Working in a corporate environment, build business connections inside and outside your organisation is almost unavoidable. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you're often working on your own but you can't neglect networking as it may lead to new clients and opportunities in the future. Going to networking events seems like the obvious way to build new business relationships, but there are plenty of other ways to do this. Here are a few suggestions.
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Networking is a long game and relationships aren't built in a day. You can't expect to get something out of making a new business friend immediately although that relationship may pay off down the track when you least expect it.
But those relationships won't just fall on your lap and you'll need to put in the hard yards to build up your list of contacts and connections. Networking events for small business owners and entrepreneurs pop up every now and then but they're not the only places where you can meet new people for your business.
According to Ronsley Vaz on small business blog Flying Solo:
"For some reason, we always think that you have to go to an event to network. This is not true. "There are alternative ways. For instance, I meet lots of people through podcasting. I get to have a chat with at least one person a week for about an hour. Podcasting allows me to invite people to my platform, which reduces the chance of rejection to the very minimum. "Likewise, you can connect with someone on Skype, over a Facebook chat session or a Google hangout. There is no limit."
Vaz encouraged small business owners to network the way they want to and recommended that they think about different ways to form business connections in a way that's comfortable for them.
[Via Flying Solo]