How To: Networking

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Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova via Unsplash

Kirsty Moody investigates Networking and how this can be used for your business.

Networking is something smaller businesses should definitely make the most of. Some networking events cost money and this can sometimes be off-putting, however networking can be used without the added costs. Networking is a way of connecting with other individuals or companies who have similar interests to you. It is a great way of speaking about your business and learning about others.

Networking: “interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.”

Anyone can do the simplest networking without even realising. From speaking to people in the local area or online, networking is not only a way to expand your business, but allows you to meet people who can give you new ideas, but also build friendships and loyalties.

Networking is recommended to all business, it helps establish a reputation with new customers who are unaware of your business. From social media posts, to going to the networking events, these are just a few ways to get you started on networking.

Here is our very easy and simple guide on how to network:

  1. Interact with other business owners around you. Showing an interest in their business will expand your knowledge on the area. Providing the opportunity for you to promote your business within events that are held in other stores.
  1. Build relationships and promote other businesses and in return they will promote you. Whether that’s telling a customer about another local business or having business cards or posters. It’s a quick way of promoting someone else as well as yourself. Create flyers or posters that you can put up around your local area.
  1. Hand out business cards to a variety of different people. As well as having your business cards in your own shop and maybe a few others, try handing them out on the street or even on social media, get people talking about what your shop has to offer.
  1. Keep in contact with the people you’ve already made connections with. Don’t forget about the people who helped you get to where you are, whether that was from them pushing your business to customers, keep talking to them about how your business is going. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help or offer yours.
  1. Don’t just focus on social Speaking to people about your business helps promote yourself to people who don’t use online platforms. Use other people to promote your business by telling their friends and family as well. More people speaking about your business will promote it. Social media is a great tool but it depends on who you’re targeting, some people may not realise you use social media so keep doing word of mouth, handing out business cards, using posters.
  1. Target the right people. Always have in mind your typical customer and target those people. If you don’t know who your target customer is, think about who you want to buy your stuff and create the ideal customer in your head.
  1. Speak to professionals in similar work fields. Is there anyone near you doing the same thing as you? Speak to them, ask them how they managed it, ask them to share their experiences, what have they done in their business which would work well in yours.
  1. Use social media to interact with potential clients. A lot of your customers are using social media so use it to target them. Create a Facebook page or an Instagram account to showcase what your business has to offer. Social media is good for creating engagement with your audience.

We found a few events which you could attend to network:

The Business Networking Show 2017
TBNS is classed as the biggest networking event of the year, from their own website they give three reasons as to why you should attend “#TBNS2017”
1) Expand your network
2)discover products and services
3)see keynotes and workshops.
For more information visit their website to see if this would work for you.

Chorley Tweetup Networking
If you are based in or around Chorley, the Chorley Tweetup is a great way to meet other local businessmen to see what they are doing and how you can improve your business, they are also great at retweeting your tweets that you have tagged them in to improve your following and to become more well known. Check out their twitter and book on.

Unique Ladies Networking
A great event for the lovely ladies who work so hard is the unique ladies network which meets in Bolton and Manchester on the second and third Fridays. Some of these events are even held in Preston and with amazing reviews from other business women, we recommend you check out their Facebook and see if its right for you.

Don’t forget the smallest of events could mean the most for your company.

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