Networking your new business
So, you have taken that leap of faith and, after the planning, sleepless nights, stresses and strains and probably many arguments and feelings of self-doubt, you are suddenly a new business owner.
You may feel proud and excited; the business plan has been completed and the financial forecasting appears positive and reflects the profits from a long line of customers ready to buy into your product or service.
But just where are these hungry customers going to come from? Your website is up and running and your social media is hitting the brief, however an opportunity that can be overlooked is networking.
I have often found myself at a networking event adjusting my name tag and furtively glancing around the room desperately seeking the eye of a familiar or friendly face. Fortunately, modern technology has afforded us the opportunity to pull out our mobile comforter allowing us to scroll away the time. Even if you consider yourself an extrovert, networking events can still feel challenging if you are forced from your comfort zone.
Networking is necessary in today’s business environment and possibly a part of your marketing strategy that has not been considered. Like it or loathe it, here are some key pointers that may prove useful:
- Evaluate the quality of your connections and focus on making introductions that really matter.
- If possible, obtain the attendee list beforehand and make a list of people who may add value to you, or more importantly, who you can add value to.
- Attend events which are right for you and your business, as time management is a key factor to your success. As Benjamin Franklin once said “time is money.”
- In general, your goals when networking should be focused on mentoring and learning, and not on selling.
But be positive, confident, never feel intimidated, and aim high. Always remember that even within our technologically focused 21st century, the old adage still remains ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’.
Nwes regularly holds networking events covering a variety of sectors and subjects. Start practicing your networking techniques as your business goes from strength to strength.
Stephen Davies BA (Hons), MSc, IOEE, Nwes Business Advisor
Contact us to learn more about how Nwes can help you to start or grow your business.