Networking illustration

When you start out in business you might have the same misgivings about networking as you would about going to a party where you don’t know anybody (being stranded by the buffet with a slightly acidic Beaujolais and a sudden fascination for skewered pineapple chunks). But it’s really not that bad!

Making Networking work for you

If you have recently set up in business, networking needs to be part of your regular marketing activities, but it’s never as onerous as it first appears.

Have no fear – put you best foot forward and bear the following in mind and you won’t go wrong:

  • Networking is about meeting your peers, in business like you.
  • Don’t feel daunted – most people remember their first networking experiences and will show you the way.
  • Take oodles of business cards and any promotional/marketing leaflets with you
  • Make sure your business cards are professionally made – it shows you are serious about your business.
  • Don’t skulk – introduce yourself and find out about others in the room – if you take an interest in them you have a better chance of them taking an interest in you.
  • Don’t sell at people – let’s be clear – you are there to grow your business but people do business with people not their products – develop relationships. Remember it’s not just about the people in the room it’s about who they may know who has a need of your services.
  • Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ – A 30, 40 or 60 second introduction to your services – It needs to be concise and enticing to the listener.
  • Don’t forget to listen – you may know someone in need of a company represented in the room. A referral is a great way to forge a relationship.
  • If you have talked to someone of interest, follow it up with a ‘ good to meet you email’
  • Do arrive smartly dressed as a professional representative of your business – but don’t get bogged down in the psychology of what to wear to impress, or how people might perceive you– you’ll end up hiding in the back of your wardrobe, sobbing.
  • Be yourself!

That’s all there is to it!

A few excellent networking forums in the area are:

Ladies 4 Networking
4 Networking 
Brighouse Link
Business for Calderdale 

Get out there – Get known – Do Business!