The Power of Networking
So here are a few tips on how to network effectively:Networking is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing your business can undertake, so for small businesses without generous advertising budgets networking should be a high priority on your marketing plan. Networking can be a great source for new and potential customers, it can lift your profile and brand awareness.
- Decide which network groups or opportunities are right for you. In Horsham there are a couple of avenues to consider depending on your interests.
- Business Horsham is a network of local businesses that provide a number of training and network events throughout the year and hold monthly meetings (annual membership from $250).
- Business related training event or seminars run by organisations such as Watts Price & Associates, Wimmera HUB or The Wimmera Business Centre.
- Try rubbing shoulders with other business owners at gala dinners, award evenings and other sponsored events.
- Join community based groups such as Lions, Apex or various sports clubs or associated organisations.
- Smile and be nice to everyone because in small communities business circles can be very small.
- Ensure you have a good elevator pitch to capture people’s interest as you may only get one chance to introduce yourself well.
- Have a set goal in mind as this will help you stay focused. E.g. I wish to find 1 strategic partner and 2 new clients from this event or learn about ‘X’.
- Eat and especially drink in moderation. Too many networking opportunities have been blown as the result of one too many drinks!
- Politely join a group: ‘May I join you?’ works well.
- Be an active listener
- Ask people questions about their businesses, their challenges and their successes
- If you exchange business cards jot a few notes as a reminder on the reverse so you can remember them and their key issues when you contact them again.
- Honour any commitments you make regarding follow up meetings, calls or emails.
Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants
The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.