Networking for Growth

Four women sitting in office discussing project
iStock.com/kate_sept2004

Networking for entrepreneurs and small business owners is happening all over, offering opportunities to share and learn more about the people you want to work with. Before you go to that next networking event, consider the following tips:

  1. Be Prepared: Think about who you want to meet at the event. Have a plan, and ask others who will be at the same event to help you meet the people on your list. Think about what you want to say. You’ll find tips on how to develop an elevator pitch at Business Know How.
  2. Be Easy to Talk to: Listen to what others have to say. Find connections to what they are interested in.  Have a positive, upbeat attitude. Wait for the right opening to enter into others’ conversations.
  3. Pay Attention to What Emerges: Be open to learning what possible opportunity exists to collaborate, offer support and learn in every conversation.
  4. Be Ready to Follow Up: Once you’ve made a connection, don’t lose it. Phone or e-mail promising contacts the following day. If you promise to provide something, do it. Subscribe to their newsletter or invite them to receive yours.
  5. Making the Most of Social Media: Successful social networking demands professionalism as well as a heightened sense of self-awareness and value. Get tips on how to make your small business social media savvy.
  6. Stay Connected: Sign up for their newsletter.

Remember there are extablished and emerging networking organizations throughout Washington as well as groups near you to support you with your business. The Department of Commerce brought toghether the Small Business Resiliency Network which are nonprofit organizations throughout WA that are there to assist your business and connect you to resources your need.   These and many other groups are there to support your business success, including GSBA , Tri-Cities Hispanic Chambers of CommerceAsian Pacific American Aassociations and Tabor 100.   To find the right resource partner for your specific needs check out the Resource Navigator.

Spending time getting to know business owners in your industry and in your community will support you in your business and grow your connections to resources, markets, new colleagues and partners.