David JC Cutler, it is never too early to begin engaging in the networking process as an entrepreneur. Robust businesses do not materialize out of thin air. Even if you work your socks off you may not see the results you desire if you have not been able to establish them. A strong professional network to help it off the ground. In the future too, you may not be able to scale as much as you would desire without the collective expertise of a diverse network of contacts. That you have taken the time to curate. Here are some tips for you to get out there and start making connections today.
Networking Tips by David JC Cutler to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Meet and Greet at Networking Events
You must visit every hub of activity within your business niche so that you can forge valuable connections. Events, conferences, exhibitions, and also other activities are perfect for small business owners to network. With more established players as well as their peers from the community and beyond. You should attend as many of these events as possible and get your name out. Start with gatherings hosted by the local chamber of commerce or other business collectives, societies, and associations.
Know What You Want
Networking for the sake of it can get boring and unproductive quite fast. To see dividends from the efforts you put into the networking process. You must know what you are looking to achieve. Draft out a rough but clear enough agenda before attending any event. This would highlight what you want to achieve at the event, whether it is making a defined number of connections. To get advice in a particular area of operations or to connect to the community and build goodwill and reputation. Having this agenda in mind will help you engage more productively.
Become a Conversationalist
Not all startup founders are created equal. You’re not expected to be an out-and-out extrovert just because you own a business. However, business tycoon David JC Cutler firmly believes that you will not have much of a shot at success. If you cannot articulate your strong points. And convey the things you want to put out in your networking efforts. This is why learning the art of conversation is a must, and there is no better way to do it than with practice.
Expect the first several encounters to be clumsy and awkward, but you will find your confidence growing with each one. An easy way to get started is to look for effective icebreakers, be it personal compliments or discussions. About the event, your community, their work, developments in the business world, or mutual interests. If you ever feel like it is taking a toll on you, take a breather. Head out for some fresh air, collect your thoughts, and also try again.
With these tips, you will be able to kick start your professional network that will help take your business to the next level. That said establishing a professional connection is no good if you do not put in the effort to follow-up and keep the relationship going. Reach out to them a few times a year, whether it is out of the blue with a news story to discuss or an event invite, or on occasions where wishing is appropriate. Remember, a network is only as good as the effort you take in maintaining it.