As a small business agency, we’ve seen the importance of building a business network of your own. Rather than trying to launch your business from scratch, turn to your business network, or find one. Every community has resources you can take advantage of to help you not only launch but grow your business. When you have a creative network, you’ll have those around you who understand you, and who can offer advice. Here are some suggestions for building your business network.
Chambers of Commerce
Many cities have chambers of commerce that exist to help businesses. Typically they have networking events and other helpful resources. Take a look at your local chamber and see what they have to offer. If they’re hosting a networking event soon, sign up. You can get a feel for the group size and the environment they have.
Instagram is a boon of creative networking. With individuals and business alike flooding the social media platform, it’s easy to find others within your niche. You can use hashtags or the discover feature to find professionals in your industry. Don’t stop there, though. Follow them and engage with them! Comment on posts and send direct messages. Instagram networking can lead to impressive results and helpful relationships.
Did you ever consider your clients as part of your business networking groups? They are! You can always turn to long-term clients for feedback, referrals, and even advice. Although they may have hired you for a service, you can almost always count on learning something from these other business owners. Build relationships. Send gifts. Say thank you. Your clients should be a strong part of your network.
Are you on your local yard sale Facebook group? Chances are there’s also a Facebook group for networking. You can find niches for women in business, creatives, and so much more. If it doesn’t exist, consider creating one yourself! It can require a bit of upkeep to get the group engaged, but with monthly meetups and member discussions within the group, it can be full of energy. There are also Facebook groups for specific products. Your website host company may even have a Facebook group that others are using to ask for help or even hire for services.
It may seem intimidating at first. Building a business network requires showing up, getting out of your comfort zone, and talking to people you’ve never met before. But once you find the right niches and platforms, you’ll have a community to rely on. Owning a business doesn’t have to be lonely. In fact, it can lead to some of the most rewarding and enriching relationships — all because of business networking.