Leon Valley Area
Chamber Of Commerce
Monthly Networking

Make Networking Events Successful for your Business

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Attend

- By Fiona MacKay Young -
  • Make new connections, meet new people. The more people you meet, the more referrals you are likely to get and most successful businesses are built on referrals. It’s not what you know but who you know that counts …or to be more precise, it’s not even who you know, but who knows you that really counts!

  • Experience the networking phenomenon and get into the swing of things. It’s the cool thing to do! Networking is the “in” way to do business, whether locally or online.

  • Identify potential new clients & customers, and those who can refer you to them. By getting out there and talking to people you can come up with totally new ideas for potential clients, targets markets you hadn’t thought of and people who are willing to let you use their name to get you through the door.

  • Discover how people in other businesses are getting business, and adapt it to your own. By hearing how other people operate, you can get great ideas for changes, expansions even new directions for your own business. They don’t have to be competitors to be a source of inspiration – often they can be in completely different businesses.

  • Get ideas for potential joint ventures and joint venture partners. Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures can be very successful for your business. By meeting lots of people you hear and come up with new ideas for how you can work with others, how your business can be complementary to another in a way you had not thought of before. Open you mind to alliances and you’ll be surprised how many opportunities you can find.

  • Find new products and services your have been looking for. Need an accountant, marketer, web designer? Need insurance, a new vehicle, a warehouse? Whatever you are looking for, if you network enough the chances are you will find someone who can provide what you’re looking for, or give you a referral to someone else who can.

  • Practice your 30 second introduction. Most entrepreneurs know about being able to present their business effectively in 30 seconds, but most make a miserable job of actually doing it! Develop your “Elevator Speech”, practice it, then get out there and deliver it to a few new contacts. If they immediately understand what you do and ask questions, you’ve got a winner. If not .. back to the drawing board.

  • Find others who’ve been in business longer and are willing to share how they did it, giving you valuable tips. Successful business people are usually secure enough to be willing to share tips as to how they got where they are. Listen and learn. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel!

  • Make great new friends who have the entrepreneurial spirit you love. Entrepreneurs have a very different energy. If you are truly an entrepreneur in spirit yourself, you will enjoy mixing with others who are similar.

  • Perfect your “mingling” skills till it become second nature. So many people say they dislike networking, but once you become a master at the art, it becomes fun. It’s just like anything else… riding a bike wasn’t much fun when you kept falling off, but once you perfected it and could go racing down hills at top speed it became a joy. Networking can be a joy too once you’re good at it (and ANYONE can become good with enough practice).
Fiona MacKay Young is Business Startup & Career Coach. She specializes in working with individuals who are reentering the workforce either starting their own business or job hunting. She also runs a Business Networking Organization to help both groups meet the contacts they need. She also offers workshops and presentations on all aspects of Business Networking. Visit http://www.fiona-online.com for other free information. © Fiona MacKay Young 2005 You may copy, publish or distribute this document freely, on condition this tag line and information are included intact