For many people networking can seem a daunting and time-consuming thing. We have all been busy in the office and the thought of spending a couple of hours mingling with strangers hasn’t seemed a top priority. However, networking is key to business. For a new business to have opportunities in the future, to grow and meet all its aims, it must have some form of networking. This way, the opportunities become unlimited. Although, one thing is for sure that when done for the first time, networking can seem challenging. To excel, you can follow some of our top tips.
1. Make sure that you know your market fully
You must know where your business has the most clients so you can focus more on the events which are occurring at that place. If all your clients are mainly based in London, is it worth your time and money going to local events near to the office in Birmingham, for example?
2. Use a bit of trial and error
There are many different types of networking events and you need to find the ones that best suit both you and your business. From breakfast and lunch events, evening dinner clubs, to speed dating style networking there are many events that can fit around your business needs and your personal preference.
There will, of course, be some events that might not turn out too well but that’s nothing to worry about because if you are new at it, you’re a destined to make mistakes. The key is to learn from them. As you keep going to events you will notice that you will slowly be able to familiarise the type of events that suit your business and the ones that don’t work for you. This way you can also make fewer errors and save yourself time by only being at the ones more suitable for you.
3. Don’t forget the business cards
It may seem such a simple thing, but many people rush out the door and forget to bring them or if you are just starting out you may not even have any printed yet. This is something that you cannot skip out because nobody has the time to listen to your details and note them down. You as a business must make sure that you are on your A-game and represent your business in the best way.
4. Be patient
Networking isn’t instant. If you are going to gain leads and build connections with potential clients, then you must remember to be patient and that these things take time. Just because you attended one event and didn’t come away with a lead doesn’t mean it failed. You have started to build a relationship and are spreading the word about your business.
Networking can be beneficial in other ways too. Being able to speak to people in different industries and finding commonalities and how they tackle challenges can be highly valuable to your business too.