As a small business owner, you may be having some difficulty implementing a networking strategy that works for you and your business. Developing a strategy that works specifically for your business can be even harder. Maybe you didn’t realize the importance of networking when you were starting your business? Maybe you simply don’t know where or how to get started?
Whatever your small business networking struggles may be, I hope these tips will help to get you back on the right track:
- Find a group that fits your needs.
You may join several different groups for different reasons based on your business goals and networking strategy. For instance, a business to business, or B2B, group may help you in trading or selling business services with fellow producers. Another idea is to seek out an industry specific group. Membership or participation within your industry is a great way to learn and develop job specific skills, but also an opportunity to develop your referral partner pipeline.
- Keep it local.
A great place to start is your local Chamber of Commerce. In addition to getting you in touch with fellow small business owners or networking groups, they have many resources and opportunities you should take advantage of. Check out their calendar of community events, business promotion tools, and benefits of membership.
Click here to check out the Nashville Chamber of Commerce website.
- Find (or make) a personal connection.
While it’s important to have your elevator speech ready to deliver on demand, it’s equally important to develop your improvisation skills. The challenge of networking is the uncertainty of the human factor – what are people going to say, how are you going to react, and what is the underlying motive behind attendance at an event? Instead of overthinking your performance at an event, just be you. Make a genuine connection with fellow attendees and you will find people to connect with.
- Host or co-sponsor an event.
Not finding a networking group or events to suit your business needs? Host or co-sponsor your own networking event! As a headlining sponsor, this is a great way to get your name out there and foster business relationships and opportunities suitable to your needs. Remember though, in business you have to give to get, so make sure there is equal benefit of attendance for all attendees.
As a leader in small business strategy and development, Piccolo Marketing is here for you! Give us a call at 615-348-7768 to get started on developing and implementing an effective networking strategy.