You may probably already be familiar with the saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and this is true especially in business, irrespective of which industry you’re in. It’s especially important when you’re a small business, as you need to network to make vital connections that can grow your company.
You would need to interact with potential investors, business partners, and clients in order to form loyal and trusting relationships and open up new opportunities.
The biggest obstacle that hinders small business owners from networking is typically lack of time and inexperience. However, networking should not be ignored—it should be prioritized. Here are some tips that small business owners can take into consideration to thrive in networking:
Build a strategy.
Before anything else, it’s important to create a strategy that will help you reach your goals. When creating a plan, figure out why you want to network in the first place. Is it to gain new contacts? Is it to work on career development and learn from the big guys within your industry? Is it because you want to establish yourself as a thought leader?
Whatever it is, you need to set goals to aim for and estimate the number of contacts you will need to achieve them. That way, you can better identify the kinds of people you need to meet and experiment with networking efforts to see which worked best.
Write an elevator pitch.
You would also need to prepare an elevator pitch or a spiel that gives people you meet a quick look at your business. Ideally, it should explain who you are, what you do, the problem you solve, who you serve, what makes you different, and what you want to happen next.
You should use your elevator pitch to deliver a concise and memorable spiel to explain your business. When presenting it, you want to be confident and comfortable, so practice in front of the mirror until you can deliver it in a way that sounds natural. You must also make sure that the pitch reflects your brand and its messaging.
Don’t be afraid to follow up.
As you go about building your network, don’t wait for new connections to reach out to you. Don’t be afraid to do a 24-hour followup with the people you meet. This will help you foster valuable relationships so that they don’t fizzle out. When you do follow up, mention some specific points from your conversation. It may also be a good idea to write down key details right after the meeting so you won’t miss anything.
If there are next steps discussed initially, make sure to bring that up, too. What’s more, give new connections a way to follow up with you. Give them branded business cards that show all your important business information. Put your contact information, social media handles, and more.
By following these tips above, you can step up your networking game and add more clients to your roster.
If you’re looking to participate in business networking events in Perth, get in touch with us at NRG Networking to join the fastest growing networking group in the country.