend as many networking events as possible!
Managing a small business can be a tedious process, especially if you are just beginning to learn the basics. Fortunately, there are plenty of resource persons and training programs available through networking. You just have to put in the time and effort while referring to the relevant tips mentioned above. Meanwhile, if you are looking for your first step into this professional community, consider joining established networks like ours!
Are you in need of small business networking opportunities in Australia? Get in touch with us at NRG Networking. We host plenty of meetings, masterclasses, and other great events made for up-and-coming entrepreneurs like you. Through our inclusive, collaborative environment, you are sure to find like-minded people from various industries more than willing to help you thrive. Sign up today!