It’s not easy being a small business, one that only has one person—you—to fall back on. You don’t have the resources that the big companies have, neither the budget nor the time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get ahead in the business world. You just have to work a little bit harder. When it comes to networking, you should always be in that frame of mind, ready to jump on any and all opportunities that come your way.
You do a lot of things on a daily basis that is not connected to your business. You go to the shops, you speak with people, and so on. While you shouldn’t be forcing a business relationship where they really don’t exist, you should be keeping an eye on any potential business dealings. You never know where your next opportunity might come to. Sitting next to a person on a flight or in a bar is as good a place as any to further your business. You just have to have your eyes open and be ready to spot them when they present themselves.
Always Being Ready
Even if you’re not able to have a full on conversation with a person, you can still make them remember your business. If you’re not carrying business cards around with you then, well, why not? They’re cheap and effective and can be handed out with a second thought to people who might one day take your business to the next level. As well as business cards, logo pens are a fun, cost-efficient way to ensure your name works its way into the life of people who might be able to help you. You never know how a stranger might help you, so always be ready!
Because you lack the resources to network on a large scale, trade shows will be one of your best resources. This will bring together everyone who you might want to meet all under one roof, and for the simple task of attending the trade show, you’ll be able to talk with all of them! Of course, at trade shows you’ll really be networking. If you go to a trade show and leave without having made any leads, you can consider it a failure.
We’re not really conditioned to see the world this way, but there are opportunities everywhere. Networking isn’t just a matter of talking to people about your venture and hoping they’re interested; you can also think bigger, look at the grander opportunities that might be available in your town or online. If you think something might work, reach out—you never know where it might take you.
Following Up Leads
Of course, all your networking will be of no use if you don’t properly follow up your leads. It’s all about making sure something comes from all your hard work, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and chat with someone who you’ve only met once.