No matter how small your business or organization is connections can have a domino effect for success. Case in point, Square Cow Movers owner Wade Lombard works with the Lakeway Chamber of Commerce. He’s also a member of the Yelp Small Business Advisory Council. Wade was able to connect the two organizations, and now Yelp is sending an executive to out speak to the Lakeway Chamber.
No business is a one-man/woman enterprise, and having a network you can tap into makes every aspect easier to manage and grow. The more people you know and the greater diversity there is among them, the stronger your network will be. It’s not all about getting the word out about your business. That’s definitely worthwhile, but making connections gives you avenues to new resources, information, ideas and access that you otherwise wouldn’t have had an inside line on.
Making Business Connections
It’s time to start building bridges so your business can keep moving in the right direction! Business connections can be professional or personal, and they can come from anywhere.
Join the Local Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce is a valuable resource for many reasons, and chief among them is the business connections you can make.
Participate in Networking Events
At networking events people are looking to make new business connections. It’s a prime opportunity to meet a lot of people all at one place, and depending on the event it can be a targeted group. Attend various networking events at least once a month for a better chance of making new connections each time.
Carry Business Cards on You
Let’s be honest. Many people are busy and can quickly forget a chance meeting if they don’t have a reminder. Business cards are old school, but they are still around in our digital age because they are effective.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
In order to continually grow your network you have to make new connections all the time. If you go to the same place, talk to the same people and do the same activities you will have little opportunity to connect with more individuals. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new on a regular basis to start meeting new people.
Always be Ready to Strike Up a Conversation
You never know who will be the next person to give you the help you need. The more people you talk to the better your “word of mouth” advertising will be, and the more connections you’ll make.
Nurturing Business Connections
Now that you have business contacts it’s time to nurture them. Without a little nurturing a connection will become an acquaintance that will eventually think of you as “that person I met that time that owns that business”.
Find a Contact Management System That Works for You
Having all these contacts doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have a good way to keep track of them. There are a lot of tools today that are built specifically for managing leads and contacts efficiently. Choose the one that makes the most sense for you. Just make sure it can be used across platforms on your computer, tablet and phone.
Make Contact Shortly After Meeting
Within a day of exchanging contact information send the person a short ‘nice to meet you’ message. Personalize it by throwing in a line about where you met, what you were doing or what you talked about. It’s always helpful to have a face with a name so consider adding an image to your signature if you’re reaching out via email.
This social network is very helpful because of the ability to build circles. This makes it easier to manage contacts and reach out more often.
Give as Much as You Get
A connection is a two-way street. Know that they may reach out to you at some point for advice, an introduction or a reference. Help out whenever you can to build good rapport and gain a reputation as a good connection.
At our Central Texas moving company we meet new people every day. Our last word of advice is to remember to make a good first impression with everyone you meet. It has a lasting impact on how a person sums you up, and it only takes seven seconds for someone to decide if your first impression is a good one.