Business Networking

Networking should be a key strategy in building your online business. Why? Because networking is an effective way of prospecting customers and seeking out people who can help your business grow. It is an effective and inexpensive way to grow your business by meeting the key people who could become your clients, suppliers and support systems. However, it also entails going out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

An established business has the luxury of satisfied customers spreading the word about the business. Until your business is self-sustaining, you need to start opening your mouth, spreading the word about your venture to all your friends, relatives, acquaintances, and even strangers.

Many start-up entrepreneurs have a hard time approaching other people – particularly strangers – about their business. It may be the fear of speaking out to a total stranger, or the fear of coming on too strong or aggressive. Others let their insecurities take the better or them, while some people fail to network simply because of laziness. As a result, many formal gatherings and social situations become lost opportunities to spread the word about their business.

Over the weekend, I was invited to a BBQ where I didn’t know many people. I started talking with the person sitting next to me, and later asked him what he did for a living. He tells me about his business, and then I tell him a bit about my e-commerce company. He asked if I had a card (I never give out a card unless someone asks for it, but I always make sure I carry them with me!), and we continued to talk.. Others heard us talking and joined in the conversation as well. By the end of the day, everyone there knew what I did for a living! Will it lead to future business? It’s too soon to tell, but it can’t hurt.

And with that, I’m off to another networking event.. 😀

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