• Theo

How To Build a good Network of Contacts

When building your own business from scratch, one of the hardest parts is building up a good business network. That isn’t something that comes easily, especially if you’re starting from nothing. It’s an important way to grow your business but also ensure that you gain knowledge and expertise from others in the industry. After all, you can’t do everything yourself.

1. Networking Events

This is one of the most popular ways to meet people in the business world, especially if you want to connect locally. It’s not a good way to find customers unless your customers are other businesses but you can meet a lot of different people.

Usually they are hosted every couple of months at a local venue where businesses can exhibit and representatives of various businesses can connect. There are also virtual events like this but these aren’t as effective.

It’s great to go with a plan of what you want to achieve but sometimes it’s good enough to get a feel for the type of event before planning. The more you go, the more comfortable you become and you’re likely to run into some of the same people.

2. LinkedIn

It's fantastic for meeting the exact type of people you want to meet. You search for the industry or the company you want to connect with and see which people come up. Have a clear message in mind that you can send to them. Be clear with yourself what you want out of the contact and what type of relationship you want to build. The great thing is, you start with a few contacts but you grow your network on the platform which should then replicate in real life.

3. Seminars

This is a great way to meet like minded people who are likely to be in a similar situation as you are. The seminar itself should inspire you and offer advice with how to progress in your business but the people attending may not be so useful in that aspect. In the early stages though, it helps to know as many people as possible and spread awareness of your business. You never know at what stage someone you met in the early days, may prove indispensable.

4. Volunteer/shadow

Ohe of the best ways to build a network with people who are in your industry is by volunteering or shadowing at a successful company. It’s a cheeky way in the sense that you are not intending to work there, however, you are making the most of the resources available to you.

The most common way to build a network in any area of life, is by meeting someone via someone you already know. If you have the opportunity to be a part of an established business, you will learn who they use for certain areas as well as other people who may be ambitious to one day, work in their own business.

5. Research and connect

Ultimately, the best way to build your own business network is by researching and reaching out to people you believe will be useful to you. Starting out on your own can be really intimidating and reaching out to people even more so, but you will never gain any contacts if you don’t try. What do you have to lose?

It’s important to have it clear what you want to achieve from the relationship and what you can offer to the other party. Make sure you reach out to those who you actually want to be a part of your business world, not just because you think they are accessible and remember to keep it friendly as well as professional. We are all humans at the end of the day and are more inclined to engage with friendly people rather than those just trying to get something from us. Don’t be afraid to follow up and keep an open line of communication.

Bonus: One way of building contacts is by registering yourself to certain directories or social platforms. Not only does that enable others to find a way to contact you but you can also interact with others who are a part of that directory. Take a look at our traders or register yourself here: https://www.zortex.co.uk/business-network

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