Networking your Business…Editor
One of the biggest concerns a new business owner has is finding new clients. In the earlier article,“Spreading the Word About your Business”, we spoke about advertising on social media, in phone-books, and the likes. However, there are plenty of other ways to expand your networking horizons.
Some suggestions I’ll be writing about here will be dependent on what industry you’re in. Networking isn’t a one size fits all scenario. Hopefully you’ll find something in this post that will spark a fire in your networking conquests.
It all starts at home. What I mean here is that your likely going to tell your family and friends about the business you started. While I understand that it may feel a little strange to take money from them, they’re going to pay somebody for the service you provide. Why shouldn’t we help one another out? You already have relationships so there’s trust, and that’s half the battle when hiring someone for a job. Of course, if they’re happy with the job you did or service you provided, they’ll refer you. It’s a domino effect. Do you have business cards? Have you distributed them to your friends and family to share with people they know? It never ceases to amaze me when people don’t know that their friend/family member have a business. Don’t sell yourself short by withholding what you do.
Business cards are something every business owner should possess on them at all times. I have cards everywhere at all times. The key is to be prepared. Nowadays, you can order business cards on the cheap! There really is no reason to not have them. So, if you don’t, stop reading this now and order them! I’ll wait…
If you already had cards or are back from ordering them, I’ll move on. Go where the people are! I’m a believer in helping one another out. If there are businesses you frequent, and I’m sure there are, why not barter? Let’s say you’re in the home repair business and you shop at the independently owned supply store. It would be smart business to ask if you can display some of your business cards on their counter or a display board many stores have. You’re giving them business; why shouldn’t they help yours out? This goes for any industries. Think about the places you stop on your way to or from work. Would people that may have interest in what you have to offer shop there? Even if you get one bite, it’s worth it. after all, it’s FREE advertising.
Do you keep track of events going on in your community? Will people be there? If the answer to that is yes, it has potential. Of course you’ll want to investigate the demographic to see if it’ll be worth your time. Certain businesses fair well setting up tables to obtain new clients at fairs or expos. Some are costly while others charge a nominal fee. Do your homework and try something new.
Charity is a good thing to do whether in business or not. However, as a business owner, you can be helped while helping others. If you have a local little league field near you, you’ve probably seen banners hanging with ads on them. These business owners help to support their local team and get exposure at the same time. I’d always opt to do business with someone that gives back to their community and I’m sure I’m not alone.
I’m sure I left out some other ideas, but I’ve given you a few to run with. The best thing you can do to get new business, is treat the current clients well. If you’re fair, kind and respectful, it goes a long way and referrals are the best form of networking.