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.