Experts Share 5 Networking Tips for Business Owners

As the calendar changes from summer to fall, its time to refocus your energy on your fourth-quarter objectives. One great way to do this is to build or rebuild your pipeline of prospects.

As Ive said many times, it doesnt pay to go solo, even if youre a “solopreneur.” One proven way to build your business is to reach out to people who can help you. In fact, thats what I did in order to create this weeks Tip! I got in touch with five colleagues who work with business owners and asked for their #1 piece of advice on networking.

Meet people face to face. By giving your clients a chance to connect a face with a voice, youll be more memorable than if you limit yourself to phone communication, says Michael Katz, a marketing advisor who specializes in helping solo professionals develop a clear niche. Commit to one coffee or lunch per week and youll have 50 meetings under your belt by the end of the year. BluePenguinDevelopment.com.

Get past “hello.” When you meet someone, ask questions that go beyond what they do for a living, advises Victoria Nessen Kohlasch, owner of a marketing consulting firm that helps companies build brand momentum to achieve their growth goals. Follow up the necessary introductory questions by offering the other person an opportunity to share a success story. “What wins have you had recently?” or “How did your last client find you?” will give them permission to recall a positive experience. Dont you suppose that will make you more memorable, too? NKAmarketing.com

Send handwritten notes. Even if youve exchanged thank-you emails, follow up with an old-fashioned note on paper, says Evelyn Starr, a marketing consultant who assists young brands that have stalled after their initial success. In this day of constant electronic communication, its a treat to get a personal note. It will also distinguish you in the contacts mind and signal that youre genuinely interested in building a relationship. EStarrAssociates.com

Take your social media conversation offline. Your relationship with a contact may start on a social media platform, but it doesnt have to stay there. When you find a person with potential to help your business grow, move the conversation to email, or better yet, meet up for coffee, suggests Suzan Czajkowski, who helps small businesses and nonprofits develop online marketing strategies. This will take the conversation out of the public eye and create a space for more productive interaction. TheCommCoach.com

Know when to follow up. Theres a balance between persistence and patience. Too little connection, and decision-makers will forget about you, but too much and your prospects may become annoyed. How to know what to do? Just ask them, says Caryn Kopp, a consultant who advises business owners on how to secure initial meetings with hard-to-reach prospects. Dont assume your contact will remember you a week, a month, or a year from now. People like to know theyre not the only ones investing time and effort at the beginning of a relationship. Kopp suggests the following questions:

  • What do you see as our next step?
  • Would a call or email be the best way to schedule time to continue our conversation?
  • I understand there isnt an opportunity right now, but when can I check back with you? Even if the current response to your overture is “no, thanks,” the situation could very well change down the road. If you want to be considered when the need arises, you have to stay in touch. KoppConsultingUSA.com With so many ways to stay connected in todays multimedia world, its disheartening how often we still manage to miss each others signals. But remember: No matter how busy you are, its worth your effort to keep track of people who can help your business succeed. For more suggestions on using networking to build your business, contact me.

Useful Tips for Low Cost Business Start Ups

With decreasing number of jobs and few solutions at work, the best suggestion to the people who face this problem is to start their own business. Although might be economic turbulence, but starting a business of your own is surely a path of financial recovery. There are few tips for the people who have a plan of low cost business start ups. Making a big investment is not always necessary. If you do not have such a great amount to invest, it is better starting with a small investment. Here are the tips that can help you in doing so:

  • It is good that you have planned to start a business of your own, but it is essential that you must be clear in yourself. You must be clear about your aim and must possess the answer of the question that why you want to start a business of your own.
  • You must be determined that what type of business you want to start with. Never ever think of doing investment in something that is new to you. Doing something like that is full of risks and you have to go blindly towards a direction about which you are not at all sure. It is essential that the business you are planning to start should be familiar to you. It should not be like hit and trial case.
  • Planning is most important in any business. Most of the aspiring business people believe that they have to sit down for hours and make a lengthy business plans clearly showing the amount of money that you will make in the coming years. There is no need of keeping such complexity as it will become difficult for you to understand. The business plan should be simple and precise.
  • Something that has great importance for any business is the customers. So, one should be clear with the customers that he as to target. Their preferences, thinking, liking, everything matters a lot to you. You have search everything about your target audience, what they like and what they do not like about the business that you are plan to start.
  • Prices are something that attracts everybody. It might be possible that a person do not have any interest in the product in which you deal, but looking at the genuine prices, he can start taking interest as he find it beneficial in one way or the other. Always compare your prices with your competitors and make sure that you are providing genuine rates, keeping quality at the topmost priority.
  • The next thing, which has importance of its own, is to reach your target customer through proper advertising and promotion. Advertising has great significance as it is the only way of telling people about your product, introducing them what it is all about and how your product is different from the other similar existing products.

It is good to follow such tips when you are new to a business and doing it for the first time.