Innovative Networking Ideas for Small Business
Small Business Networking for Beginners
Networking is a socioeconomic business activity in which businesses(small, medium and large) and entrepreneurs meet to create synergy, identify, produce and take action regarding business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for joint business ventures.
In stretching this definition further, a small business network is setup with the aim of assisting small business owners create linkages and common platforms with other managers and entrepreneurs, in order to pursue similar business interests.
Business networking can be said to be an offshoot of calls made by advocacy and equal rights groups in the 1950s, in the USA, advising that marginalized groups such as women and people of color come together to seek ways of protecting their interests and advancing their causes.
From the late twentieth century, the concept behind most ideas for small business networking, especially for new businesses, has been advanced as helping businesses and ventures build and enlarge their social and human capital. More formal business network models have been and are being built, which present their registered members the platform to creating business platforms and making business opportunity, which would ultimately lead to transactions being sealed.
Benefits and Importance of Networking Ideas for Small Business
A number of schools of thought contend that business networking is a more cost-effective means of sourcing new business opportunities than more traditional methods like advertising and public relations.
This is because business networking is a less expensive activity which entails deploying the nuance of human interaction and goodwill than the spending of physical cash or funds. Effective business networking ideas, will consequently, link together people who, on the basis of relationship and trust, stand as models of media advertisement for one another.
The following tips can guide the act and art of popular business networking for small business promotion:
NETWORKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: LIST OF TOP NETWORKING IDEAS FOR OLD AND NEW BUSINESSES
Networking is about putting your genuine, best foot forward
Small business marketing professionals must bear in mind that the success of any networking effort lies in being real and straightforward with your business goals and objectives, speaking in clear terms while building trust in relationships. In extension, the small business must view networking as a symbiotic relationship with others, where one treats others, as one would like to be treated.
Set goal, aims and objectives for participating in a business network
It is important for the small business to have a clearly defined purpose for partaking in a business network. A goal engenders focus and cuts out irrelevancies, especially when the small business had drawn up a business plan that clearly states its short, medium and long term goals. Such goals also help the small business decide which groups to join; be they networks for sourcing contacts, networks for learning or those for making sales.
Participate in as many interest groups as possible
This tip, although a bit contradictory, actually stems from the previous tip. The small business, having narrowed down networking participation according to goals, should then attend as many networking groups that offer knowledge and information in whatever desirable area(s).
Try to pose questions that are open-ended in your networking discussions.
The small business must maximize the time spent at network gatherings by asking questions that scrutinize the processes, methods and means as which is different from questions that attract a straight yes or no answer. This pattern of questioning makes discussion educating, challenges the norm and gives everyone an opportunity to contribute to the discourse.
Achieve a reputation for making positive contribution.
The small business must approach the networking forum and events, with a mindset of making available whatever expertise it possesses. This disposition will position the small business as strong and effective resource/storehouse, such that people become more inclined to turn to the small business for unique ideas, contacts and referrals and in transacting deals.
Have in place an excellent follow-up system and embrace being proactive.
The small business, having achieved success within a business networking event and meeting, achieved set out goals and objectives, must now institute an efficient and effective follow-up template for contacts and referrals sourced. This ensures that relationships are not only started but maintained, especially for record keeping purposes. Businesses can suggest a physical meeting, especially when connections are made with groups and people via creative social networking ideas for small business.
Although increased sales is the natural end goal for the small business, participation in business networking should not be all about selling or sealing deals/transactions. The small business must find and develop relationships with people who it can assist and who can help it.
When the small business in a networking group can successfully detach itself from the emphasis put on selling, it will actually improve its ability to build relationships, especially as a long term goal. Sales will follow, as a consequence.