Networking plays a very important part in an entrepreneur’s journey. It not only increases their chances of meeting like-minded people with similar ideas and a common platform to brainstorm, but also one can end up with friends for a lifetime.
Attending networking events and being part of professional meet-up groups have a lot of benefits. They often lead to business opportunities that one may not have come across already, with other entrepreneurs and investors also being a part of the event. They help boost their confidence since they require to liaise with people across various cultures, lifestyles and professional backgrounds.
Industry experts, who are more than happy to part with their knowledge, frequently attend networking events; hence it’s a great place to find mentorship. Help with leads is another big advantage of networking; of course, building a healthy rapport with connections across the industry is always a bonus of this exercise.
For the most part, networking is a knack that usually people inclined towards starting a business of their own naturally have; however, others need a slight push to get out of their comfort zone to practice it. While there are various ways of networking,
Let’s look at some of the most important and useful ones that every entrepreneur should have bookmarked.
Casual networking events: These are informal monthly events where professionals from various industries are invited. They usually have a few guest speakers as well on the invitee list who talk about a current scenario in terms of business innovation, technology etc. This is a great setting for entrepreneurs to meet prospective clients as well investors.
Community service events: Just like the name suggests, this group is for charitable projects. Some of the well-known clubs are Rotary International and Lion’s club that cater to people who are highly inclined towards community service.
Social Media: If you are a keyboard warrior and have not yet managed to make it to a physical networking event, social media is a great to place to start. You can use hashtags to find and join conversations relevant to your industry. Other ways of creating a conversation and building contacts online are responding to tweets, commenting, liking via Facebook and Instagram as well.
Professional meet-ups: These professional meet-ups are organized at a much larger scale than a casual networking event; and, hence, a better opportunity of meeting industry leaders. They are often clubbed in with a conference format.
Leads group: The main goal of this group is referrals. It’s a structured setting that is limited to one profession per industry, so this can mean waiting to join the group until a position for your industry becomes vacant. However, once you become a part of it, the benefits are innumerable with the kind of referrals available here. When joining new, things to keep in mind are building trust amongst other members and proving your efficiency with sales numbers.