Becoming a success requires more than developing a great product. Until people hear about you and what your company has to offer, all the wonderful ideas in the world will accomplish very little. That’s why networking is so important for your start-up. Here are some of the ways that getting out there and meeting new people will allow the word to spread and forge relationships that are mutually supportive in the years to come:
Creating Informal Connections
A 2016 study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit confirmed what many business professionals have known for years. The study indicated that up to 78% of entrepreneurs confirmed that it was through forging relationships with others in the business community that they were able to get their enterprises off the ground and reach profitability sooner rather than later.
Attending Local Events
Once upon a time, this type of networking was limited to events sponsored by business councils, chambers of commerce, and industry conventions. Now, even today, those opportunities remain as important ways to get to know people and exchange information that could benefit both parties. Imagine what could happen if you choose to join a local business council and attend some of the mixers. The odds are quite good that some of those in attendance will have need of your services or know someone who does. In turn, you may find that something offered by another attendee would help you with your business venture.
Where to Hold Meetings
At some point, you’ll need space to meet with someone who is interested in doing business with you. For many who have start-ups running out of their homes, that can prove to be a major issue. While most of your work is done in a home office, that’s not the best place to see a potential client. Securing virtual/flexible office space is your answer. Along with providing you with a prestigious address for your mail to go, these offices have conference rooms that are ideal for your meetings and give off a greater sense of professionalism to prospective clients. The setting reinforces how seriously you take your business and that you know how to manage projects responsibly.
The Internet and Making Connections
Your effort to create casual connections is not limited to these kinds of events. Consider what building a strong presence on the Internet would do in terms of bringing name recognition to you and your brand. It’s worth the time and effort to create social media accounts and use them to connect with people in your community and the industry associated with business.
Don’t overlook the importance of joining message boards and social media groups. These allow you to participate in ongoing conversations and develop relationships with the others who participate regularly. You may learn something important from another participant that will take your venture to a new level. Some of what you’ve learned along the way may prove helpful for someone else. Continuing to expand your network in this manner ultimately provides a reputation as someone who is intelligent, resourceful, and worth knowing.
While you are making connections with other entrepreneurs and business professionals, your online presence has the potential to attract clients and build a steady following. Keep your social media pages green by posting something new at least a couple of times each week. Use them to link back to your landing pages, websites, or outlets where your products are stored. Even links back to posts on your blog that customers will find useful builds your reputation. You’ll find that prospects become customers who in turn share those posts with their friends. The result is an expanding network of customers who decide they like what you have to offer.
Take stock of how you network today. What areas could stand some improvement? Perhaps you need to attend more events like mixers and business council cocktail parties. Maybe it’s time to talk with the team at Agile Offices and make use of their meeting rooms and other amenities from time to time. Always look to improve on what you are already doing and those networking efforts will pay off in a big way.