Networking is vital to the success, growth and viability of a small business.
Editor's note: This is part one of a two part article covering the benefits, importance and technique of networking for small business owners.
Make the Most of Networking Opportunities
The small business owner is always looking for the best ways to increase sales and profits.
Online marketing is a very effective sales tool when the handler can make use of the ever expanding tools to get to the top of the list and bring potential customers to the website.
Most on-line marketing specialists including web designers, programmers, and SEO experts, recognize the value of face to face marketing; commonly defined as networking.
If handled with finesse, nothing is more effective than a face to face conversation with a prospect, an existing customer or even a competitor.
Be Discerning – Don’t Waste Your Time
Business executives attend meetings and networking sessions, participate in panel discussions, join local associations, and travel to trade shows with the objective of bringing the company’s wares to the attention of new customers, and maintaining relationships with existing customers.
The options to meet and greet are endless: chambers of commerce, trade associations, government agencies, incubators, co-working offices, plus events sponsored by realtors, attorneys, and a variety of business owners who are seeking connections.
They all provide opportunities for you to meet with other business professionals in your industry and in your market. You are enticed with food, speakers, and beverages.
There are more options than there are hours in a working week. You must be selective. You can undoubtedly use these networking opportunities to further your branding, but you have to be selective in the use of your time.
Next- The size of the group and Being Prepared
About the author
Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has been facilitating workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation for the past 3 years. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami.She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.