Networking is a key ingredient of success for all business owners and even more so in the case of business owners.
Small business owners can use networking as a means to form relationships with others in the same or related fields in order to expand their business’ ability to find new customers, clients or partners. Networking is a great way to identify the best practices used in the business. Learning from what others do is a valuable strategy for all businesses. By regularly networking and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, you add to your sense of self-confidence every time you do well. Networking can open the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.
While there are tonnes of advantages of networking, the process in itself is considered an art. It is also something which most small business owners are not exactly adept at. Here are some of the challenges they face while networking –
- If you are uncomfortable while approaching a person without any confidence, it pretty much shows in your body language and makes a bad first impression.
- People often seem to be there just to get clients and have no real interest in getting to know others or help them with their goals. So, it comes across as desperation for making a buck. That doesn’t look good nor does it indicate any real desire to build relationships.
- Finding the right people to connect with can be a real challenge. It will take you literally hours to comb through databases (online or offline) and identify the right people.
- Getting introductions, especially to industry leaders and thinkers can be difficult if you are just starting out.
All of these challenges can be worked out by practice and also by shifting to a new method of networking – that’s right, virtual networking is the way to go!
By joining specialised online networking platforms like CommunityZapp you will be able to reap the benefits of networking in the comfort of your home.
On this platform, you will be able to meet other business owners as well as other potential clients. CommunityZapp has many users joining every day thereby increasing your chances of meeting new people and widening your network. The platform also has a deep search feature which enables you to find people from a specific city, industry, specialisation, or interests to connect with.
Since the platform’s got many other communities (spirituality, tech enthusiasts, yoga practitioners, event managers etc), you can also network with people from related industries. You might even get a chance to learn a thing or two from the dozens of experienced business owners. It is also possible to connect directly with industry leaders and find mentors on the platform.
If you still do wish to network the conventional way then here are a few tips to help you make the most out of any networking event by leveraging the features on CommunityZapp –
- Dress to impress- Whichever outfit you choose, make sure that its something professional that will definitely help in making a good first impression. Always keep in mind that you should be comfortable in what you wear as that can help to exude confidence. Unsure about what to wear, the colour combinations or unfamiliar with the fashion jargon? Just post a query on the discussion board on the platform and get tried and tested tips from fellow business owners in your community.
- Make an effective introduction- Remember the basics, always make eye contact while speaking and smile often. You will come off as someone who is genuinely interested in meeting the other person. If you want to meet a specific person or speaker at a networking event, just ask one of your fellow community members make an introduction and initiate conversation after that
- Listen first, then speak- Let the other person speak first! Most people don’t realize this, but the person who talks about themselves first is only being half listened to. By asking the other person questions first, they’ll be much more relaxed and focused when the conversation turns to you. Additionally, if you want some ideas for talking points about industry trends or the latest developments, stay updated through the newsfeeds of CommunityZapp platform.
- Find a mentor- Mentors are a valuable resource for networking and building contacts. Thanks to CommunityZapp’s filters, your search for a mentor by your city or area of interest and easily build a personal relationship.
As a business owner, networking plays an important role in expanding your user base as well as getting acquainted with fellow business owners.
So come, join other small business owners on CommunityZapp to expand your contacts as well as potential clients today!