There’s an old saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know. Entrepreneurs need to develop a good network, to find new opportunities, to talk to people who understand and to gain new insights. If you’re like most people in business, you’re probably busy and have a hard time keeping up with your friends and family, let along business colleagues. Here are some tips to maintain a network.
Keep in Touch With Your Circle
The people you know help you find new clients and customers and just keep you sane. Try to stay in touch with your network, through social media or holiday cards or the occasional lunch. Think of it as a “business expense” if you need justification. Spend time developing relationships to build your brand.
Get Involved With Your Community
Join your local chamber of commerce and attend those meetings. In most cases, you’ll get information about upcoming city plans, events and more. Plus, you’ll meet people who are just like you. Connecting with other businesses can help you tap into marketing and promotions. You may also want to join Lions, Rotary or Kiwanis, a service organization where you meet people in the community.
Put Yourself Out There
Become your own PR person by offering to do podcasts, news shows or events in your community. Write for the newspaper. Go to community activities and introduce yourself. Share what your business is doing in your area that benefits others.
Volunteer as a Mentor
Part of entrepreneurship is giving back. Take a local college student under your wing. Mentor other entrepreneurs through SCORE. Find a local non-profit that can benefit from your knowledge and experience.
Bottom line – get engaged with others outside of your business. Entrepreneurs can get so focused on their own business that they forget there’s a big world of people.
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