A solid social network is the backbone of your business.
Human capital, those relationships that you keep and cultivate, is the largest investment you can make in your business.
At the beginning of your business, you probably don’t have much else. Most startups don’t have customers capital, or even a performance record. So those people in your network – your friends, family, former colleagues – will provide your first feedback, coaches, employees, mentors, customers, and investors.
How to network for your business
Building your social network takes time, effort, and strategy. Anyone can walk into a room and hand out a stack of business cards, but cultivating a true network will help you grow your business. You must be intentional about each relationship you build because we do business with people, not business cards. Be a person people want to talk to and know.
- Before you arrive at a networking event, ask yourself who are three people you really want to connect with. What can you offer to these people?
- Practice your elevator pitch. Have a 30-second and 1-minute description of who you are and the value you bring to your customers. It’s not about what you do; it’s about why you do it.
- Be ready to share! Networking is about being generous with your time, information, and resources. Come with a valuable piece of information – perhaps your favorite restaurant, movie, or book.
- Bring quality questions into your conversations that help build a connection. You could ask, “What do you do?” Or you could ask a more memorable question, like “What’s your story?” or “What’s your favorite app?”
- Open your network. Look for opportunities to introduce a fellow entrepreneur to someone who can help them.
Opportunities for networking
Find an Event
Visit the Community Calendar to find the next networking event in Northwest Indiana.
Get an Introduction
Not sure who you need to know? Send us a message and we will help develop your next introduction.
Need Help Developing an Elevator Pitch?
When networking, you need to be confident. If you need help developing or practicing your elevator pitch, visit the Resource Navigator to find a local resource.
We’re here to help – Let’s work together!
Guide: Start a Business