For businesses of all shapes and sizes, networking should be a key part of the marketing plan. The fact is that when it comes to building connections in your local area, networking is vital, which means that it is important that you make it a part of your schedule from the get-go.
Of course, as someone who is new to business, the chances are that you have never attended a networking event before, which means that you will, no doubt, want to ensure that you make a good first impression. The fact is that in business, first impressions count and are formed within the first few minutes of meeting someone, so getting it right from the start is vital.
The question is, of course, how can you go about doing that? What does it take to make a great first impression when meeting other local entrepreneurs?
It might be easier said than done to ooze confidence when you are nervous about networking and have never done it before, but it’s just a case of faking it until you make it. The fact is that when it comes to first impressions, there is no ‘do over’ button, so you need to ensure that the first impression you make is a good one. You want to come across as someone who has been to networking events a thousand times before and is proud of their business, instead of someone who is nervous about attending and meeting people. Smile, be friendly, and chat to whoever comes your way – don’t mention that you are feeling nervous or unsure, act like you are comfortable and confident.
When it comes to making a good first impression, professionalism is key. What this means is presenting yourself and your business in a professional way. If another business owner asks for your contact details, for instance, you don’t want to have to scribble them down on a scrap piece of paper – you want to be able to hand them a professional looking business card from a professional printing service, you can find various printing services to choose from online. Make sure that your business card design matches your company style and incorporates the logo, as well as your contact details. If you come across professional, then you are more likely to be taken seriously as a business owner, making mastering professionalism even more important.
Know your worth
One of the most important things that you can do as a business owner is know your worth. Just because your business is not as big as many other local companies, that does not mean that it is not worthwhile. Never go into a networking event feeling intimidated by the other businesses that are there, always go in feeling confident in your business and what it has to offer. Know your worth as a business owner, and you will find that you will do much better for yourself and your brand when networking.
Networking as a new business owner is not always an easy task, as the process can be somewhat stressful. However, if you take note of the tips and advice above and implement them in how you choose to network, then you can ensure that you make a great first impression.