5 networking tips for your small business

1. Find out what networking can do for your business
If you face a networking opportunity knowing what you intend to get out of it, you are more likely to get the desired results and want to repeat the experience. Not sure what your goals are? Here are some examples of how networking can help your business:

Find partners
Thanks to networking it is possible to discover excellent suppliers, vendors or local logistics partners that can grow your small company, and vice versa.

Meet a mentor
If you are starting out, or if you are an individual entrepreneur who would benefit from having a person to consult with for business matters, networking could be the ideal way to establish a business mentoring relationship .

Increase sales
Networking events do not have the primary purpose of offering sales opportunities, but in some cases they can certainly allow you to find new customers.

Make the brand known
If you make your name known, your business is more likely to be recommended or recommended to a wider network of people, and this is another good reason to establish networking relationships.

Awareness of goals can also make it easier to break the ice. In fact, if you try to talk to a person you have just known about what you would like to get from a networking event, it is very likely that you will soon find yourself freely chatting about your business and the reason that led you to participate in the event.

2. Remember what you have to offer
When you attend a networking event, don’t just think about the potential benefits for you but also consider what you can give to others in return. For example, you could have specific knowledge to share with your interlocutors, you could offer them a new point of view regarding a difficulty inherent in their business, or you could let them know people who can help them, even if you can’t do it yourself.

If you think of networking as a mutual exchange instead of an opportunity for self-promotion, it will be easier to establish authentic and lasting connections. Everyone remembers people who make themselves useful and show interest in what they have to say. Those who just ask questions? Not so much.

3. Prepare yourself before networking
Just a little preparation is needed to turn your networking experience into an extraordinary opportunity.

If you are planning to participate in a networking event, examine the guest list and check the information on social media regarding previous events. In this way you will have an idea of ​​the experience that awaits you and you can also decide, for example, how to dress and what to bring with you: should you bring your laptop, or will your mobile phone and a Notebook be enough ?

Speaking of preparation, we recommend that you have several updated Business Cards on hand to distribute as there is no networking opportunity where it is not appropriate to exchange business cards. In addition to using them to share your data, you can double use them by writing behind them, for example, the applications or services that you recommend to your new contacts.

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