The biggest challenge for any business starting out is to get visible. How can they raise their brand awareness, and put across their value proposition to the people that matter? Marketing programs are important, but they can take some time to connect with the marketplace. Most business owners want to know how to get something going right now.
Networking can pay dividends – and rather quickly.
The important thing is how you approach it. You could spend a lot of money on breakfasts and lunches, hearing people speak – but not getting enough contacts through it. Here are some ideas to help:
- Focus on events where the primary purpose is to meet other business people.
- Have a 30 second/60 second introduction prepared – Who are you, what does your business do, who are you looking to meet? (The person you meet might not be a prospect – but their friend might be)
- Ask the same questions of each person you meet? Remember, networking is a two-way conversation.
- Go to at least a couple of different events. These could be in different parts of town, or one could be community-focussed, while another could be industry-relevant.
- Go several times to get to know people and be known.
- Now leverage your new connections – Knowing these other people help you to connect people you meet with them. Nothing brings business like bringing business to the table. The more connections you make like this, the more people will want to return the favour.
- Favour networking events with structure, such as BNI, or the Victorian Chamber’s Fast Forward events.
Nothing builds business more than getting everyone to start talking about you.
If you need any help with this, don’t hesitate to get in contact us.
– Blog by Paul Ostaff