As a home business owner, you may not even realize that you still need to network, to ensure that your business grows. You may also feel overwhelmed with the idea of networking, when you have a home business. But you need not worry, networking is not as difficult and painful, that even an introvert can do it successfully. Here are some tips to follow:
1. Set a Goal for Networking – Without a goal, you are simply dreaming, and moving haphazardly toward a moving target, which are really had to hit. And we all know how that works. It just doesn’t. You need goals for networking in general, and specific goals for each type of networking you do, both online and offline.
2. Practice Your “Elevator Speech” – When people ask you what do you do, what will you say? You do not want it to sound practiced, and like a speech, which is why the term “elevator speech” receives so many groans today, “oh, not again”. Instead, be natural, and talk about how you serve your audience. When you put the focus on the audience, you will find that it passes your lips a lot easier.
3. Use Social Media – Develop excellent profiles, and keep your social media activity up to date, planned, and targeted. You never know who you will meet online, who can help you reach your business goals. But instead of focusing on that aspect of it, focus instead of being a good resource to the people you meet.
4. Meetups – There is a service called Meetup.com where you can meet all kinds of people, and plan all sorts of events. Make the most of your endeavors by creating an outstanding profile, and setting a goal for your participation.
5. Who You Know – The best thing to do about networking, is to start with those that you know. Ask them if they have colleagues and acquaintances, that they can introduce you to. If you incentivize people to recommend you to others, then you will meet more people, who want what you are offering.
6. Get Involved Online and Off – Do not just stick to one or the other, both online and offline networking will work to help you get to know people, build relationships, and make more sales. It does not matter today if you have a home business or not, people are used to the idea by now, so there no need to hesitate on telling people about it.
7. Your Local Chamber of Commerce – Many chambers of commerce leave home businesses a little cold. But if you get involved, you can create a niche for yourself, by offering to lead training for home-based business owners, sponsor events, and do other volunteering activities.
8. Attend Industry Events – Whatever your niche, there is an event that relates to it. Find the events that consist of your audience, and attend at least one big one per year. If you can get on the speakers’ list, or buy a sponsorship, that would be even better.
9. Volunteer for a Charity You Like – While networking should not be your first thought, when you volunteer, ensuring that you choose a group to volunteer for, that consists of your target audience is fine. If you are going to volunteer anyway, you may as well do it for people you like and who want you.
Networking is a very important part of building a business, whether you have a home business or a bricks-and-mortar business. People are everywhere. Meeting people is no problem at all. Just start by saying hello, stretch out your hand and say, my name is John, how are you! Building relationships with people is the key, the business part will come naturally, as you connect.