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How to network as a small business

Networking is the building of professional connections, contacts, and relationships between people in a similar sector. For small business owners, this is a significant tool in your arsenal for building your offering and reputation.


When done well, you can establish your brand, better your products, broaden your customer base, and learn new skills. But how do you network effectively to reap the rewards for your small business?


Prepare a pitch

You must be able to recall significant statistics and facts about your business at a moment’s notice. Prepare one or two lines about your business in advance, so you won’t stumble over your words while you’re nervous. This will show that you know your business and sector well, emphasising your professional ability.


However, there’s nothing so tedious as a recited sales pitch, so your delivery shouldn’t sound rehearsed!


Attend networking events

Put your pitch to the test by attending networking events. Find out about conferences, exhibitions, and festivals in your sector and go to them frequently. Before attending, do your professional research on others who will be there, so you’re prepared and won’t be caught off guard.


Remember to make a good first impression by creating an interesting stand with quality banners that signal your brand and make you memorable. Eventually, you’ll become a regular which is crucial to building a strong reputation and presence in your specialism.


Learn etiquette

While making a new contact or acquaintance, you should demonstrate an equal interest in their enterprise. Find out whether you have anything in common to gauge how your business relationship might work.


While wrapping up any meeting or interaction, prepare contact details or business cards to swap so that you can continue to build a connection.


A day or two later, send a follow-up email or message to establish an open channel of communication. This way, you won’t be so easily forgotten and you’ll be able to maintain a rapport.


Join business groups

Building these face-to-face connections will always be useful but utilising online networking prospects is just as valuable.


Facebook business groups and LinkedIn connections offer a unique way to reach people and businesses that you wouldn’t normally come across. Make the most of these opportunities and prepare some material to post publicly that will boost your reputation in your field.


Likewise, social media is an accessible way for businesses to interact and stay up to date with industry goings-on.


Sponsor local events

Although online sales and marketing are key, small businesses often receive a lot of custom in the local community.


With so many different kinds of festivals and events to choose from, sponsor one that is both popular and aligns with your business values.



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