Your Guide to Small Business Networking

February 8, 2023

We cannot overemphasize the importance of using networking for businesses at all levels of growth. Why is this kind of business activity important, and why should you invest time and effort in doing it?

It is through networking that you meet mentors, locate customers, and find inspiration to expand your small business. Below is our quick guide you can follow to make sure you come prepared.

Research well before networking.

By doing some preliminary research, you can transform a mediocre networking encounter into a fantastic one.

If you are going to a networking event, look at the guest list and see how media organizations and other businesses covered past events on social media.

This kind of research can give you a taste of the event in advance and can assist with decisions on what to wear and what to take with you.

Will a phone and a laptop suffice, or will you need a notebook? You can bring business cards and some flyers.

Keep in mind what you have to offer.

Other than what you can gain, consider what you can offer others in return. Who are you as a unique participant in this event?

You could be able to help people by imparting your expert knowledge, offering a novel viewpoint on a problem they are facing in business, or by introducing them to contacts who may be able to assist them even if you are unable to. 

You are more likely to forge genuine and long-lasting friendships if you approach networking as a quid pro quo situation instead of an opportunity to market yourself. People who are kind and really interested in what others have to say stick in everyone’s memory. The ones who merely demand things? Not really.

Know the benefits of networking.

It is the benefits you reap from something that inspire your efforts. Below are a few benefits your business can gain from networking:

BENEFIT 1: Build brand awareness

Making networking connections is a good idea because it increases your chance of being recommended or referred to a larger network of people.

Breaking the ice can also be made simpler by knowing your objectives. Try exchanging notes with someone you have just met about what you hope to gain from a networking event; chances are, before long, you will be able to talk openly about your professional experiences and how you wound up there.

BENEFIT 2: Sales opportunities

Although networking gatherings are not often about sales prospects, the ideal connections may bring you some new clients.

Find associates

You can improve your small business by finding good local suppliers, retailers, or logistical partners through networking, and the reverse is also true.

Meet a mentor

Networking could be your approach to discovering a business mentoring connection if you are just starting out or if you are a sole proprietor who would benefit from a source of advice for work-related issues.

Find networking opportunities

Whenever an opportunity for networking arises (which is often), make good use of it. Here are some settings and events that give you a chance to use your networking skills:

  • Informational interviews
  • Social media

Product packaging is a fantastic way to help lead people to your social media accounts. Elegant custom packaging is a great tool for visual engagement. Customize your packaging further by adding QR codes that your customers can scan to connect to your socials.

  • Speed networking
  • Conferences

Avoid networking hindrances

We understand if you are the silent type. Not everyone enjoys meeting new people, and you can expect that there will be many attendees at any event who share this opinion. Do not let fear deny you the chance to network and grow your business.

You do not have to do networking in person. The internet is a global platform where you can meet new people and initiate conversations. The internet comes in handy whenever you are too busy to head off to a networking event or if the local atmosphere is too remote.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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