Networking offers a lot of benefits for any business, especially for startups. What’s more, networking in the early stages of your company’s life can make the beginnings a lot easier than they usually tend to be.
Networking is useful as it:
- Connects you to other small business owners who can offer advice
- Increases communication and sales skills for business owners
- Helps you find early customers
So, how do you start getting these benefits? How do you start networking in the early days of your startup?
What You Need to Do to Start Networking Effectively
As is the case with anything in business – networking takes careful planning and consideration. If you want to be successful, you need to start by setting up the goals of your networking campaign. You only need to consider what you want to gain from it (reach new customers, find potential investors, etc.) to create your goals.
Once you’re done, you need to start building relationships in both real life and online. You can do that by setting aside some time for networking every day. That way, you won’t neglect to do it, like many startups. They rarely prioritize networking as something important, so it quickly falls by the wayside.
During your networking efforts, you should never neglect using social media. Create and complete a detailed LinkedIn profile for your business. Then start reaching out to other professionals and customers through your own LinkedIn profile. Start using Twitter and Facebook to find early customers and build a reputation for your startup.
All of these things should be enough to get you started with your networking efforts.
However, you will still need some additional pointers to be genuinely successful.
Tips for Successful Networking
- Always think globally but act locally. All the best startups focus on achieving this ‘glocalized’ success, and you should too.
- Find and meet people online and connect with them in real life. You can also experiment with new platforms that entrepreneurs tend to adopt.
- Strive to build networks instead of networking. Yes, there is a difference. Those who focus on networking tend to go out and look for people to whom they will sell their ideas. But those who strive to build networks look for prospects who will open up an entirely new network for their startup. Which one do you think is the better option?
- Build the story of your startup well and learn how to tell it well. The story itself needs to be interesting, but so does the way you’re telling it.
- Be your product or service for the simple reason that people buy people, not what they are selling.
So, there you have it, a complete roadmap for how to start networking as a startup business. By following this advice for successful networking, you are very likely to see some results early on in your business’s lifetime.
Let me know how it goes and reach out if you need more advice!